“Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”– Jam_1:27 (R.V.).
IT IS the experiences of life that reveal us to ourselves. They cannot put into us qualities that are not there, but can develop them. The whole of this wonderful chapter is filled with the diverse discipline of life. “Manifold trials” (Jam_1:2), which probably refer to the persecutions and losses of the early Christians., “Temptations” (Jam_1:12) which refer to the solicitation of evil from without and within. The burning heat of the fire of prosperity (Jam_1:11). The “good gifts” which are strewn around our pathway by the Father of lights–home, parents, friendship, love!
The greatest training-ground for us all is the Word of God (Jam_1:21-25). It is here compared to a mirror which reflects us to ourselves, but alas, too often we go our way and forget what manner of men we are. The human soul has a wonderful habit of forgetting any statements that seem to reflect on itself, and to contradict its own notions of its pride and respectability. If, however, we avoid this mistake, and set ourselves to doing, and not hearing only, then we shall grow into strong, brave, and beautiful souls, and shall be blessed in our deed.
Do not stand gazing at the imperfections which the Word of God reveals but having learnt where you come short, dare to believe that Jesus Christ is the true counterpart of your need; that He is strong where you are weak, and full where you are empty.
“Keep himself unspotted from the world.” We love the dimpled innocence and purity of a sweet child. But there is something nobler–the face of man or woman who has fought and suffered in the great battle against corruption that is in the world through lust. To keep oneself unspotted from the evil of the world, though perpetually accosted and surrounded by it, is a greater thing than to live in a glass-house, where the blight and dust cannot enter. What a training for character is this daily warfare!
To visit those in affliction. We are related to the world of pain and sorrow by the troubles which are constantly overtaking those with whom we come in contact in dally life. Where the conditions of life are hard, we obtain our best perfecting in Christian character.
Make our life deeper, stronger, richer, more Christlike, more full of the spirit of heaven, more devoted to Thy service and glory. In the Mighty Name Of Jesus Christ! AMEN.
ref; (e-sword devotions, Meyer)