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All People Matter to God

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All People

Matter to God!

James 2:1-4

October 24, 1999


"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."    James 2:1

 

"For God does not show favoritism."

Romans 2:11

è     Almost all of us in this place walk around with an unpublished list in our minds of certain kind of people we tend to like and certain kind of people we could just do without.

è     James would say, friends, this is serious business. This is the stuff that splits churches right down the middle. This is the stuff that causes fights in the schools, shootings in the neighborhoods, bombings on the international front.

è     This is the stuff that has to be rooted out of my heart. It's got to be

rooted out of yours, and today would be a good time for us to start the rooting process. 

è     This problem has to be repented of. This stuff has to be transformed from the inside by the love of God.

The Two Major Sources of Our Prejudices

1.       Parents

2.       Peer Groups

There Is a Great Variety of People We Want to Dismiss:

·         Rich or Poor

·         White-collar or Blue-collar

·         The Disabled

In Mark 3:1-6, the religious leaders of the day were growing jealous of Jesus' growing popularity, so they decided that they needed to come up with a plan to discredit Jesus in public setting so that then he would have to be put on the defensive.

Jesus was saying to any thinking person that someone with physical deformity matters. You don't embarrass someone who has a physical problem. You don't use them. You don't show a lack of respect of honor for them. You show them respect and kindness, courtesy and love. People with any kind of deformity matter.

·         Other Ethnic Groups or Nationalities

Whenever you cross boundaries and you go into another country, you know what happens. People in other countries are from a different ethnic background usually look a little different. A lot of times their skin color is a little different. They talk a little different. Their customs are a little different. You know how it all goes. Their music is a little different

When the disciples were denied permission to take the shortcut through this neighboring nation, they got all bent out of shape. So they say to Jesus, "Order fire from heaven to come down and consume these people. They are major inconvenience to us. All they are, are a bunch of worthless foreigners. Let's nuke 'em," you know.

Jesus says in Luke 9:56, "I didn't come to destroy people. I came to redeem them."

The Bible Teaches:   God loves and seeks to save all nationalities and ethnic groups

·         Women

John 4

 

Had the disciples been brutally honest, they would have said, "Look, nobody in this culture takes women seriously. Why should we take her seriously? It's just a woman. We're going to go into town, feed our faces."

The Bible Teaches:  Women are to be honored and respected, just as men are.

·         People Who Are Far From God

The Bible Teaches 3 Important Truths:

 

Of course, then there's the classic teaching of Jesus on the whole subject of spiritual discrimination. Oh, this is something. Religious favoritism is one of the scariest forms of prejudice. Here's how it kind of goes. I'll broad stroke it for you first.

Someone's far from God for a good portion of their life, but miracle of miracles happen. They stumble into a Christian. They get brought to a church like this or someplace else. They hear that God loves them. They hear that Jesus died for their sins. They hear that they can have a whole new life on the merits or on the shoulders of another, on what Christ has done.

And so they humbly receive Christ, and they get adopted in the family of God. They become growing Christians, and five years later they look down their nose at people who are still far from God. They start isolating themselves from people who use bad language, have such terrible morals and values, go to certain places and all of this kind of stuff.

Five years ago they were in the same condition, but now they've got the white hats on. Now they're the good guys. They're in the family of God. They can't believe the riffraff out there, how they live their lives. Isn't that craziness, friends? Certifiable craziness.

Jesus talks to that one day. He happens to be in a public place, and he's having conversations with people who are far from the Father. You know the type -- the kind who use profanity and drink too much beer. You know the type.

The religious leaders come along, and they show this spiritual discrimination. They look down their noses at the people Jesus is talking to. Then they look down their noses at Jesus because he's hanging with these people. They start murmuring amongst each other, "How could you, the son of God, have anything to do with riffraff like that?"

Jesus turns and he sees what they're saying. This is the only time we know in all of the teaching ministry of Jesus where he tells not one, not two, but three stories back to back to back, I think, to say to these religious leaders, "I'm going to rapid fire truth into you so you get it once and for all who matters to the Father."

 

·         He's saying these people are far from God and that they each _____________ to God!

·         Jesus tells us that which is missing mattered enough to warrant an all-out __________

·         Do you know what else?  Retrievals bring ___________.

 

Luke 15:10 says, "There is joy all across Heaven when a single sinner repents."

Every time you make eye contact with a cab driver, a waiter, a waitress, a bellhop or a doorman, a millionaire jet-setter, a Gen X-er, a grandparent in a rest home, a minority person, a gay or lesbian, an illegal immigrant, every politician who votes the opposite way I vote -- every single person I lock eyes with matters to God.

They're one prayer away from receiving Jesus Christ's salvation as I have. They are people for whom Christ died, and they are deserving of my respect. They are deserving of my honor, and they are deserving of my love. How are you doing on this one, friends?

All People

Matter to God!

James 2:1-4

October 24, 1999


"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."    James 2:1

 

"For God does not show favoritism."

Romans 2:11

è     Almost all of us in this place walk around with an unpublished list in our minds of certain kinds of people we tend to ___________ and certain kind of people we could just do without.

è     James would say, "Friends, this is serious business!"  This is the stuff that splits churches right down the middle. This is the stuff that causes fights in the schools, shootings in the neighborhoods, bombings on the international front.

è     This is the stuff that has to be __________ out of my heart. . 

è     This problem has to be _____________ of.  These attitudes can only be transformed from the ____________ by the love of God.

The Two Major Sources of Our Prejudices

?  _____________

? __________ _____________

There Is a Great Variety of People We Want to Dismiss:

·         __________ or ___________

·         _________-collar or _________-collar

·         The _______________

Mark 3:1-6

The Bible Teaches:   You don't ____________ someone who has a physical problem. You don't ______ them. You don't show a lack of __________ or honor for them. 

·         Other __________ Groups or Nationalities

The Bible Teaches:   God loves and seeks to ___________ all nationalities and ethic group

Jesus says in Luke 9:56, "I didn't come to destroy people. I came to redeem them."

·         ________________

John 4

Had the disciples been brutally honest, they would have said, "Look, nobody in this culture takes women __________. Why should we take her seriously? It's just a woman. We're going to go into town, feed our faces."

The Bible Teaches:  Women are to be _____________ and respected, just as men are.

·         People Who Are Far From __________.

Luke 15

 

The Bible Teaches 3 Important Truths:

He's saying these people are far from God and that they each _____________ to God!

Jesus tells us that which is missing mattered enough to warrant an all-out __________

Do you know what else?  Retrievals bring ___________.

"There is joy all across Heaven when

a single sinner repents."

Luke 15:10

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