November 19, 2017

Acceptance With No Favoritism

James 2:1-13

Believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

—  James 2:1

The Bible makes clear that believers in Christ, enjoying the gift of God’s acceptance by grace, may not show favoritism, treating some people as better or more worthy than others. This follows from God’s own practice of accepting all who call on his name (see Acts 10:34-35; Romans 10:9-13).

James gives a specific example about favoritism in action, showing that there is no room for discrimination in God’s kingdom. He adds, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.” We must not miss this: Loving means ­accepting one another!

We accept others when we make room at our table or in our circle of friends for someone we may not know. It’s more than being friendly. Jesus said, “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me” (Matthew 10:40). Jesus identified with people who were poor, hungry, strangers, sick, and in prison. We must do this too.

Loving one another means getting involved in the lives of others—as messy as that may be. It could involve inviting someone to join a Bible study at your home. It could even be uncomfortable. But you can do so, remembering that few are offended by Jesus. Accepting one another as Jesus did ­honors God and brings rejoicing in heaven. To whom can you show God’s love today?

Lord, help us to follow your example and seek your kingdom in the way we love one another, whatever may be involved. We want to honor you in all we do. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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