(James 2:1-4 ASV) My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come into
your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there
come in also a poor man in vile clothing; and ye have regard to him that
weareth the fine clothing, and say, Sit thou here in a good place; and ye
say to the poor man, Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool; Do
ye not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil
I have noticed over the years that mankind seems to have a natural inclination
to categorize people and treat each group differently. If one appears to be
less educated, have less money or have less influence or even dresses poorly
they are somehow considered to be less of a person.
By stretching my imagination I suppose I can understand how a worldly
minded thinker can rationalize such a judgmental appraisal of others. After all,
the basis for such thinking is selfishness, which always causes one to look
for an opportunity to climb the ladder higher than the other person—in order
to appear to be more important. We see the pattern for such behavior in the
Bible when Lucifer as an archangel wanted to exalt himself to be equal
Even though mankind has been practicing this sin from the beginning of time,
I am appalled that it has infiltrated the church in the depth that it has. There
are thousands of people who feel ostracized by the church because they are
poor or do not measure up in a way that they feel comfortable in attending
Most church leaders and parishioners have an idea as to how one should
look and act if they are to attend their services. If an attendee falls short
of those principles, they could be asked to leave the church or they could
even be shunned to the point of embarrassment...which would result in
them leaving the church.
I was in
last week meeting with some
other pastors when one Romania
of them told me her story. Fifteen years ago the Holy Spirit moved on this
little grandmother and told her to leave her home in California, her
friends, her family and all security and go to the mission field of Romania
and live by faith. After much weeping and waiting before the Lord, she
did as Abraham and left all to follow the calling of the Lord.
Upon arriving she did as all faithful people do…she started attending a
progressive church while seeking God as to why He brought her there.
While driving back and forth to church she noticed a large dump sight
where families lived, and how much of their provision came from other
people’s trash. Her heart was moved with compassion, so she tried to
go in, but was forbidden because she would be putting herself in danger.
She convinced those forbidding her to go in, that all she wanted to do was
to bring in food for the families. She was finally allowed to enter the dump
area in the daylight, but was forbidden to go in after dark.
She would buy food and take it in to the “dump people” while telling
them about Jesus. As they came to accept Christ as their Savior, she
would take them to her progressive church so they could sit under the
Word of God. However, it was not long before she was told not to bring
those people back to their church any more, and if she was going to work
with this type of people, then she needed to start her own church. As a result
of that rejection, she now understood why the Lord had sent her to Romania.
She was faithful in her new ministry of feeding the people and meeting
all the other needs she could. One day she bought a box of new Bibles
and handed them out, but they gave them back to her because no one
could read. As a result of that she started a school to teach the people how
For the last fifteen years this grandmother has successfully raised up from
man’s dump many sons and daughters and placed them into the spiritual
riches of the kingdom of heaven.
As Joseph was rejected and sold into slavery by his brothers, each uncomfortable experience for him proved to take him a step closer to his destiny. Even though this grandmother experienced the injustice that was shown in our text, it propelled her into her ministry.
Lord help us to see your plan and purpose in what appears to be the unjust treatment of others. You knew the beginning from the end when you called my little grandmother friend to leave her friends, her family, and all the comforts of life to go and minister to the “dump people” in Romania. Help us Lord.