Wednesday, February 27, 2008

James 2: 1-13

James is writing to people of faith and talking to them about their faith. Chapter one says that our faith is foundational for dealing with trials in our life and that our faith will indeed be strengthened as we endure and come through trials and difficulties. Our faith will be the glue that gives us focus and stability in the midst of the storms that life will bring to each one of us.
Chapter two tells us that people of faith should have an attitude of humility toward everyone. The picture from the passage in chapter two is of a teacher in a sanctuary sitting in a chair and a poor man walking in and the teacher full of knowledge just sits in the chair making the poor man sit on the floor. From this passage are three points.
1. As Christians our attitudes are not to be of superiority but humility. We should never be so arrogant about what we know or have that we can not be loving to someone that is not a believer or does not know or have all we have.
2. Treat everyone with honor especially the poor. We have to remember that this is not just the financially poor person but the spiritually poor person. REMEMBER how poor of spirit you were before you asked Jesus Christ into your heart and life.
Read Matthew 5:3 and see that the very first beatitude is about the poor in spirit.
Read I Corinthians 1:27 God's systems and perspective are way different than ours and He considers poor rich. It is a matter of the heart and if the man with money places more loyalty to his money than Jesus, he is to be considered poor.
3. Let faith make your motives pure. Pray that God give you His mind about the people and world around you.
1. You were poor in spirit before Christ. For a perfect picture of this look at Zach. 3 and the man in Joshua's vision. It is a perfect picture of who we were before Christ and who we are after asking Jesus into our lifes.
2. Alot of these people were poor because of Christian persecution and no fault of their own yet the rich believers were taking them to court for unpaid debts. It is important that we not make assumption about someone's state and let our main priority be love and bringing people to Christ.
If we willingly show partiality to the rich over the poor we have a false value system and are in sin. God honors the poor and weakness of man, in fact He uses it to glorify Himself.
Read Luke 12: 19-21
Matthew 25:31-40
Lastly, faith prompts action and I have challenged myself, our study group and now you in blog world to pray that God show them a person or circumstance that He wants them to act on. It can be an encouraging word, a step to mend a relationship, a meal taken to a sick friend and the list goes on and on. We are going to take action this week and share what happened as we did next week. I am praying for you and you pray for me until next week.
I love you all.