Playing Favorites

I've been meaning to blog this all week, but I was waiting on the hubbs to get my new header up and running. What do you think? Likey?

Anyway, I wanted to post a few thoughts from the message our pastor shared with us on Sunday. I tell you, we go to an amazing church. And it has nothing to do with a building (because we don't own one) or the immense theology training of the staff (although they are so in tune with God and speaking His truth boldly) or even the programming (which does rock - especially for our kids). It has everything to do with two things:

1. Jesus - First and foremost. It's like the cheering at a ballgame sometimes, only people are shouting "Jesus"! Everything that is said or done points directly to Jesus - our Redeemer and Savior.

2. The people. The church is not a building. It is a living, breathing, organic body of people on this Earth who love Jesus and go about their everyday lives loving others and helping others and loving Jesus. These people in this part of the body are the most real and most amazing people I have ever met.

So, I wanted to share my thoughts on a few things our pastor said in the Sunday (2/8) message from James chapter 2.

- "God hates social injustice". He hates slavery, bigotry, exclusion, discrimination, judgement, and hatred towards anyone. This includes white people, black people, Muslim and Jew, gay or straight, rich or poor, uneducated or educated and so on. So why do we find ourselves on only one side of the fence in these issues most of the time? Jesus came and died for everyone. That means everyone. Our nation and world can never be at peace if we can't grasp that. I'm merely suggesting here that we must extend our love toward everyone, no matter what their place in life. We can leave the particulars if need be for a later time, but as Mother Teresa said "Peace begins with a smile".

- "How we treat others says a lot about our belief in God". If we say that we are a Christian and we don't love even the most unlovable then in essence our belief in God comes into question. That's something we are trying really hard to teach our son. He is aware of the war that is going on in the middle east. And his dream at 6 years old is to be in the military. He talks about the soldiers and the "enemies". Spoken as only a little boy who loves heroes and villains in the likes of Batman, Superman, and Venom can speak. And now he is praying for the "enemies" every night. It's the hard things like "turning the other cheek" and "going the extra mile" and "praying for those who persecute you" that really tests our belief.

- People say we must bring our best to Jesus. "Best is relative". If your church would be exclusatory to people who were not in a suit and tie or dress and hose then you don't understand this concept. There is nothing wrong with a suit and tie or a dress and hose. I love getting dressed up from time to time. But my best is not someone else's best. When I was growing up, my mom would pick up a single mom and her boys in the roughest part of our small town and bring them to church. The boys would come on Wednesday night some. Things were casual. We never could get them to come much on Sunday mornings. And now I know why. It's because their best was the thrift store jeans and t-shirts and our church didn't look like that. Don't get me wrong. I am not knocking the traditional church I grew up in. It was filled with wonderful people and I value my foundation. But, I'm just saying. We must remember that best is relative. Don't knock someone when you see them because they might just be bringing their best.

- "If you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers". - James 2:9

- "My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism". - James 2:1

"For God does not show favoritism". - Romans 2:11

Let us all think about whether we have shown favoritism or not. Whether it was favoritism to the rich and educated while shunning the poor and dirty or to the poor and downtrodden while forgetting about the rich and blessed people who are hurting and have needs as well. May we follow the words of John Wesley:

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.


Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Love the header and also your family photo. It is so encouraging that you have found your "home" and that you are growing in the Lord.

MrsHonea said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome post!