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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, December 22, 2014
Tim Wood’s (Tennessee) story is titled “OUTWARD APPEARANCE” in The Upper Room.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God sees what is inside each of us.
Prayer: Holy God, help us to see the best in everyone and to look beyond outward appearances. Amen.
Prayer Focus: TEENAGERS
To read the entire story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
James condemns acts of favoritism. Often we treat a well-dressed, impressive-looking person better than someone who looks shabby. We do this because we would rather identify with successful people than with apparent failures. The irony, as James reminds us, is that the supposed winners may have gained their impressive life-style at our expense. In addition, the rich find it difficult to identify with the Lord Jesus, who came as a humble servant. Are you easily impressed by status, wealth, or fame? Are you partial to the “haves” while ignoring the “have nots”? This attitude is sinful. God views all people as equals, and if he favors anyone, it is the poor and the powerless. We should follow his example.
When James speaks about the poor, he is talking about those who have no money and also about those whose simple values are despised by much of our affluent society. Perhaps the “poor” people prefer serving to managing, human relationships to financial security, peace to power. This does not mean that the poor will automatically go to heaven and the rich to hell. Poor people, however, are usually more aware of their powerlessness. Thus, it is often easier for them to acknowledge their need for salvation. One of the greatest barriers to salvation for the rich is pride. For the poor, bitterness can often bar the way to acceptance of salvation. (NLT)
James 2:1-5 – My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?
For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the kingdom God promised to those who love him?
Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality.” – Acts 10:34 (NRSV)
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