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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Words of Encouragement February 12, 2017

We had a good morning with our Sunday School teacher speaking on “10 lessons learned from Superbowl LI”. We enjoyed a song list of older praise songs. Then pastor continued with his series, When Faith and Life Collide, moving into James 2 which discusses second chances.

God knows that humans are not very smart. God repeatedly has to tell us how to deal with each other. James 2:1-7 tells us not to show preferential treatment to a rich person over a poor is a passage that pastor refers to as “red flag scripture”. That means that we must be careful how we apply the text. We have to research the circumstances so we do not bend the text to a wrong interpretation. Who is James writing to and what is he referring to? It appears that James was speaking about the judicial system. If you were a Christian in the first century you were most likely persecuted and your possessions confiscated. Those coming into the sanctuary dressed in fancy clothes are the rich and therefore most likely unbelievers.

Continuing with James 2:8-13 we are told not to favor anyone over another. Because we are all sinners. We may not be murderers or adulterers but if we have committed any of the sins ($.05 theft, white lie, disrespect of a parent, failing to keep the Sabbath day) we are still sinners. So how should we treat another person who we may know has sinned?

The Point: Default toward mercy, because God's mercy to you is linked to the mercy you show.

You can be kind to anyone but mercy is for those who need it (which includes us all). Mercy spares one from punishment; it is not getting what you do deserve. Grace is unearned favor; getting what you don't deserve. Grace is unlimited. Mercy is limited.

God calls us out of mercy to obedience.

There is a place and time where God withdraws mercy. We don’t want to be there. Don't spurn mercy; don't push your luck; don't be the unmerciful servant. Change your direction from mercy to grace.

I found this song that tells us all – You are Beautiful!
A Verse for Today:
James 2:1 (NLT)
1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

Lord, help me in all my contact with people to see them through Your eyes where we all have value as your special creations.

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