By Douglas M. Williams, Sr
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:26-27).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).
The above scriptures and others indicate the urgency and seriousness of the religion of Christ. At Acts 15:25-27, the Bible speaks of those “who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet, today, many times people do not feel that religion is anything about which to get excited. Like some modern clothing, religion has become casual and, in some cases, slovenly. But God doesn’t accept such easy religion that costs nothing. “Again,” Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
God has blessed us with a time of affluence, and a good life in so many ways. Compared to former generations, for example, we have air-conditioned homes and automobiles, and even farmers have air-conditioned tractors. Let us never take these blessings for granted, but always be thankful and use our blessings in service to others as we glorify God.
Remember, Jesus, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Also, the following passage is so much needed by our materialistic society: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (of heaven) (Revelation 22:14).