BIBLE READING: JAMES 2
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
OUR FAITH IS TO BE FOUNDED ON EQUALITY (1)
We cannot claim that God loves everyone, and died for everyone, but then think that certain people deserve better treatment than others based on their accomplishments or assets.
OUR FAITH IS TO BE FOCUSED ON INCLUSION (2)
It should not matter if a person is wealthy or if a person is poor. We should welcome and love anyone into God’s house who wants to be there for the right reasons.
OUR FAITH IS TO BE FREE OF IMPARTIALITY (3-4)
We can be so partial sometimes. We can treat some people as if they do not really matter. We go out of our way to accommodate people that we think could benefit us or our church, and ignore those who seemingly have nothing special to offer. Shame on us!
OUR FAITH IS NOT TO BE JUDGMENTAL (4b)
If we are not careful, we can become people that pass sinful judgement on others. We can judge a person by how they look, or what they have, or don’t have. This is nothing like Jesus would treat people.
Let me give you a few brief statements in closing, so we can gather wisdom from these verses:
* GOD DOES NOT CARE IF A PERSON IS RICH OR POOR IN THIS WORLD, AS LONG AS THEY ARE RICH IN FAITH (5)
* GOD HAS PROMISED HIS KINGDOM, NOT TO THOSE THAT ARE LOVABLE BUT TO THOSE THAT LOVE HIM (5)
* GOD DOES NOT WANT A PERSON’S INFLUENCE TO INFLUENCE YOU (6-7)
* GOD DESIRES FOR OUR LOVE TO BE SHOWN TO ALL MEN (8-9)