ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT
God is present everywhere at all times.
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.
Praise and Adore the God who is Omnipresent
God has been present everywhere for all of time. God has always been there. Praise him because he is always present everywhere. He will be with you throughout the day today.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for Christian Challenge as they meet tonight at River. Ask God to speak through the message. Pray that students who do not know Christ would place their confidence in Jesus.
James 2:1-13 – The Message
The Royal Rule of Love
2 1-4 My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted?
5-7 Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms?
8-11 You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.
12-13 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
James uses an extreme example to communicate that the entire law of God comes from him and is to be obeyed. He says that to not commit adultery and to commit murder makes you a lawbreaker. Did we really need James to tell us committing murder makes us a lawbreaker, even if we don’t commit adultery? It seems James is using the phrase “the royal law” to tie in his thoughts with the teaching of Jesus. For Jesus, to lust is to commit adultery and to be angry is to commit murder. It’s clear, I hope, that Jesus is not saying anger and murder are moral equivalents. Clearly, murder is worse than anger. His point is that we cannot merely look to our external actions and believe they are all that matters in locating our spiritual status. We must look to the heart as well as our actions. When we are angry with someone, in an inappropriate way, we are breaking the entire law of God. God’s law comes from God. It describes his character as well as his will. In the same way, to discriminate against others based on external and temporary factors is to break the entire law of God. The principle behind his example is no small thing. This is not merely about seating arrangements. This is about aligning our hearts and actions with the reality of God. This is about keeping the law of God: “Love God, love others.”