(Note: Pastor Ben’s sermon series runs all the way through Easter. We are on a 60 Day Journey with Jesus as he appeared in the letters of the New Testament. Through seeing Jesus in the letters of the New Testament we are learning how the way of Jesus was lived out in the early church which in turn will help us better live out the way of Jesus as his people today. This week’s Devotionals are borrowed from a Devotional set from a few years ago. It should serve us well as we see how the way of Jesus as he made it known when he was here manifests itself in James & Jude.)
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? James 2:1
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
The verse above from James includes a reference to our faith in Christ. Reviewing what faith in Christ is all about is a good place to begin. Jesus said that He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Elsewhere He said that “it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” And He also said, “for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” When we truly put our faith in Christ, we do so as ones who truly are lost, sick, and sinful and we believe that Christ can and will do something about our lost, sick, and sinful condition. So right from the beginning and all along the way our faith in Christ is all about letting Christ make the difference in our lives that He alone can make as ones who on our own are lost, sick, and sinful.
As Christians we are members of the community of the redeemed. As such we view all other members first and foremost as those who are redeemed and we view those who are not yet members first and foremost as ones that Christ can redeem. Seeing others as “redeemed ones” or “potentially redeemed ones” can keep us out of a lot trouble. It is when we allow ourselves to use other designations for assigning value to ourselves and those around us that we end up in deep trouble. This is what lies behind the problem of favoring some people over others and recognizing this problem and doing something about it is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, I know how easily I gravitate toward an approach that seeks to measure my acceptance with you by merit and achievement. I also know how readily I gravitate toward an approach that seeks to measure others by what I find acceptable in them. Lord, I know this is not the way of grace. You don’t show favorites and I must not either. Please show me more fully the way of grace for my life. Amen!