Helping the Poor: My Religion

James, the brother of Jesus, is pretty clear in his short contribution to the New Testament when he talks about our responsibility to help those in need:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 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

The basic concept is this: true worshippers control what they say, are actively involved in doing what scriptures teach, and are careful to avoid sinning.

When we do these things, we are walking in step with the Father. The TEDx talk below provides an incredible example of a man living out these concepts. His words are kind, he is certainly doing the work of the Father, and by all accounts, his example is one to follow.

How can we achieve a certain kind of compassion that stands in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment of how they carry it. The measure of our compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them, in mutuality. –Father Gregory Boyle

The incredibly positive impact of Homeboy Industries is the work of many people over several years.

Don’t be confused by the words, “true religion.” This is not a command to become pious.

The word “religious” (threskos) appears only here in the New Testament, though its root word (the noun threskia) is found elsewhere in the New Testament. It can refer to both the inner and outer qualities of worship; generally, however (as here), it points to external ceremonies. Paul uses it to refer to the worship of angels (Colossians 2:18). 1

Let us become true worshippers, those who tend to the needs of the orphans and widows, who care for and look after our brothers and sisters in need.

Here’s the home page for serving.

Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely


1Guthrie, George H.. NIVAC Bundle 8: General Epistles, Revelation (The NIV Application Commentary). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.

Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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