1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? – James 2:1 NLT
We must be careful not to make quick judgments and choices based on how someone looks or the price of the clothes they wear. God created each of us in His image and has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We must learn to look at people as God sees them.
7 But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7 (GW)
Of course, we can’t actually see into their hearts. So, what we must learn to do is withhold our opinions of them until we get to know them. Until then, we should not show favoritism to one person over another. We must also remember that whatever standards we use to judge and form our opinions of others are the same standards that will be used to judge us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? — Luke 24:38 NLT
As the two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus were sharing their story with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appeared among them. Jesus spoke to them and said “Peace be with you”. But they were startled and frightened, how could this be? After three years of walking with Jesus and hearing HIs teachings on a daily basis, the disciples were still not convinced that Jesus would really be resurrected. They thought they were looking at a ghost. Jesus told them to look closely and see that it was really HIm. He invited them to touch Him and know that He was real. Still, they were not fully convinced, so Jesus asked for something to eat. We can wonder at the unbelief and lack of faith of the disciples but we show that same unbelief and lack of faith when we are fearful and worry about things. We need to examine ourselves and ask ourselves the same questions that Jesus asked the disciples, “why are we frightened and why are our hearts filled with doubt”? God has told us over 365 times in the Bible in one form or the other, :“DO NOT FEAR!”. Yet, is there a day that goes by that we do not express fear and doubt with our words and/or actions? Instead of accessing the peace and the joy that Jesus has promised and is waiting to give each of us so that we can enjoy today with Him, we obsess over what MIGHT happen tomorrow. If we really believe that Jesus can and will provide our every need, then we should just rest in His arms and allow Him do exactly what He said He would do.
3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.— 2 Cor. 5:3-5 NLT
When God first made man in His image, He looked at what He had made and said “it is very good” (Gen 1:31). Decay and death were not known at this time. Then sin came into the world and things were no longer “very good”. Our bodies, along with all creation, started to deteriorate and eventually die. Jesus came into the world as a man to redeem the fallen creation and restore it to the order that had been in the garden. Jesus brought hope to a dying world. He came that we might be made “new creations”. Newness requires that we get rid of the old. We are saved when we accept Jesus and our Spirits are renewed but we remain in a fleshly body in a sinful world. The Spirit is being renewed day by day but the flesh is decaying day by day.
16 So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. — 2 Cor.4:16 The Voice
Our hope, the thing that makes Christianity different from anything else, is that we will one day leave these rotting, fleshly bodies and live in those heavenly bodies that God has created for each of us. Bodies that do not suffer pain and will not decay or die. God has prepared and continues to prepare us for this transition. We have a guarantee of this that lives inside of us so that we are never alone or without hope. Until the process is complete and Jesus comes again, we live hopefully and joyfully “looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith”.
14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.—1 Cor. 6:14-20 NIV
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was physically raised from the grave. Because of that, we can know that one day, He will raise all those who have trusted in Him. We are members of the body of Christ and have been instructed to keep the Temple holy. Nothing sinful will be allowed to pollute the body of Christ. God the Holy Spirit abides in us now and one day we will be completely one in Spirit with Jesus Christ. We have been purchased and washed by the blood of Jesus Christ. If we want to honor Jesus, we must keep ourselves from the very appearance of sin. Our love for Him should cause us to want to keep our bodies pure,without spot or blemish.
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.—Eph. 5:26,27 NIV