SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- James was writing a warning to church leaders who were showing favoritism to the wealthy and powerful.
- The Bible teaches us that we are saved through our faith, not our good deeds. However, we learn in this chapter that true faith will always lead to action. Faith and action work hand in hand. James is making the point that you can't have one without the other. This is similar to what he wrote yesterday in James 1:22.
- If you want, you can learn more about Abraham in Genesis 15:6; 22:1-18 and about Rahab in Joshua 2.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We should never show favoritism; we should love everyone equally.
- If we claim to have faith, but our lives don't reflect it, something is wrong. True faith leads people to love, compassion, and mercy.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Where, and to whom, are you tempted to show favoritism? People at work who can help you advance in your career? People with more money? People who have similar interests as you? Starting today, commit to loving everyone equally like Jesus did.
- Take an honest look at your life. If you claim to have faith, what are you doing about it? Do you care about your neighbors more than yourself? Are you actively pursuing opportunities to serve others? Or are you too busy meeting your own needs to care about anyone else? If you have faith, your life should increasingly be characterized by radically loving God and loving others. If not, there's a problem. Take time today to talk to God about it.