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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, December 7, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
Wealth may indicate intelligence, wise decisions, and hard work. On the other hand, it may only mean that a person had the good fortune of being born into a wealthy family. Or I may be the sign of greed, dishonesty, or selfishness.
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. 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?
Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. – John 7:24 (NIV)
Lisa Kay Tate (New Mexico) titled her story “FIRST IMPRESSIONS;” here is a portion of Lisa’s story:
“Each week when our pastor tells the congregation to take out our Bibles, my husband takes out his smart phone. This earned him more than one raised eyebrow or disapproving glance by those seated nearby.
“. . . Perhaps if we took the time to look a little closer at those we judge on first impressions, we might better be able to do just that.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – “The Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).
Prayer: Dear God, help us to “look at the heart” when we see others and not focus only on outward appearances. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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