SOAP Devotional 2014-02-20
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty 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 your judgments are guided by evil motives? (James 2:1-4 NLT)
The examples given are of giving preferential treatment to the wealthy and well dressed over the poor and shabbily dressed people and shows that such discrimination shows that our judgment would be guided by evil motives, thus the powerful statement at the first of the text: “how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?”
These examples are given with regard to the rich/well dressed vs poor/shabbily dressed people, but it clearly states that this is just an example. Showing preference over others would be just as wrong in any other example. Race, cultural bias, or other ethnic preference would be just as wrong. I remember talking to a Texas pastor of a church with mid to upper income people in his church. After explaining our ministry to bikers, he said to me, “I am not sure I would want those people to come to my church if they got saved through your ministry here.” That is the kind of attitude that this text condemns. How can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? We should always check our motives. Do we want to add to the kingdom of God or build our own kingdom here.
Father, help me to always keep my motives pure. Let me be driven to reach people for the kingdom regardless of their background, ethnicity, class, or anything else. Let me view all men as you view them and to realize that you died just as much for them as you did for me.