Pure Religion Promotes Life, Love, Joy, and Peace
There’s a sad, shivery rain beating against my window, blurring my view of the world outside. I draw close to peer more intently, in order to estimate the severity and duration of the storm. My cheek brushes the glass and I recoil in shock when I receive a cold, Judas kiss of winter. I feel a dull ache enter my muscles, joints, and bones. It is the ache of life under the rule of death that leaves every older person wondering if this will be another winter added to the list of winters weathered and survived or the last one. I’m not afraid to let this old body go; I know there is a better one waiting for me, because God’s Word says it is so. In the nearly, forty years I’ve known Jesus and been known by Him, my Heavenly Father has never broken His promise. However, there are those who love me and depend on me so, I pray that my Father will give me the strength to remain and I leave no widow or orphans in this dying world to suffer until, they are strong enough to survive and thrive here without me.
My thoughts turn to the violent acts in Paris that left so many widows and orphans. The rain intensifies as Heaven weeps over the insanity of murder in God’s Name. It seems there are so many people now, dividing into groups, and preparing for war. Fear is everywhere and the powerless, crushed beneath the boot of earthly power have had enough and want vengeance! One man’s fight for freedom is another man’s terror and all are fighting the same enemy that they see in one another. If it continues, everyone that manages to survive will be a widow, an orphan, and most, likely both. War, no matter what banner it is fought under isn’t holy; it is man putting himself in the seat of God in practicing vengeance that belongs to God and not to man. Terrorism won’t bring freedom but only, God-less anarchy and the prison of living in constant fear of others. The only righteous One, who frees the oppressed and those who seek freedom by becoming like the oppressor, is Jesus. The only war guaranteed to end all wars, is the war against sin within that can only be fought with success in hearts where Jesus lives by faith. The only pure religion is the religion that promotes Love, Life, Joy, and Peace through the practice of visiting widows and orphans in their affliction and living a moral life as defined by God. Jesus is the only sane answer in a world made insane by the fear and pride of mankind. Jesus is the only One able to quell our fear of the rising evil without and have victory over the evil within.
The rain is freezing now, turning to cold ice, and Winter is busy blanketing the world with snow. The specter of uncertainty and fear vaunts itself with threats of leaving all who won’t bow to it, with the loss of loved ones and personal destruction. The enemy knows its season is short and is wasting no time in establishing its ownership of this Season of Death. The natural response is fear but the right response is trust in God, the One who limits the power of death. No matter how thick the blanket of snow, or how deadly cold the winter becomes, the seed of life waits safely, beneath the ground; awaiting its new day with the hope that this will be the final season appointed to death. The sure hope promised by God that comes by His intervention, when Death will meet his own end and Die.
The snow is sticking now, beginning to pile up, and my window is so fogged and iced that I can see nothing with any certainty. I have no idea how long this storm will last or how devastating this winter will be. I am only a woman who can’t predict the future, or use the signs of the times to predict my destiny. I belong to Jesus and I must walk by faith and not by sight. I fight fear by putting my trust in God and continuing to fight the battle He assigned me to; the battle against my sin. This I do in preparation to practice the Biblically pure religion of visiting the great number of widows and orphans that this season’s devotees promise to create. I am humbled to know that if it weren’t for the grace of God, I would be a terrorist too because the enemy they wish to destroy does live in me; as it also, lives in them. Sin is the enemy that threatens all of us and is insidious in its ability to create unawareness of its presence in its hosts but to be readily seen, feared, and hated in others. Sin is a deadly disease, seeking the annihilation of the human race. There is one antidote, Jesus Christ. Those who have received Him by faith and make Him the ruler of their life are given powerful antibodies that ensure ultimate survival while fighting continuing infection. In Jesus, we have what we need to endure and save others from Death. The threat appears fierce but when we employ the powerful weapons of repentance, obedience, and prayer, we are promised certain victory.
Prepare for Death’s season and its uncertainty by drawing close to God; trust in His promises and providence. In such evil days, He is the only One in whom we can safely, put our trust. In the face of Death, we must reach for Life, by reaching for Jesus. “Greater is He who is living in us, than he who is living in the world.”
James 1:27, John 16:33, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 5:4, 1 John 5:5