James 2:5 (NKJV) - The Rich In Faith.
James 2:5 (NKJV): The Rich In Faith.
James 2:5 (NKJV) Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen
the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
which He promised to those who love Him?
When Ken and I traveled to Cuba with our Wheels for the World
team to deliver wheelchairs and Bibles, I met a 14-year-old girl with
brittle bone disease named Isis. Earlier that morning, her mother had
pushed her down the long dirt road in a rickety old adult-sized
wheelchair with flat tires. Isis sat quietly as she watched others receive
wheelchairs. She didn't smile all day. I'm sure this little girl wasn't so
certain we would be able to give her a different or better wheelchair.
As it turned out, Isis was delighted with the sleek and
streamlined little turquoise-colored wheelchair we gave her. But she was
more delighted in something else. When I gave her a copy of the Bible
in Spanish, she gasped with delight. Ken flipped open to the book
of James and I asked her to read one verse. Isis began reading
aloud the entire first chapter. Physical therapists and mechanics put
down their work. Tears welled as we all listened. It was clear Isis
was far happier with the gift of the Word than with her new wheels.
Perhaps God has made the poor of this world to be rich in
faith, because the poor have so little. What they do have, they
treasure - like Isis with her first Bible. Psalm 119:47 says, "For I
delight in your commands because I love them." Is the Word of God a
place where your spirit dwells? Are your prayers peppered with verses
from the Bible? Do you prefer the scriptures over other things? Faith
comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God; therefore, rich faith
comes from much study in his Word.
Dear Word of Life, may I treasure your decrees and consider
them precious. Increase my faith as I increase my time in the
scriptures. [Joni Eareckson Tada Daily Devotional:
Imagine yourself in a coffee shop with a bunch of your
friends, having a good time laughing and talking. Suddenly, you see a
disheveled person approach the table. Oh no, you think, he's coming over
here. What if he asks to join us?
In this passage, James confronts the Jerusalem church-goers
for having this kind of attitude toward the poor. He reminds them
that showing favoritism to the rich while neglecting or slighting the
poor is wrong. As James says in a roundabout way, you cannot judge a
book by its cover. When have you played favorites?
People of the ancient world had just as much concern for
wealth and status as people do today. They wanted to be associated with
rich people and undisturbed by the problems of the poor. Even some
Christians would flatter the rich and dote on their needs while pushing
aside poor people who came to church. James made it clear that
Christians who understand their Lord live by a different standard: They
dispense with the favor-the-rich custom and treat all people alike,
regardless of how wealthy or impoverished they happen to be James 2:1-4).
Jesus never showed favoritism toward rich people, and neither
should we. Attempts to associate only with the financially secure
betray a selfish, faithless, and uncaring attitude.
Make a point to show proper respect to all people regardless
of the cut of their clothes or the size of their bank accounts.
[The One Year Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman]
James condemns showing favoritism. Often we treat a
well-dressed, impressive-looking person better than someone who looks shabby.
We do this because we would rather identify with successful people
than with apparent failures. The irony, as James points out, is that
the supposed "winners" may have gained their impressive lifestyle by
hurting us. In addition, the rich find it difficult to identify with
Jesus, who came as a humble servant.
Are you easily impressed by status, wealth, or fame? Are you
partial to the "haves" while ignoring the "have-nots"? This attitude is
sinful. God views all people as equals, and if he favors anyone, it is
the poor and the powerless.
We should make it our own practice to treat everyone with
dignity. By remembering that each has been created by God and bears his
strive to find the qualities in them that God placed there. [One Year
NLT SB re Jam. 2:1-9]
When several truths are packed into one biblical statement,
which is almost always the case, at least one of them is likely to be
overlooked. That's certainly true of James 2:5, which seems to focus on the
poor and their attraction to the Kingdom message. But James adds a
phrase that reminds us of the true nature of this Kingdom. It isn't
just about the poor or those who believe or our inheritance. Which
Kingdom is he talking about? The one God promised to those who love
So this isn't just a Kingdom for the poor - clearly, since
the New Testament refers often to believers who have wealth. Neither
is this a Kingdom that requires only faith and no other attitudes
or affections to go with it. No, this is a Kingdom for those who
love - specifically those whose hearts are intimately connected with
the King Himself. It isn't enough for this King to surround Himself
with beings who obey His Word or believe in Him without also loving
Him. His desire is for people to respond to Him from the heart.
Kingdom citizens often don't understand that. We turn the
gospel into an impossible standard of obedience or a mental agreement
with its truths. We forget that God created us for love, sent His Son
to die for us in love, and describes Himself as love incarnate. In
other words, we forget to live with passion, letting our hearts be
shaped by our love more than by our disciplines. And we miss the heart
of the gospel,
Get it back. Whatever it takes, embrace passion for God as
the driving force of your life. If you love Him well, you will
follow Him naturally and instinctively. You will pour your life out for
Him because it seems like the only reasonable response. And like
everyone else who loves Him deeply, you will inherit the Kingdom, just as
He promised. [The One Year Heaven On Earth Devotional by Chris
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiVa7UoruIo [old, but one of the best]
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet:
Last Day Prophecy: His Other Sheep by Pastor Gerald Babanezhad: