James 2:1-9 TPT “My dear brothers and sisters, fellow believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ—how could we say that we have faith in him and yet we favor one group of people above another? Suppose an influential man comes into your worship meeting wearing gold rings and expensive clothing, and also a homeless man in shabby clothes comes in. If you show special attention to the rich man in expensive clothes and say, “Here’s a seat of honor for you right up front!” but you turn and say to the poor beggar dressed in rags, “You can stand over here,” or “Sit over there on the floor in the back,” then you’ve demonstrated gross prejudice among yourselves and used evil standards of judgment! So listen carefully, my dear brothers and sisters, hasn’t God chosen the poor in the world’s eyes to be those who are rich in faith? And won’t they be the heirs of the kingdom-realm he promised to those who love him? But yet you insult and shun the poor in your efforts to impress the rich! Isn’t it the wealthy who exploit you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the very ones who blaspheme the beautiful name of the One you now belong to? Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love as given to us in this Scripture: “You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself!” For keeping this law is the noble way to live. But when you show prejudice you commit sin, and you violate this royal law of love!”
Remember the golden rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When did we graduate this rule? If we are truly Christians, Christ-Ones, then we never should. He says simply and beautifully our calling is to fulfill the royal law of love. It does not matter how BIG or GROWN we think we are; we never outgrow the need for love or the call to be love. Period. We live in a world, but are not of it, where people tend to place themselves above this common call to love. Unfortunately, this culture has seeped into that of the saints. How redeemed people cannot hurt with those who hurt or mourn with those who mourn, means we are missing something. Actually, it means we are missing the main thing. James wraps this up with the frank direction that when we show prejudice, we commit sin and violate the law of love. We need a soil searching. Yes, you read that correctly…not a soul searching, but a soil searching. Remember the parable of the sower in the gospels? If you need a refresher, read Mark 4:3-8. We need to check our soil and make sure that the Word of God is landing on ground that bears fruit and not ground that has no roots or is so full of thorns that it chokes the life out of it.
Consecration: Overuse of the word LOVE
This is going to grab us in the gut! Today, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your attention every time you use the word LOVE in a frivolous manner. We love pizza, we love that song, we love that movie, we love that hairstyle, we love that store, etc… Is it possible we have so over-used the word LOVE that we have undervalued its meaning? Therefore, when we are commanded to LOVE one another, we LOVE them like we do pizza. Picking off the toppings we don’t like, partaking of the ones we do, and throwing away the crust. People, as we read in Day #7, are the crown jewel of God’s creation. Christ died for US. He layed it all on the line for us. And that is how we are to esteem LOVE. It’s the MAIN THING. 1 Corinthians 13 says Love, is the motivation of our lives. Verses 1-7 MSG “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”