DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-21
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC
BIBLE REFERENCE: James 2:2-4
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 2 If an affluent gentleman enters your gathering wearing the finest clothes and priceless jewelry, don’t trip over each other trying to welcome him. And if a penniless bum crawls in with his shabby clothes and a stench fills the room, don’t look away or pretend you didn’t notice—offer him a seat up front, next to you. 3-4 If you tell the wealthy man, “Come sit by me; there’s plenty of room,” but tell the vagrant, “Oh, these seats are saved. Go over there,” then you’ll be judging God’s children out of evil motives.
OBSERVATION: For those who would like to pick apart the subject that I chose, you may first want an analysis of what ‘Evil Motives’ mean, because most Christians will try to tell us that they have none! But consider the example used by James in our Scripture today and decide whether you, or your church leadership, would act any differently! God is not happy when we act based on evil motives. Do you welcome the poor, underdressed and hungry into your home, or your church services each week? Stay with me as we meditate on this today!
APPLICATION: In my early church days I experienced a few church leaders who thought they would help two young men by telling them how they should dress the next time they consider coming to church. This was not a helpful thing for the church, nor the young men, because they never came back to church again. So let’s consider what might be our lesson taught in these verses today. James 2 is a parallel teaching to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 7, where Jesus taught us that we are not to judge others. I believe that James is teaching us a similar message, but he also expands the subject to include how the world sees no difference in us than it does with the unsaved when we cling to our selfish, greedy attitudes by promoting those who appear more financially able than others. Think about it: the one who drives up to the church in a Porsche is probably one who might benefit our finances that Sunday, verses the one who walks up to the church in ragged clothes, dirty and perhaps, smelly. But is that what the church is all about? What does the heart of each man look like? Have they accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior? Could one of them be Jesus in the flesh, showing us how we let earthly treasures impact our belief system and therefore cause us to treat one in our midst better than the other? In the business world, a company may hire an independent ‘shopper’ to visit their business and report on the quality of service by front-line personnel. Assume that Jesus is on the sidelines, and as a ‘shopper’ He is watching our every move and interaction with the two men referenced above. What do you suppose His evaluation will look like? In today’s Scripture He led James to tell us that we would be judging the men based on their outward appearance. Praise God He looks at the inward condition of the heart when deciding whether to allow us into heaven! Oh that He would work on us that we may do the same as our Lord and Savior.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for looking at the dirt and scum of this man when I came to the cross asking for forgiveness. You accepted me just as I was and You crowned me as a prince of the King of glory. Oh that we may be willing and able to look beyond the outward appearance of those that we come into contact with and assume Your eyes of faith, love and hope for all mankind. Please Lord, open our hearts so that we might assume the compassion of Your eyes, and Your heart. Perhaps today You might walk up to us in the disguise of a poor, ragged beggar. Please mend our hearts in such a way that we might bow at Your feet in humility and treat You better than the richest man on earth, or the most prestigious person we know. All are precious in Your sight and in need of a Savior. May we accept them as Your creation and love them like You loved us. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!