Tough Love advice from James

Acts 13-14; James

Yesterday was a true day of rest; I didn’t even blog.  So today I shall do double duty and blog about yesterday’s reading and todays.

The book of James is one of those books in the Bible that induce a squirm, doesn’t it?  James writes to us as a parent lovingly scolding a child, and he does not candy-coat anything.  What particularly grabbed me today was this verse from chapter 5:

Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

I’m about to say something that will probably make me very unpopular, but it is a thought that I have carried for some time now…and it is about our country that used to be great.

Did you know that our country pays farmers NOT to grow food despite the fact that there are starving people in the world, nations that can’t grow food because of climate conditions?  How must the Lord of Heaven’s Armies feel about that?  Did you know that our government pays farmers to grow food down in Florida…using precious resources from the Everglades….and then throws that food away?

This kind of policy and more like it sicken me.  No wonder our enemies call our country the Great Satan.  Satan has wrapped himself in our materialistic society where people expect to receive something for nothing.

But it’s not all gloom and doom.  There are people in our country who are taking the high road without regard to profit or the “almighty dollar.”  I was heartened to read about a restaurant owner in the Dallas area who feeds a homeless woman twice a day.  He even packs up food for her on Saturdays because his restaurant is closed on Sundays.  She pays him with pieces of notebook paper covered in squiggles.  Obviously mentally ill, she is harmless.  And because of this man’s generosity and big heart, she is also well fed.

The interesting thing is, the restaurant owner is not even American by birth.  He defected to this country from a communist one and now seeks to give back in appreciation.

What would happen if we Christians stood up and REALLY extended love to our communities in whatever sphere of influence the Lord places us in?

Instead, we aren’t bold about standing up for the oppressed.  We look the other way when we see injustice.  We surround ourselves with people just like us.

I want to do something on a regular basis — not  just for the holidays — for those who Jesus would say are the least of these.  I want to tell the world around me about Jesus through my hands and my feet and not just through my pen.  I’m not sure yet where the Lord wants to take me.  But I pray He will make it plain and that I will boldly obey.

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