Daily Archives: July 7, 2018

July 7 – Beatitudes Study Day 35

This summer, we are studying the Beatitudes that start-off Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. These ways that Jesus tells us we should act as Christians are counter-cultural, with blessings or rewards that will come in eternity, not here. We’ll be digging deeper into each of the 9 Beatitudes, looking at other verses in the Bible that describe each characteristic, Biblical characters that exude the Beatitudes, and the blessing that comes from it. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

James 2:13

Favoritism Forbidden

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,
13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

SOAP Note

Haves vs. Have-Nots | Jess Howell

Scripture

James 2:13

Observation

James is speaking about the downfall in showing favoritism – picking the Haves over the Have-Nots. Hanging with Haves means that we have what it takes to be successful. But Jesus said the opposite. The Have-Nots are often closer to salvation because they don’t have pride in the way – they realize the powerlessness of their circumstances and more easily seek God’s guidance.

Application

This idea of relating favoritism to mercy has been a great mind shift for me – something I’ll be chewing on for awhile. When you’re at the bottom, you want to be at the top. But is that wrong? I don’t think so – but who you are modeling for/after could change that answer. What I see and how I judge others  matters. We have to show mercy for those at the bottom AND at the top.

Prayer

Father, I love the challenges You bring out in Your Word for me. Whether at the bottom or at the top, You are always seeking me, just as I should always be seeking You. Showing favoritism and judgment is very hard for me (as my personality profile confirms), but I know with Your heart-changing abilities, You can turn me around. Mercy needs to come before judgment!

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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