Saturday, February 12, 2011

God Chose The Poor—Do I? (James 1:27; 2:5-9)

“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose 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.  Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?  Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?”  James 2:5-7

God chose the poor (James 2:5)
Jesus blessed them (Matt. 5:3).

Have I fed them?
Gave them drink?
Invited them?
Clothed them?
Visited by coming to them?
(Matthew 25:31:46)

Have I cared for others as I would care 
for Christ if He were before me?

“If, however, you are fulfilling 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

Am I showing favoritism to some?
Am I excluding to others?
Do I judge by appearance?
Do I accept or reject inwardly what I see outwardly?
Does my heart break?
Does my hand give?

“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress.”  James 1:27a

The Greek word for “visit” means to look upon in order to help or to benefit; to look after; have care for; provide for.

This morning I took a scrumptious dessert to the church to be auctioned off at the men’s breakfast.  I was not told what they do with the money.  I did not ask.  I assume it is to help pay for the food they serve as it is a free meal offered to any one who comes—of the male persuasion that is! J  I thought nothing of it because I favor who it was for—my church.  I paid for ingredients I don’t normally use because of the expense—the extravagance I don’t offer my own family on a regular basis.  But I didn’t think twice about doing something nice for the church.  And yes, I wanted it to be nice.  Not just a plate of regular cookies or brownies. 

Because the offering was a reflection of me!

So how does my offering to the poor reflect on me? 
  • In my giving to those in need—financially to the poor, the widows and the orphans?
  • In my receiving of those before me—in my church, my community, the homeless at the park?

When the gift is in secret, am I as generous?
Do I inwardly balk at giving to those with great need when I willfully give to those already rich?

If “God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him,” then I want rich faith.  I want to love Him.  But do I want poverty?

Am I rich in faith or rich in treasure?  (Luke 12:21; Rev. 2:9)

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Click here for the other posts from my study of the book of James
I am joining The Good Morning Girls as we study James together.