Summary: If we are honest with ourselves we admit that we all have some form of prejudices.

Mid-week Message/Devotion

July 18, 2018

James 2:1-13

2nd in a series

Taking Inventory of our Prejudices and Biases

Have we got preferences? Have we got prejudices and biases, with others that we come in contact with at work, while shopping, at church, even our neighbors. I think, if we are honest with ourselves, we just have to answer YES!

Do you prefer:

1- To socialize with likeminded folks? Exclusively?

2- To avoid persons from different ethnic and racial backgrounds?

3- To not want to be around others with a different sexual orientation?

4- Not to accept as friends or church goers with body piercings and tattoos?

5- Not to be around severely handicapped persons or families with one or more children with special needs?

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

In every example above, we are looking at our neighbor. Our handicapped neighbor, our LGBT neighbor, our minority neighbor, our neighbor recently paroled from prison, etc., etc.

Can we possibly muster enough faith and love to overcome our prejudices? How? From what I hear James saying and what Jesus is teaching, we must come to grips with the facts of our biases. Our prayer life needs to include specific areas that we need to overcome and for specific targets of persons in need of acceptance.

If we are going to be obedient Christians, let’s look at this one BIG basic commandment of the Lord:

“‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

Ask yourself this one question: How can God love me as imperfect and disobedient as I am or as I was?

Can you come up with an answer? Let’s look at some biblical examples:

“even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor, Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;” 1 Timothy 1:13

“As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.

And he called out, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And he said, "Lord, I want to regain my sight!" And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.” Luke 18:35-43

There are literally hundreds of examples of God’s mercy throughout the bible. What we truly need to understand is God’s MERCY is God’s LOVE. Our acceptance, inclusion, respect for ALL others is that same MERCY – that same LOVE.

We LOVE and serve God by loving and serving each other. EVERY each other.

Let us pray -

[Much of this message was derived from a study of The Book of James, Rose Publishing 2018. ]

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