Spring Getaway2020: James 2
James saw a struggle that the church was having, partiality, showing respecter of person/ also known as showing favoritism for some individuals by their perceptual preference and displaying the lack of mercy to those they undervalue. Now, as I sat back and thought about it, many of us still struggle with the same thing that James speaks of, including myself...
I want to talk about perceptual preference a little deeper.
Q. What is perceptual preference?
-It is the way we understand, identify, or interpret something based on experiences. We use those experiences as a preferred measure as a strong influence on our decision-making in our actions.
Now think about how strong perceptual preferences can influence you. For example, going through hardships; sometimes those past experiences can leave a residue of pain, and that pain can affect our thinking and even our self-worth to how we conduct ourselves now.
How many times have you allowed the opinions of others to determine your actions? When our actions are influenced by what we interpret from other people's views, we increase the likelihood of making bad decisions or regret not stepping out of our comfort zone and making those opportune choices. Why?
Because the preconceptions of overvaluing opinions formed in your mind beforehand limit your ability to see what "reality" is.
And this type of mindset, James warns us will only separate us from the Love of God, for if it manifests wrong motives within our thinking it can also affect us internally to where we rely more on what other people think rather than our own values. And if not mindful, this can become the reflection of how we value our self-worth.
And the way you value yourself will affect the mandate James says you have over your life. This calling you have is very influential and is determined by what you believe and act on, so let's take a moment to read what that calling is.
James 2: 8 (Passion Translation)
8 Your calling is to fulfill the royal Law of Love as given to us in this Scripture: "You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself!"
James uses the words royal Law because of who he was speaking to; every Jewish person understood the Law, the Mosaic Law, growing up as a child they were immersed in it. So James uses the words Christ spoke to remind them about the Law of liberty that comes from the principle of The Love for God & The Love for Thy Neighbor. principle of The Love for God & The Love for Thy Neighbor.
So let's recap on that day.
Christ was here on earth; a man questions Jesus which commandment was the greatest or the most important to keep. But this man wasn't just any man; he was Sadducee, who studied the Mosaic Law and everything in the Pentateuch. He understood that the Law was complicated, for there were over 600 laws that they had to learn and know, which was their standard of judging and acting. He thought if he knew what the principal kind to its nature was, maybe his works might get him close enough to righteousness.
So Jesus understanding the burden within the man's heart, replied, "The greatest most important is the first commandment."
Vs 37: Love God with all your heart and soul, and with all your mind and strength
But then Jesus says, "and the second is like unto it."
Vs 39:"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
And, James repeats that context. Christ's words as a reminder to the reader.
I love the way the Passion Translation puts it:
"You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself!"
Jesus goes on to say that these two sums up all the commandments of the Law.
And this is where many people fail-
Because we misconstrue God's word, we don't fully understand what is being asked of us.
We can not love and value our neighbor if we don't know first to Love and value ourselves;
You can not truly love people, your husbands, your children, let alone a random stranger unless you learn to love yourself first, that's the prerequisite!
We disregard the prerequisite of Self Love.
Especially as mothers, we wear many hats, and we find ourselves doing things for many people or we find ourselves doing many things for our loved one and we put ourselves on the back burner. And we say I'll get to myself later and later becomes weeks, weeks to months,and months to years.
You pour and pour and pour, but I ask you what you are doing to fill yourself up?
When we love and value people first before we ever love and value ourselves, we can quickly warn out. If we don't take the time for Self Love, we won't have enough Love to give out, and that's when we can easily start looking for others to fill that emptiness. When we find ourselves seeking others to fill a void, and when we don't receive that Love back, we get hurt.
We should have enough LOVE that we are still okay within ourselves even when people don’t love us back.
Before I break down how we can get back to the prerequisite of Self Love-
I feel like I need to break down the Difference between Self Love and Selfish Love because the enemy will come in and make us feel guilty for taking time to ourselves so that we may receive a fresh fill-up from God.
There's a difference between Self Love and Selfish Love.
Selfish Love is a type of Love that is self-centered in prioritizing one's needs and feelings at everyone else's expense. 2 Tim. 3 states that this type of Love takes pleasure of this world more than the pleasure of loving God.
The prerequisite of loving ourselves first #selflove
What does Self-Love mean to you?
It first starts by accepting yourself-
Accept yourself the way God has accepted you.
That's including the way you look, ladies. For you are beautiful the way God made you.
Accepting yourself is all about self-discovery.
Write down what your weaknesses are and your strengths: in understanding our weakness, we are more receptive to finding grace, and in our strengths, we are mindful to walk in humility.
4. My personality is a unique expression of My Father in Heaven.
You're not an introvert by coincidence your not an extrovert by coincidence, you were made in His likeness.
5. Accepting Yourself allows you to let go of the world's standards, the world's values,
actively choose to no longer hide in insecurity or perfectionism within your preconceived thoughts where you look at yourself from a place of what you imagine others might think.
