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“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.  It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.  It is full of mercy and good deeds.  It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”  (James 3:17, New Living Translation)

In today’s scripture selection, James contrasts earthly wisdom with heavenly wisdom.

Earthly wisdom’s perspective is 70 or 80 years — enough only to cover our time on this earth.  If you think you can outrun to the grave the scales of human justice, what is to prevent you from being contentious, rude, and unyielding in your dealings with others?

On the other hand, heavenly wisdom has an eternal perspective.  It recognizes the reality of spiritual things, and of God’s reckoning.

Resist earth’s Siren call to its ways and to its wisdom.  Other people may scoff at your “naivete,” but only for the short span of their lives.  The approval of God is forever!  – Luther

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“I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”  (Psalm 13:6, NIV)

What has the Lord done for you?

What has been your response?

The psalmist credited God as the ultimate source of all that was good in his life; not others, not luck, not happenstance or fortune, not even himself.  Then, having correctly identified the One behind every gracious act and every gift; the psalmist’s sang the Lord’s praise in response.

To whom are you giving credit for all of the good in your life; and what is your response?  – Luther

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“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.”  (James 2:1, NIV)

There is nothing more natural than choosing favorites.

However, as disciples of Jesus, we are to take our natural life and — through obedience to God — create a spiritual reality.

The reality referred to in today’s scripture verse is a reality where persons are not evaluated and elevated by the clothes they are wearing.

Persons who are obedient to spiritual laws have chosen to live in a spiritual reality.  This does not mean being ignorant of natural preferences.  It does mean being scrupulously obedient to God when He requires that our natural choices reflect a spiritual perspective.

Beware of preferring others by how they are dressed.  Kings can dress like paupers; and paupers like kings.  – Luther

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