Make Your Mark: Week 2 - Day 2

Opening Prayer

Lord, please open my heart to receive the word you would have me hear today.

 

Read: James 1:27 (NIV)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

Reflect:

In our modern day we have numerous religious-sounding euphemisms that we, as Christians, tend to spout out without really thinking about how they reveal the true nature of our hearts. One such phrase is, “faith without works is dead”, which is a paraphrase from James chapter 2. In today’s passage, which is the prelude to his discourse about faith, the author is making a note that a true living faith will be revealed by the way we treat those around us who are less fortunate. The act of protecting someone and caring for their needs should not be about just doing good deeds, but rather it should be a natural out-flowing of God’s goodness from our hearts. It is a sign that reveals that we have the Spirit of God living in us, and some of the fruit of the presence of that Spirit are kindness and goodness.

 

Apply:

Protectors are heroes. Effective caregivers have to be selfless. Take a deep dive to analyze your thoughts and feelings about those around you who are less fortunate. Do you tend to walk on the other side of the road to avoid someone in need, much like the priests in the story of the Good Samaritan, or do you feel empathy and have a desire to serve and protect those who have need? Begin the process of practicing true faith by trying to be more aware of the needs of those around you and then taking action to serve in any way you can. As you begin to exercise kindness it will become a natural part of your daily life.

 

Closing Prayer:

Lord, you demonstrated your love for me while I was still a sinner when you sent Jesus to die in my place on the cross. Give me the strength to show others this same love.

Terry Schneider