Saturday, February 11, 2012

Favoritism, Appearance, Rich vs Poor: Moment with the Master Week 10

Congratulations!  We have finished James chapter 1!  Now lets move on to chapter 2 after prayer…remember to ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding.
1.     Read James 2:1-4.  Who is James talking to in these verses (vs 1)?
He is saying, as a Christian do not show “respect of persons”, meaning don’t show favoritism.   Verse 2 goes on to explain the scenario…  A rich man dressed nicely and a poor man not dressed nicely come into the assembly.  The “brethren” (those in the assembly) show favor to the rich man and sit him in a good place.  They are ashamed of the poor man and want to hide him by standing him in a corner or under a footstool.  An example of this today would be two types of people that will come to our church.  One type is the middleclass people who dress right for church and look the part.  (The rich).  The other types of people are those who are poor, lost, distraught, and don’t even own appropriate “church clothes”.  Pretend like you are sitting in church or sitting in a public place right now.  Now imagine a well dressed person coming to your table or pew and at the same time a poor ragged looking soul comes as well.  Would you get up and move if the poor person sat by you?  Would you stay seated and chat with the rich person hoping to make a new friend?  Are you embarrassed when people come to our church who don’t look like you or dress like you or smell like you?  Search your heart and ask the Lord to show you if you show favoritism.
2.     Read James 2:5.  He says, “Hearken brethren” (Listen, Christians).  This is important to take note of.  God chooses to use the POOR in the world’s eyes to do great things for God and be heirs in His Kingdom!  George Mueller is a great example of this.  Google him or read his book/Biography and it will change your life!  Gideon is a good example of this in the Bible.  (Study his story in Judges 6:11-18)  Rahab the prostitute is an example. (Joshua 6:22-25)
3.     Read 1 Corinthians 1:25-29.  My husband is an example of this because he used to be a drug addict and now he is a Pastor and Evangelist who has started 2 churches and traveled around the world preaching the gospel!  The world cannot explain that!
4.     Read 1 Samuel 16:7.  When Samuel was choosing a King he looked at Eliab (verse 6) and thought, “Surely he is the king” because he was tall and looked like a king with his physical appearance.  But God told Samuel not to look at his face/countenance, or his height because the Lord does not see what we see.  We all see someone’s outward appearance but GOD sees the heart on the inside!  WOW!  I love this verse!  Several men were brought before Samuel to be chosen as King, but do you know which one GOD chose? 
5.     Read 1 Samuel 16:11-13.  God chose the youngest son who kept dirty sheep and was “ruddy”.  David was chosen to be king and was a man after God’s own heart.
6.     I love 1 Samuel 16:7 especially as a woman.  When I get caught up in comparing my outward appearance to other women it never leaves me happy or satisfied.  When I spend too much time trying to fix my outward appearance this verse is a good reminder to focus more on my heart.  God looks at my heart, not my hairstyle, makeup or clothes.  Yes, he does want me to dress nice and modest so I please my husband and do not stumble my brothers in Christ by drawing attention to my body.  God thinks you are beautiful on the outside because He created you!  It’s up to us to make our hearts beautiful and pleasing to God.  Read 1 Peter 3:1-4.   
7.     Read James 2:6-7 and Matthew 19:24.  Why do you think it is hard for rich people to get saved and trust in Jesus?
Read James 2:8-9.  What do we need to do for us to do well?  It is simple and plain, just love your neighbor as yourself.  If I thought about that verse every time I was doing something it would probably change the way I treated people daily.  I need to treat people how I want to be treated.  Let’s leave the lesson at that and try to put that into practice!  God bless!

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