James 2:1-6 Devotion
My brothers,show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
In his Prison Fellowship newsletter, Chuck Colson tells of a pastor who was putting the final touches on his sermon early one Sunday morning when he heard a knock on his study door. There stood three ragged boys who had received gifts from church members. Their home was ravaged by drugs and prostitution. They had never been in a church before and wanted to look around. So the pastor gave them a quick "tour."
Fifteen minutes later they were back, asking what time the service started. "Can people come to your church if their socks don't match?" asked the oldest. The pastor assured them they could. "What if they don't have any socks?" Again, the pastor reassured them. "That's good," said the boy, "because my socks don't match, and my little brother hasn't any." That morning those boys came to church and were warmly welcomed. Since then the church has helped the entire family.
Just as the gospel is open to everyone, everyone should feel welcome in our churches. Wealthy and poor, child and aged, police officer and ex-con, handicapped and athlete are all objects of Christ's love. They are all potential members of His body. May there be no barriers in our churches nor in our hearts toward anyone! Dennis Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Lord, may some weary souls find rest
Because Your people took them in
And helped them see the love of Christ
That frees us from our guilt and sin.--Dennis De Haan
Poor is the church that values programs more than people.
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