James has been warning us about the sin of partiality in the church. The example he’s using is the favouritism that is often showed to the rich, while the poor are ostracized.
Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love him? (James 2:5)
First, notice the loving way that James addresses his readers. He calls them “my beloved brothers.” Even though he is confronting them about an attitude they need to change, he says it kindly, letting them know he cares about them. He also recognizes that they are blood-washed, Born Again believers, or else he would not have called them “brothers.” There are no perfect Christians, and sometimes we may need to offer gentle correction to our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we should never “rip into them” with our words. Nor should we forget that they are sinners saved by grace, just like we are.
James is asking a rhetorical question, to remind us that God loves to elevate the so-called “lower class” people in society. He is not saying that all wealthy people are lost. Nor is he saying that all poor people will be saved. He is pointing out that God offers a spiritual wealth that is not dependent on a person’s social status or bank statements. You can have little money and few possessions in this world, but if you have Christ, you have blessings that are far greater than anything money can buy.
If you are Born Again, you are rich in faith. You are an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven, because you are one of the King’s kids! He has promised you a heavenly inheritance, not because of anything you’ve done to deserve it, but simply because you love Jesus, and have accepted Him as the King of your life.
When we realize what is waiting for us in Heaven, we lose the sense of urgency to accumulate as much as we can here on earth. It’s okay if I miss out on being a rich man on earth, because I am going to be a rich man in Heaven.
Today’s Good News is that if you love Jesus, you are an heir of His Kingdom. You may be richer than you realize!
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.