On Saturday I returned from the Christian Alliance For Orphans Summit wrecked and ruined, exhausted yet overjoyed, broken all over again by His love. The Summit was a three day gathering of 550 people from all over the world coming together to pray, learn, and fellowship concerning the orphaned. It was a time of immersion in the Word, reflection on His calling, and incredible networking and fellowship with others who share His heart. It was also a reminder of what 'pure religion' is all about.
James 1:27 says this, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. "
Pure . . . clean, spotless, absolute, untainted with evil, guiltless, sheer, free from blemishes . . . genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. Pure religion! Think about it . . . no man made rules, hidden agendas, power struggles, sign-up sheets, . . . pure religion! And His Word even gives us clear direction on where to find it. We can find it caring for the abandoned, the forgotten, the 143 million children in the US and around the world waiting to know Jesus and be loved!
You may be thinking how in the world am I going to help 143 million orphans! My schedule is so full already and anyway one person can't really make a difference. Let's look at what Jesus says in Matthew 18:5, "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. " A little child is like welcoming Him, our King, our Savior! HIM!!! And Jesus also said "a," some translations may say "one." Yes, one CAN make a difference!
So my heart cries out today to the body . . . what are we going to do? What am I going to do? Am I going to stay where it is cozy and safe and stay quiet because I make others uncomfortable with my words or am I going to step out of the boat and take a plunge into the pool of 'purity' that He has waiting for me? Honestly I already have my swimsuit on!!!
Let me leave you with this:
Let me leave you with this:
At the conclusion of the conference one of the board members of the alliance shared a thought (I will try and do it justice as best I can). She saw hereself walking into heaven on the streets of gold and Paul came walking toward her. He greeted her and asked, "How was it?" Her reply, "How was what?" He responds, "We watched from heaven how the Lord stirred the hearts of many and invited them to experience pure religion and His incredible love. What was it like? I want to hear all about it!" And her thought was, 'Would my response be . . . "What are you talking about? But . . . I was facilitating two bible studies, my kids were in three youth groups, I was at service every Sunday, . . . " Or with a smile on her face would she turn to Paul and say, "It was AMAZING!"
He is waiting to 'amaze' all of us!
(The next few weeks I will continue to share my heart with you concerning the abandoned and forgotten and ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus in your own community and overseas.)