Tonight I would like to break from our study of Isaiah to look at James 2:1-13.
This is a reminder to be good and kind to all, no matter what their physical appearance or what you think you can deduce about their character from their physical appearance. Just as God’s word is suitable for all people, and salvation through Jesus is offered to all, so our kindness must be offered to all.
This can be a challenge. Personal chemistry can suggest favorites and dislike of others. But God asks us to be better than our standard reactions. God asks us to rise above our normal proclivities and show love, kindness and mercy to all.
I am far from perfect in this regard but the only way I will get better is through effort and practice. Why not try with me? Surely there is someone or some group in your lives that rub you the wrong way. Why not pray for them, or do something nice for them? We don’t know what’s possible in our spiritual lives until we try!
Remember, when we show mercy, mercy will be shown to us.
“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:1-13