Thursday, May 14, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ's Invitation to be an Expression of Mission


Mercy Babu
St. John's MTC, NY
8 You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

James is addressing this letter to the twelve tribes, most probably to the Jewish Christians who were scattered among the nations. James is emphasizing the vital role of Christians as evidenced by good deeds and faith. James 2: 1-13 focuses on the importance of treating everyone equally or “Favoritism Forbidden”. To be a part for Christ’s Mission, we must live a life like Jesus, keep the royal law, and always remember that we are accountable for our actions.

The risen Lord is inviting all of us for His mission in this world. James is reminding each one of us that as believers we must treat everyone equally like our glorious Lord did. Through this reading, we can see that favoritism existed in the early churches. Favoritism or discrimination is not good for any believers, because it can lead to judging others with evil thoughts, dishonoring those God honors, and sin. Our lives must be centered on Christ. Do not judge or value others based on their appearance or wealth. Church is a place where people are accepted whether they are rich or poor. As it says in Galatians, 3:28 “There is neither Jew, nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ”. Barriers are broken down by the cross. God looks at peoples’ hearts, faith, and love for Him and He is an impartial God. He promised the kingdom of God to the poor in the eyes of the world, because they are rich in faith.

Believers of Christ must adhere to the Royal Law, which is to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Favoritism can lead to the breakdown of this law. We ought to love our neighbors and accept them as they are, just as our Master did. This is a scripture law that is the source of all other laws governing human relationships. Violating this law leads to violation of God’s will. Jesus died on the cross for our sins because He loved us unconditionally whether we were rich or poor. There should be no favoritism in the life of a believer. The Royal Law of love gives freedom to all.

Remember we are accountable for every act. God calls us to have mercy with those who may not be in our favor. Every believer must remember that God will judge mercilessly against those who have no mercy, but mercy triumphs over judgment. If people are merciful to others, God will be merciful to them on the Day of Judgment. Our God is an impartial God when it comes to offering grace and forgiveness. So let us submit all our assumptions, ideas, and thoughts to others to the healing cross of Jesus. Let’s put away everything that prevents us from being closer to God and lead a life that exemplifies Christ.


PRAYER


Dear Lord, help us to live a life that is based on love and faith, being merciful to others, and being nonjudgmental. Help us to mold our lives and grow in faith to be an example for the world as Christians without any favoritism.  Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
What is our basis for evaluating others? Is it based on Scripture or based on social and cultural status?