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Week 4 - Day 3

Reread James 2:1-13. Today we will focus on vv. 5-7.

1. How do these verses relate to what James says here about the poor?
a. Luke 1:51-53
b. 1 Cor. 1:26-29

The question becomes whether these in Jas. 2:5 are poor in the sense of without money. Moo says that the word can refer to those materially poor and those who are poor “in a spiritual sense: humble and meek, recognizing their utter dependence on the Lord and trusting him for deliverance (see esp. Ps. 69:32; Isa. 29:19; 61:1; Amos 2:7, all of which use ptochos in the LXX).” Because James describes the poor as the “poor in this world” (Jas. 2:5), he feels that it opens up the possibility that this refers to both.

2. What did Jesus say about the poor in Matt. 5:3? Which of the above meanings would you give the word “poor” in James 2:5? Why?

Stronger Jeans (optional): Again, look up the other references mentioned by Moo in the quote above and see what they add to your understanding of the meaning of poor in the spiritual sense.

3. Sharing Question: In our Day One Study this week, we saw the majestic person of Jesus, who is God Himself. How does understanding that help you become more poor spiritually, if it does?

4. What were the rich people of that day doing to the poor and to God, according to James?

5. Sharing Question: Have you ever been mistreated, treated preferentially, or at least treated differently because of your status—socially, educationally, or monetarily— or because of your appearance (e.g., race, beauty, weight)? If so, share the situation and how you felt with your group.

6. Responding to God: Write a prayer asking God to convict you of any prejudice in favor of the wealthy or well-known, or against those without those things? Ask for the grace to have His attitude toward all.

4 comments:

jjdsc said...

Of course, being mistreated has happened to me in the past. It was painful at first and very difficult to forgive. But God healed my feelings and I have forgiven.

Nowadays, God is just teaching me to forgive no matter the issue, just because He can't use me and I will not hear His voice if there is sin in me.

Sohl Gal said...

For a long time I really determined my self worth on what others said about me. I'm still working on that now, but I'm now focusing on trying to see myself through God's eyes, rather than those who'd try to hurt me or to break faith in God. I think God wants me to show others what's happened to me, so they can see that I've overcome the barriers in front of me.

Twisting His Arm said...

I used to think being NICE meant allowing people to walk all over me. I had 'please take advantage of me' written across my face. Now I know God wants me to serve others but only when it is HIS will and not the sole will of a person. Seeking God's will first has alleviated a lot of stress in my life.

DA Wagners said...

I don't know if I've been judged per say, but I have been summed up. People seem to have a stereotype for every thing: weight, profession, wealth, education, appearance . . . I try so many times to make sure people don't sum me up based on exterior information. My heart is not defined by any of those things. Yes, some of those things translate into my life (they have too!), but they still do not dictate who I am inside.

I've been the polar opposites of many of those things (e.g. uneducated/educated, fat/thin, poor-as-dirt/some money/job/jobless) and I am still the same person I ever was. My life's changes have helped me not to sum up people simply based on some trivial information.