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[This post was originally written for Desiring God's blog]

When James call us “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,” he’s calling us to make much of Jesus. For the Christian, making much of Jesus and visiting orphans are not two separate calls.

The relationship between making much of Jesus and visiting orphans in their affliction is very similar, if not identical, to the relationship between glorifying God and enjoying him forever. Just as we “glorify God by enjoying him forever,” we can make much of Jesus by visiting orphans in their affliction.

Why do I believe this to be the case? Because, in Jesus, God first visited us in our affliction (see Exodus 4:31Luke 1:6878-79Acts 15:14).

When we as Christians visit orphans in their affliction, we make much of the God who first visited us in ours at great cost to himself. To borrow wording from the Apostle John, “We visit because he first visited us” (1 John 4:19).

The Gospel makes visiting orphans much more than an opportunity to care for the world’s most needy, as important as that is. It makes visiting orphans an opportunity to make much of Jesus before a watching world.

Here are some ways that you can begin the journey of making much of Jesus by visiting orphans:

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