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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, April 24, 2017
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Today’s scripture reading:
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.
We must treat all people as we would want to be treated. We should not ignore the rich, because then we would be withholding our love. But we must not favor them for what they can do for us, while ignoring the poor who can offer us seemingly so little in return.
Grace does not cancel our duty to obey Him; it gives our obedience a new basis
As Christians, we are saved by God’s free gift (grace) through faith, not by keeping the law. But as Christians, we are also required to obey Christ. The apostle Paul taught that “we must all stand before Christ to be judged” for our conduct. God’s grace does not cancel our duty to obey Him; it gives our obedience a new basis. The law is no longer an external set of rules, but it is a “law that sets you free”—one we joyfully and willingly carry out, because we love God and have the power of his Holy Spirit. (NLT)
James 2:1-13 – 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’ct they the ones who will inherit the kingdom God promised to those who love him? And yet, you insult the poor man! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord’s royal command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin, for you are guilty of breaking that law.
And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” So if you murder someone, you have broken the entire law, even if you do not commit adultery.
So whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free. For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God’s mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you.
If you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. –James 2:9 (NRSV)
Tracy Crump’s (Mississippi) story is titled “ALL EQUAL;” here is a portion of Tracy’s story:
“One of my earliest memories is going to a diner one day for lunch with my parents. . . . To my surprise, we got up a moment later and walked out. I asked my mother why we were leaving since we hadn’t eaten, and she pointed to a sign. . . . ‘No Negroes Served Here.’
“‘That’s not right,’ my father said. He told me that we would not eat at a restaurant that would not serve everyone.
“Segregation due to race is illegal now in my country. However, that doesn’t mean racism is dead. Neither are other forms of discrimination. Whenever we show partiality to one person over another – whether due to manner of dress, level of income, nationality, race, or any other factor – we discriminate. According to the verse above, that’s a sin.
“As Christians, we live under the command to love our neighbors. Unfortunately, sometimes we consider our neighbors to be only those who are just like us. . . . We are all equal in the eyes of God.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Those who are different from me are also God’s children.
Prayer: Dear God of all the world, help us to see people through your eyes and to treat them the way Jesus would. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/