It's choosing to stop comparing yourself to others, and when people-pleasing is no longer a factor.
Jesus Christ understood self-concept for He understood who He was, is, and will always be. He never spoke negatively about Himself nor allowed the opinions of others to define Him.
When you choose to act out of a place of acceptance in Christ, you are choosing to love and value yourself in such a way that life becomes more fruitful in areas you never knew were possible by seeing how valuable you are to God.
When you start loving yourself first with the same reflection of the way God loves you:
His Spirit comes in and cultivates Self-Compassion - so you may have compassion for others,
When you choose to let Go of Guilt - you stop shaming others for their shortcomings,
and when you choose to Forgive Yourself- you then can allow God's Spirit to strength you so that you are able to forgive others
Self Acceptance removes self-rejection that came from this world.
For if you reject yourself, then surely you will reject others, and the mercy you give here on earth will be the same measure you will be measured with on judgment day, the Bible says.
When people allow the world's rejection to consume them, they find themselves rejecting others to avoid being rejected themselves. That pain they walk with comes from fear and the fear of rejection violates that royal Law of Love that James speaks of.
So let's stand in agreement today that we will not allow the fear of rejection to control the way we love ourselves and the way we love people, Amen!
Through God's Love, you are accepted, and that is something He decided from the beginning of the foundation of the earth, not because of what you do or don't do. do.
That is why Jesus taught about the Royal Law of Love because He understood the freedom that comes from it.
12 So we must both speak and act in every respect like those who are destined to be tried by the perfect Law of liberty, 13 and remember that judgment is merciless for the one who judges others without mercy. So by showing mercy you take dominion over judgment!
Showing mercy, you take dominion over judgment for God’s mercy triumphs over judgment.
God's mercy frees us from being judged by the Mosaic Law through the atonement of Jesus Christ. When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, their eyes were opened to know both good and evil. For that was the reason God told Moses to create the commandment so man would know sin. And because God's word will never change. God will judge everyone; no one is exempted. So we are given the free will of choice of being judged by The Law vs. the principle of Loving God and the Loving of our Neighbor -
For those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ will be justified under the standards of the Law of liberty, the Law that gives freedom from sin and death-
The removal of partiality in our thinking allows us to fully walk in God's Love for the way God loves and values you; that's the reflection we take on in loving and respecting ourselves, which allows us to be compassionate and kind to others. You see, God's Love has nothing to do with emotions but the act of will- And this is the principal attribute that is needed in our actions of Faith.
Jame 2: 17 - 20 NKJV
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
By Faith, I'll show you my works.... and God will at times test your character of Faith to see if you will apply Faith Works in His Love.
James concludes his reasoning by providing examples of Abraham and Rahab.
Let's look at Abraham's testing of Faith and Action:
Sometime later, God tested Abraham.
God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
Early the next morning, Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.
Abraham's Faith believed that somehow, someway, God would show His mercy in some divine intervention. So, Abraham speaks Faith first into existence as a form of reassuring himself from any doubt.
For that is what Faith is "believe and speaking."
For if I believe God's promise, I'm going to speak God's promise out loud no matter the situation.
So when Issac questioned his dad's actions,
We read Abraham's response vs. 8
Abraham answers, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering".
The Love that Abraham had for God removed any respecter of person from his heart even towards his only son. And as his Faith applied with his actions, God immediately intervenes...
Gen 22:11 -14
11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. 12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide -Jehovah Jirah- And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
Abraham was found righteous before God because his Faith was exchanged for God's righteousness and his actions cooperated with what he believed within himself.
Rahab's Faith with Action is displayed in her mercy:
Through her works of obedience and what she believed within herself, the mercy she displayed pronounced her as righteous in the sight of God. That if she showed mercy to God's people, God, in return, would show mercy unto her and those she loved.
Joshua 2:12-14 MSG "Now promise me by God. I showed you mercy (kindness, compassion); now show my family mercy. And give me some tangible proof, a guarantee of life for everyone that is connected to me.
And the men swear an oath to her, "Our lives for yours!" said the men. "But don't tell anyone about our business. When God turns this land over to us, we'll do right by you in loyal mercy."
So today, I asked you to examine your heart and incline your actions: full force towards the Law of Universal Love. For the word Love is translated as Agape which is the act of will and not based on emotions.
The commandment of Jesus Christ is, that we love one another as He loves us. The Life of Christ truly embodies humility and Love for His neighbor as we should aim to emulate His example. One of the strongest attributes in leadership is the servitude of Love and that is your strongest influence you can have on those God places in your life. For as you serve others, you are serving Christ by living out who He is in your life.
Walking in the Law of liberty: love God, and with the same Love He gives, accept His love within yourself so that you may be able to love others willfully. - for that is His will.