Don’t Favor the Rich Over the Poor Part 2 James 2:2-7
How do I treat the poor?
Yesterday, we LOOKED at the illustration of the rich.
Today, we want to close in and LOOK specifically at the illustration of the poor.
Open GODcha to the Book of James.
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OR use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.
Let’s Begin With Prayer
Oh LORD, thank you for the privilege of opening up Your Word. For preserving it for us! Help us understand Your unsearchable riches today. You have put this here so we will learn. Move upon our hearts. Change us! Thank You!
LOOKING at What God Says
Go to GODcha.
What will you do first?
READ God’s Word
Read James 2:1-13, again asking the 5W’s and H.
Let’s continue LOOKING @ verses 2-7.
How were believers treating the poor?
How might I have dishonored anyone who is poor in my church family?
Unlock the Meaning
Let’s unlock ‘the poor man‘ which is Key.
Understand God’s Words
Check Out the Meaning
Poor, ptōchós; a beggar, pauper. (C) Generally, poor, needy, contrasted with pénēs (3993), one who may be poor but earns his bread by daily labour; also spoken of true poverty, as opposed to the rich, without the idea of begging (…Jas 2:2).
TIP: Remember to take the definition back to the text.
Let Truth Explain Truth
What About the Poor?
Scope out the Cross References about the Poor.
1. What else does God say about, how believers are to treat the poor in the church?
a. Sustain the poor and give him the basics.
NOT charge him interest, let him live with you. (Lev 25:35-37, 39)
b. NOT to mock the poor, will be punished. (Pro 17:5)
c. NOT shut your ear to the cry of the poor, or you will also cry yourself and not be answered. (Pro 21:13)
d. The Proverbs 31 woman – extends her hand to the poor and the needy. (Pro 31:20)
e. If we take care of the helpless, the Lord will take care of us, deliver us in the day of trouble. (Psalm 41:1)
THINK: How can we call ourselves people of God if we dishonor the poor?
Do I know who is poor, struggling in my church family?
How do I treat the poor in my church family?
How sensitive am I to their situation?
Am I generous? Do I share? How do I reach out and help them?
2. According to James 2:5, what did God do with regards to the poor?
God chose the poor of this world.
3. What do you learn about God choosing?
Jesus said, you did not choose Me, I chose you, appointing you to bear fruit… (Joh 15:16)
4. What do you learn about who God chooses?
a. Jesus came to:
- preach the gospel the gospel to the poor,
- release the captives,
- give sight to the blind,
- set free those who were oppressed. (Luk 4:18)
b. God chooses those who cannot earn salvation. (Eph 1:4-7, 2:8-9)
c. God chooses Jews and Gentiles. (Rom 2:9-10)
d. God chooses masters and slaves. (Eph 6:9)
e. The Lord makes poor and rich;
- He brings low, He also exalts.
- He raises the poor from the dust,
- He lifts the needy from the ash heap,
- He makes them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor. (1Sa 2:7-18)
f. In the church:
- there are not many wise according to the flesh,
- not many mighty,
- not many noble
- God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise,
- God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. (1Co 1:26-27)
We see: God’s heart. He recognizes the poor; empathizes with the poor!
Do I understand God chose me?
Do I understand God makes rich and poor?
Rich or poor, have I heard the gospel, and been released, set free?
5. According to James, why does God choose the poor of this world?
The Poor were chosen to be rich in faith. (Jam 2:5)
What does it mean to be ‘rich in the faith‘?
a. The Lord is rich toward the ones who come to Him in faith. (Rom 10:12)
b. The depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how rich we are, how gloriously rich we are in Christ. (Rom 11:33)
We see: One’s faith in Christ brings them, spiritual, eternal riches.
Am I rich in faith? Rich towards God, seeing Him as my deepest glory, joy, delight?
Am I rich in what is most valuable, anchored in the unsearchable riches of God?
5. Why else does James say God chose the poor?
Chosen to be heirs of the kingdom to those who love Him. (Jam 2:5)
What do you learn about the kingdom?
a. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Mat 3:2)
Understand: repent means to turn, turn from walking my way, to walking God’s way.
b. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:3)
Understand: everything begins with being poor in spirit, means to be a beggar (seeing we are totally inadequate before God; that we have nothing but filthy rags to offer the Lord; that we are spiritually bankrupt, poor; sinners in need of a Savior).
We see: repentance and being poor in spirit is necessary to be a part of the kingdom, a kingdom that is spiritual, where God rules in our hearts.
Am I an heir of the kingdom?
No matter rich or poor, when did I come to God, as a beggar, poor in spirit, recognizing my spiritual poverty before Him, realizing I am unable to save myself?
When did I repent, turn from walking independently of God, to walk totally dependent upon Him, clinging to Him, living for Him?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
Understand: those who love God will inherit all that He has promised.
We see: in Chapter 1, God humbles the rich man who is depending on his wealth, perhaps by making him poor.
We see: in Chapter 2, God makes the poor man rich, inheriting God’s eternal riches.
What Have We LEARNED
Sum It Up!
You can do this!
That’s It For Today!
Are you listening to what God is saying?
Don’t miss His message.
How can we look down on the poor, when God has chosen the poor to be spiritually and eternally rich?
Journal Your Discovery
As we close for the day remember, take a minute to type what God has shown you in your Notes and also record your findings in your hardbound Bibles next to Jam 2:2-7.
Let’s Humbly Bow Before the Father
OUR FATHER, we praise You and thank you for choosing us. Whether rich or poor, we understand that we cannot earn, nor do we deserve, salvation. Oh Father, may we all be ever so grateful that You have chosen us and granted us to be rich in faith and to inherit your kingdom. Oh, the depth of the riches both of Your wisdom and knowledge. I am asking that You will forgive us for making these mistakes, especially when visitors come into our assemblies. Forgive us for judging others by what we see outwardly. Oh, forgive us for catering to the rich with extremely wrong motives. Oh Father, save us from this sin. May our life be found in You and You alone. Help us to learn of Your riches, seek to be free from sin and rich toward You. I ask this in the fair name of our Lord Jesus by which we have been called. Amen!
Thank you for continuing on this journey in James. A lot of time and distance have been covered.
Feel free to leave a comment sharing your discovery and experiences with the Lord. As we continue to explore, may we encourage one another.
Next: We will continue to LOOK @ James 2:1-13, with our focus on verses 8-13.
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