Love your neighbor…Yes, that one! (James 2:8-13)

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:8–13, ESV)

In today’s passage, we are reminded that there can be no exceptions to fulfilling the command:

Love your neighbor as yourself. 

Really God? No exceptions? I can think of a few I’d like to make, but when we do, we discriminate as to who gets the Gospel of grace and who doesn’t. What we’re really saying is “I’m more deserving of being loved than you are.” There’s only one teeny problem with that. The Bible is peppered with clear teaching that over and over again reminds us no one deserves God’s favor — not the cheerful people, not the grumpy people, not the cool people, nor the annoying people. Not you. Not me. That’s why he calls it grace.

James even goes so far as to say when we choose not to love that certain neighbor/coworker/family member, etc. we break God’s law. And we’re not just busted for one law, but for the entirety of the law. Ouch! Don’t play favorites with God’s grace. Love that neighbor today! (You know the one.)

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