Read James 1:21-27
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (v. 27).
Just a few years ago, the carpet in my house was new. Unfortunately, life is not easy on cheap carpet. I recently decided it was time for this mess to be replaced. Research began. What could I afford? What would work best with my life style? What would look nice?
One weekend I decided it might be a good idea to see what was under the carpet. Maybe I needed to be figuring on a more drastic undertaking than I had planned; it would not be good to be surprised. So I pushed the shoes to one side in my closet and began tugging at the carpet and padding. What a lovely surprise! There was hardwood flooring underneath. Removing the carpet became exciting. Look at this lovely floor! But it was not lovely yet. Staples had to be pulled and tack strips pried up, and plenty of cleaning, sanding, and refinishing remains to be done. Those boards have a long way to go before they will be right.
Peeling away the muck of sinful humanity is not quite enough for our hearts either. Jesus wants to purify us, to present us to His Father without even one spot. He purifies our hearts, but then our lives should shine with the finish of love towards others. (Mark Avery)

Lord, strip away whatever might defile me; let me stand pure before you.

This devotional is the Thursday, August 19, 2015 entry of Opening the Word.