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Monday, July 15, 2024 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
A Proper Respect

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My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:1-5).

There are no weird people, only weird perceptions of people. For as many people as there are, there are as many different personalities and each embracing a certain degree of eccentricity. Basically stated, we are all strange in some fashion. And with that we might do well to keep in mind that though another seems odd to me, it is quite possible the feeling is mutual--or perhaps should be.
Each of us are a collage of wonders, extravagantly packaged by a glorious creator. All that makes up who we are is wondrous, and all that makes us who we will be is already known to Him that holds tomorrow. How arrogant to think that I should be better, know better or have better than another. For we all sojourn a dusty trail and thirst for what is right and good and pure. And though we make mistakes and often lose our way within the windstorms of our lives, there is One who persists to draw us.
To ponder these things, at least for a time, might begin to enlighten us somewhat. And perhaps we will open ourselves to the heart of God and discover what it means that "with God, there is no respect of persons." For it is out of His love for us that He respects us in truth, and not as though we have earned it. For God's treatment is just and His love is constant, and with that He knows no preferential treatment.
What shall we say then, we who call ourselves followers of the Son of the very God who loves in such a manner? Where do we find our justification to esteem one man above another due to position, wealth or education? Perhaps we do not seek to justify it at all, but instead, to try to overlook it. For our preferential treatment is often subtle, but nonetheless it exists. It exists in churches where we would listen to one man above another because of his looks or education; while the Davids and Samuels go unnoticed by our prejudicial appetites. It exists in our churches where we turn from one who is different, though we are not sure just how; nonetheless, we do not feel comfortable around him as we do with others we've known for some time. And the preferential treatment is evident in churches when the fellowships break into clicks and one or two sit in the shadows, not sure where someone like he or she would find a place--they are those who know only fellowship with God because He's the only One who loves them regardless.
A great deal of talk is kicked about regarding our witness to a lost world. We plan and program and train, and we go--and what we often do is reach out to others--others like ourselves. A middle-class church draws middle-class people, and an all white church draws whites. And so we arm ourselves to take the love of Christ to the dying world, and somewhere along the way it gets watered down and run through the filter of our preference--and so goes the message of God's love.

What will we do to show a love that is of God--a love that has no preference?

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