Pure Religion – Relief for the Philippines Typhoon Victims

If you’ve been anywhere in earshot of the news this week you’ve already heard of the thousands who have died, the tens of thousands injured, and the hundreds of thousands who have lost their homes and livelihoods. The massive devastation of Typhoon Haiyan is heartbreaking.

If there is anything I’ve learned writing for Bible or Not over the years, it’s that our readers are people who care about helping others. And regardless of your religious persuasion, when you help the orphans and widows, that’s what the Bible calls pure religion.

“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.” – James 1:27 KJV

For those who would like to lend your support to the relief efforts to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, here is a list of relief organizations.

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Organizations

 

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Often times we pray, and then we wait, and pray some more and wait some more. The Bible tells us to let patience have its perfect work, knowing that it is a fruit of the Spirit, and having the hope that God will use our waiting to build us up into the person He wants us to be. But is it true that good things come to those who wait?

“Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” – English Proverb

While patience is indeed a virtue, let us not confuse waiting on God with inaction. If good things truly do come to those who wait, then why do anything at all? Just wait, and it will come, whatever “it” is. I think the foolishness in this idea is obvious to us all, but how do we balance patience with action?

In the Book of Hebrews we read, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12 NKJV).  Here the writer clearly distinguishes between being sluggish and being patient. We also see that patience does not stand alone, but it is coupled with faith. And so, waiting on God for the good things He has promised us through faith, is much different than just waiting.

And so we see, that patience has her place right beside faith. Let’s be careful to not allow laziness or procrastination to impersonate patience. Good things come to those who wait, but not to those who wait too late. Let’s do as Paul wrote to Timothy, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness”. It is when we are pursuing the things of God that we find the proper balance between waiting and doing.

 

Are You Living the Dream?

It was 50 years ago today that Martin Luther King Jr. had his famous march on Washington D.C. and delivered his inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial. This iconic moment in American history underscores the aspirations of the American spirit that all men and women are created equal, and all have unalienable rights endowed to them by our Creator. It also is a rallying point for all those who believe and promote this self-evident truth.

Today Bible or Not honors the memory of Dr. King and, rather than list a number of Martin Luther King quotes, asks our readers the question, “are you living the dream?”. Words are nothing without action, and the Word of God tells us that we are all equal in the sight of God. God is not a respecter of persons, and neither should we be. The Bible further teaches us that we are saved only by His grace, and that as recipients of that grace we should likewise extend it to others – freely ye have received, and so freely ye shall give.

We encourage all to live the dream, to judge others by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. Let us love one another, as Christ has loved us.