Thursday, October 3, 2013

James 1:27b

This morning, as I was reading in James, chapter 1, the ending of verse 27 struck me "... keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (NIV) "... keeping yourself free from the world's evil influence." (NCV) "... refusing to let the world corrupt you." (NLT) " Don't know why, but I've read over that. Maybe because my first reaction is to want to hide inside from all the ugly in the world. Protect my kids from it. Not be touched by it. But, Jesus didn't do that. Jesus was smack in the middle of the ugly, the evil, the diseased, the sinful, the corrupt, the broken. That's me without Him, by the way. And, here is the amazing thing, He was never influenced by it. Never. He was not changed by it. He didn't pick up ugly habits. He didn't go for the common. He didn't take the easy route. He didn't look like the world. He didn't act like the world either. He loved. He loves now. He was free of the world's evil influence. He was not, never polluted. How? How did He do that? He walked in the Spirit. He walked hand in hand with the Father. He never compromised. He loved. No trying to escape the ugly. The ugly is where He was needed, is needed. Never influenced by, but influencing. It's mind-boggling. It's wisdom and character and life that comes from the Source. The only Source.
Lord, make us more like you. Empower us by your Holy Spirit to love like You do. Help us to refuse the lie that is our culture, the world, and stand steadfast in truth. Keeping our eyes on You alone. Give us wisdom, discernment and protection from the evil and the demonic. Give us courage, boldness. Make us strong in our conviction and, Lord, help us to love the "ugly-beautiful." The ones right in front of our faces. The one's who need You, like we do. Help us to bring them to Your feet. To the Life that is to the full and real and only in You.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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