Tuesday, March 13: Clear by now that God operates quite differently?
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith. On this second trip through the book in this series, we'll read from The Message.
Read James 2:1-7
My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row," haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?
Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn't it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren't they the ones who scorn the new name—"Christian"—used in your baptisms?
In or out, rich or poor, blessed or not so fortunate. With our scales on autopilot, we weigh each other's worthiness according to externals. But the Lord's table has no saved seats. He ushers in all who believe and promises his kingdom.
In light of God never playing favorites, imagine for a moment this global table scene, and who could potentially be seated at your elbow. Might your feelings of concern or conviction reveal a prejudice you need to address?