Most Christian scholars refer to The Book of James in the Holy Bible as ‘A Letter to the Church.’ Why? Because James, a brother of Jesus, sent letters to Jewish believers throughout the Roman empire. And those letters included some of his best teachings.
In other words, the believers of that time respected him. In addition, they appreciated his advice and his wise decision-making skills.
Although the title of this episode is ‘A Letter to the Church,’ everyone will benefit from the wisdom of James.
Love your neighbor as yourself
Now, the focus of this post is James 2:1-9. So, let’s look at it in the New Internation Version. It reads as follows:
7-10 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.
This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
When you look around, watch the nightly news, walk into a department store during the Christmas holidays—what do you see? You find everything but love among people. Why do you think that is? Does ANYONE know God?
I realized the problem—People that don’t love others can’t know Jesus as LORD. Thus, they don’t know God! The renewing of your mind begins with faith in Jesus, and time in HIS Word to learn what love is. And it takes learning about Jesus to see what LOVE looks like.
Truth is—the excellence of LOVE reveals GOD.
The sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross for the sins of the world was unselfish, enduring love. This love was kind, thoughtful, truthful, and full of grace.
Jesus didn’t let someone’s race, financial status, or a political party decide whether He would go on the Cross for them. NO! JESUS let love guide the decisions He made. And we too must let love guide us.