James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Introductory Thoughts

The world is full of religion, but this religion bears little to no resemblance to the truth of the scriptures. Why? Because man-made religion is vain. It is empty. It dresses up nicely and pretends to possess great power and influence, but inwardly possesses no power to change men nor to give them life. It is like the “sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). The Bible offers this simple analogy. A man that claims religion but cannot bridle his own tongue is adhering to a vain religion. He may believe himself secure and righteous, but he is simply deceiving his own heart. The only thing that can change a man is trusting Christ as Saviour.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): The only “work” that we can do to get to heaven is found in John 6:28-29. After we believe, we obey (John 14:15). God gives us the power (2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:13). There will be many who do not believe or obey (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; 1 John 2:4; Titus 1:15-16). The Bible points out that their religion is worthless.
• (For everyone): Can you think of any “religious” people who live like the world? Why has their religion failed to change the way they live?
• Do you attend church, give money, do good deeds in the community yet find that your heart is just as wicked and vile as those who do none of the above? Are you willing to let Christ change your heart by saving your soul?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to help you forsake vain religion.
• If you are not saved, ask Jesus Christ to save you now.