Just Off the Streets

1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called (James 2)?

James knew man’s tendencies. He knew how we are prone to show “personal favoritism” and partiality to those who have money and social influence, while at the same time “dishonoring” those who are poor and powerless. We would rather respectable people join our church than those just off the street.

We need to be reminded that all of us came to Christ just off the street. We were all once simply vagabonds—“separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” — who by divine grace were “brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).

Lord, thank You for bringing us off the streets and into Your household! Help us This Day to live like the royal offspring we are by welcoming all others off the streets, too. Amen.