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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cafe Chat

James 1:27 (New International Version)
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.

For today's question I am going to have us concentrate on the second part of James 1:27. Not long ago, I chose this verse to memorize because my husband and I were thinking of adopting in the future. This verse tells us that "religion" that God accepts as pure and faultless is looking after orphans. Well in my mind adopting an orphan could be one way to look after him/her, as I am sure there are many different ways. But, it wasn't until this past week that the second part of this verse caused me to do a little introspection.

The second part of James 1:27 says that "religion" God accepts as pure and faultless is also "to keep oneself from being polluted by the world". This portion of Scripture really struck my heart, as I can definitely tell you that this past week, as well as a good portion of my life I have been "polluted" by the world. Some other translations of the Bible use the words, unspotted or unstained in place of the word polluted.

I would even go as far to say that I am not an innocent victim of the world either. Yes, the world can push itself on all of us at times, but for the most part I choose to partake of what the world has to offer. Then like clock work, that feeling of being "polluted" weighs me down, and then I begin to feel distant from God. Not because God left me, but because I chose things that were not the things that God has for me.

So today I ask you, what are some ways you/we can be polluted by the world? What can we do to keep ourselves from being polluted?

Blessings, Kim

(I have been trying to visit the blogs of those that answer the "Cafe Chat" question. I have noticed that I am sometimes the only one that has left a comment from the Internet Cafe community. I know that it was easier to visit other's blogs when we had the Mr. Linky function, but it began to cause technical problems. Please take a few minutes to look at the comment section and visit those that leave an answer to the "Cafe Chat" question. You will be encouraged!!!)

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Blogger I am blessed! said...

This reminds me of Ps 119:7 NKJV "I will praise you in uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgements." How quick am I to praise God with my lips without first examining my heart to see if it is pure?

How am I polluted by the world? Entertainment like television and books. But my flesh doesn't need the help, for it does enough "polluting" on its own. I often ask myself if my family could be picked out of a crowd as Christians or if we blend in too much.

Thank you for sharing. It's very convicting, but we are supposed to examine ourseselves. I'm reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Bridges (again!) and he keeps making the point that it all starts with developing convictions that flow from our study of God's Word. The next step is being committed to live by those convictions!

Thank you for the challenge to continually examine my heart and motives!

My blog on homeschooling and family life is I have a kid's devotional giveaway right now.

September 10, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said...

This is a wonderful question, thank you so much for taking the time to do all of this. I am going to think about this today and pray over it...I can say that I've been feeling pretty polluted and weighed down lately myself!

I shared a bit of that here:

Blessings to you today
with love

September 10, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Grandma Elsie said...

this sure gives me something to examine my self by that I had not thought about.
i might just be in for a surprise when I look at how I am influnced by what is around me. I must question my thoughts,speech and actions by this instruction.
thank you
Elsie <><

September 10, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I think television is a very potent polluter of not only ourselves, but our children. I was just watching Disney Channel and one of the "favorite" programs made light of lying, cheating, and stealing. It seemed in jest, but if my children pick up those habits, they have been "polluted."
The way to minimize this exposure is to watch TV with them, or limit television all together and explain what God accepts from our behavior and point out what tv moms or dads may not point out to their children, that as a family, we won't live by because we love God.

September 10, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Anonymous alisa said...

As I grow with Christ, I naturally feel the Holy Spirit pruning off things that feed my flesh and not my spirit. I don't think we realize the magnitude of how our culture deters us from Christ.

We are so limited with time just living, but then we have a thousand distractions pulling at us daily.

But, whatever we give up for Christ, He promised to bless us.

"Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep [shows you watch] and goats [books you read] and your cattle [people you allow to influence you]. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you" (Exodus 20.24).

September 10, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said...

Alisa, I appreciate what you said there: " I naturally feel the Holy Spirit pruning off things that feed my flesh and not my spirit." Well said!

Thanks for sharing.

September 10, 2009 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't had TV for 6 years primarily for financial reasons,but after seeing (catching a glimspe at another's house), I don't want to pay to bring that into my house. That said, I see where I am still influenced by the world, in so many ways. I can be so willing, yet so weak, at the same time. I beleive for all of us who are wanting to do God's will, that we must "bring every thought captive to Him," and our actions will reflect that. It is not just being a "hearer of the Word, but a doer". To me, the most important aspect of this is, we are examples to those around us, "Are we relecting Jesus,& pointing others to Him?". I examine myself, and I know that I fail on many levels, which should drive me to cling to Him more. Father, I ask your forgiveness for when I don't, and to be my strength to do your will.

September 11, 2009 at 3:33 AM  
Blogger goodnews said...

Hi! wasn't abe to give my name,(anonymous is me!) I didn't realize, I wasn't signed up, so now I am. The above comment was from me. Just want to add a few more thoughts. It is the enemys attempt to make us feel defeated, to lose hope, & to be discouraged. I know I have experienced plenty of that, but what I have to remember is God is in control. My all-knowing, all-loving God, knows I will fail, over,& over, but thanks be His name that through the cross, I am made new. My weakness, is His strength, if I allow Him to work through me, I will reflect His Love to others.It is not my goodness(& forgive me Lord,for taking any credit)but it is in God's righteousnous that will peel away the unfruitfulness in my life.Let this be my focus:"Let go and let God!",to His honor, and for His glory.

September 11, 2009 at 4:34 AM  
Blogger T. J. Knowlton said...

It is so funny, and unlikely, that I wrote about this, yesterday (9/10). This definition of religion is so blatant and demanding, and yet, I desire it completely. It is something that can only happen in relationship with the Father. I can't wait to hear what everyone else has to say!

September 11, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous angela said...

I like this...I like this a lot. It's certanily food for thought, and from now on I will think about and becareful of what I allow to pollute me. I'm aware of it, but it's been some time since I've really thought about it. I'll keep it before me more.


September 11, 2009 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Joan said...

In reading this post, I'm reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 - Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good characther. Come back you your senese as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God...

We are called to be in the world, but not a part of the world. In my own life, past choices of friends certainly made a difference in the way I acted, spoke, and thought about things. This is not to say we can't be friends with unbelievers, but we must be careful not to allow the ways and influences of the world to corrupt our character.

This post certainly gives me something to reflect upon.

September 12, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger seesawfaith said...

Over the recent past, God has really been showing me how we allow people to take the place of God. Specifically, serving. We decide that we want to serve God but only serve in capacities that allow us close interaction with certian people. our service to God has become polluted with our need to be with friends. I think this comes from the worldly need to be accepted and part of the "in" crowd. Just because we are christians doesn't mean we are immune from this desire. The only problem is, once we begin chosing the way we serve God by the people that will be involved with us, we have thown away the chance to glorify God. We are now doing it to serve ourselves and our desires. I doesn't matter how good the work is. God sees the heart. In Malachi 1:8 we see that God considers anything less than our completely submitting our best to him as evil. (NASB) Is it really complete submission, our very best, if we are coloring it by who we get to work with?

This can also be looked at from the other side. You have been faithfully serving God for the right reason, but something happens and your disappointment in people changes the way you serve God. You would rather quit serving in your capacity than serve with "her" again. Your trust in someone was broken so you walk away from God and service to him. Someone else stumbles in their service so you allow it to cause you to stumble as well.

Our desire to have human relationships can drastically undermine our complete reliance on God. not your typical poluter, but one I have had intimate contact with.

September 14, 2009 at 12:43 AM  

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