In recent weeks, we had conversations with close friends and believers who were forced to move to another state for employment reasons. One of their first concerns was finding a church where the Word of God was faithfully taught and where God had a place for them to serve. Their search has not been what they expected. In most churches they visited, no one spoke to them or welcomed them and showed an interest in their attending.
This is an indicator of a deeper problem which James addresses in the section we looked at yesterday. “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:8–9).
I understand that we like to talk and fellowship more with those we know best because we have more in common with them. But think with me about the ministry of Jesus, a Jew. “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11–12). “And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”” (Matthew 9:10–11). They were not “of them,” the Pharisees.
Are you showing “partiality” or are you reaching out as Jesus did to those you don’t know with the light and love of Christ? You will be surprised at how many want what you have – eternal life and the fellowship of the “poor in spirit…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (5:3, 6).
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