God Wants Us to Honor Purity-Advent 22 (2019)

It’s often said that Christianity is a relationship not a religion.  But there is a religious aspect to it, too, enough that God would put it on His Christmas List. 

“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” (James. 1:27). 

God desires that we honor purity in our religion. 
Pure.  Faultless.  Those are the bookends of acceptable religion and religious practices.

Think About It:

  • Religion can be viewed as the outworking of what one has hidden in his/her heart.  Can we have different outworking depending on our call and our environment? 
  • Most of us don’t encounter orphans or widows all day long.  How are those two individual groups pointing to a Christ-honoring religion? 
  • Why is it important to God that we do not become polluted by the world once we are in relationship with Christ? 
  • A Christianity without religion misses something, but a Christianity without a relationship with Jesus Christ misses everything.  What are they missing and why must Christ be in Christianity?

Dear Father, Jesus prayed to You saying, “I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:14-15).  Give us strength to stand our ground on purity.  Give us hearts to pursue religion of caring about others in tangible ways.  Give us comfort so we may comfort others.  Give us hope so we will not become discouraged when we are ridiculed and reviled as Jesus was.  Remind us every day of Your goodness to us and help us to appreciate the fullness of life You give.  May we keep Christ in Christmas and in our hearts always.  Amen.


Join me beginning December 1, 2019 by signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page to receive these daily devotionals. Let’s enjoy exploring what might be on God’s Christmas list.

Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows:  

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series (2018) Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 22, 2019

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