Posted on March 20, 2012 Posted By: Freda
I find it so amazing to realize that in the center of the church being persecuted & believers laying their lives down for the cause of the Gospel, that James addresses such issues as he does in chapter 2. For me, it is a reminder that difficult times do not give me permission to let go of Truth and begin to allow myself to do whatever I wish. As we dig into this next chapter let’s keep our hearts open before him and ask him to give us the ability to live right in all times & to give us a faith that is demonstrated in our actions.
When Faith is genuine, it does show up in our lives. We will have real, dependable love that transitions into respect for God, care for others, and for ourselves!
James begins by addressing an issue that was happening in the church. There was special attention given to those who held some place in society. What would that possibly look like today? Well, could it be that special favour might be given to someone we think might be able to give something back to us? Could it be that we don’t want to put a whole lot into someone that cannot give us anything back in return? For us today, I believe we need to ask ourselves, Lord am I showing favouritism to those who I believe have something to offer? What are my responses to those I might struggle with, those I might feel pull on me, those who might have nothing to offer?
Guard Against Favoritism and Prejudices.
Verses 2:1-4 – He gives a charge to paying attention to what is important (Luke 12:21)
Verse 2:5 – The meek will inherit the earth – The value of being poor in Spirit. (Matt. 5:5; Luke 6:20)
Guard Against Indifference and Wrong Mindsets.
Verses 2:6-9 – Love your neighbor as your self (Matt. 22:39; Mark 12:30-31)
Verses 2: 10-12 – Do not break the commandments (Matt. 5:19)
Verse 2:13 – Mercy triumphs over Judgment (Prov.21:13)
It is so easy to be influenced by what others do, or by what is happening around us. However, as believers we are called to a higher life. We must quickly deal with indifference in our lives and against a mindset that is in opposition to the nature of Christ. Love must be real. Obedience demonstrates our love. We must be people of mercy. I am finding more and more on this journey called life that the road that is easy to take is usually not the road one should take. Demonstrating mercy is a difficult task when we feel like doing anything but that. However, taking the seat as judge can come so naturally. The question I must continually ask my heart is what would I want offered to me? Would I want people to sit as judge in my moments of weakness or would I want them to look beyond what they see and offer me mercy. Obviously, I want mercy. Well, I must learn daily to plant seeds of mercy if I am to get a harvest of it in my life.
Respond in Obedience and Let our Action be the Proof of our Faith.
Verses 2: 11-13 – Faith without works is meaningless (Matt. 18:23-34; 25:41-46)
Verses 2:14-26 – We show our friendship with God by our obedience (Matt. 7:21-23, 26; 21:28-32; John15:13-15)
Many people believe that faith does not require actions. There is nothing further from the Truth. We are told that when faith is real, it acts. When I truly believe in something, my life should become a presentation of that belief. This is not an easy task because in many cases we have led people to believe that means they must do a program. James is not talking about programs. He is talking about acting out of what you believe. When God asks something of us, we need to let our obedience to him be the proof of our faith. It is not about doing everything, but about the things he asks of us.