Roles, Ranks & Positions (Part 4)
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, 'Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.'
Luke 21:1-4 (NKJV)
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, 'You sit here in a good place, and say to the poor man, 'You stand there'... you have dishonored the poor man.
James 2:1-3,6 (NKJV)
I have a friend who sold shoes for Neiman Marcus and Saks. He said a customer may walk in wearing old jeans and a baseball cap--then walk out with ten pairs of new shoes costing thousands of dollars. Since he worked on commission, I asked him how he could separate a potential customer from a window-shopper, like me.
He said: 'In high-end retail, we don't judge buying power by the overall appearance of the shoppers. Instead, we look at their handbags, watches and shoes. That's how we spot the ones with the funds.'
We might expect superficial judgments by savvy salesmen, but should we expect them in our churches? Look around you on Sunday. Do you see the focus groups of Jesus? The ones He told us to tend? Here's a partial list:
Little children; the poor, broken-hearted and blind; captives and those who are oppressed--including demon-possessed lunatics; others who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked or sick. Add in widows and orphans.
According to Him, these people are precious and deserve priority status. But most of them will not be well-dressed, well-educated or well-provisioned. In fact, they may be in rags, wheelchairs or chains. They may be lonely or in tears. They may even be frothing at the mouth--that is until they are healed by your love and the power of God within you.
A church would be wise to judge them worthy.
To Be Continued...
* Additional reading on discernment and judgment within the church: http://www.acts17-11.com/discern.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Roles, Ranks & Positions series.