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Heart of God

Heart of God

Words of Faith 4-29-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 2:10-11

       For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.


       And just how is it that an act of favoritism makes a person a lawbreaker?  The Law is actually clear on this.  Leviticus 19:15 commands, "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly."  Economic impartiality is part of the Law of God.  Favoritism also breaks the principle of love embedded in the Law: "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD" (Lev. 19:18).

        James taught like a Rabbi here, setting up a special case in which a person keeps the whole law except for one point.  Such a life is really not possible!  In the next chapter, James will point out that "we all stumble in many ways" (3:2).  But even if a person could live such an exemplary life, they are still guilty of the whole law because they stumbled on that one point.

       Judaism distinguished ethically between "heavier" and "lighter" sins in terms of their impact on others. Still, they also taught that God required complete obedience to even the smallest commandments.  The Law was viewed as a unity of 613 directives and prohibitions derived from the Torah.  The willful violation of even a minor transgression was the same as rejecting the whole law. 

       James had tried the whole "Law" thing. He knew it could not be done.  That was not the point. He certainly knew that we cannot be justified by the Law.  But he also knew that the Law is our guidance from God.  The Law represents the character of God among God's people.  Even what may appear to be an insignificant act of favoritism makes one guilty of breaking the whole Law.  Rejecting the law of economic impartiality, or the general principle of love behind it was rejecting the whole authority and character of God.  The New Covenant speaks of the Law being written upon the hearts of believers.

          Perhaps this is the real deep problem with favoritism.  Favoritism rejects the authority of God.  Partiality passes a judgment that belongs only to God.  Favoritism seeks to seize a place of authority that belongs only to God.  Partiality rejects the character of God.  Favoritism rejects the heart of God and does not reflect His heart written upon ours.


         O God, forgive me for the times that I have rejected Your heart.  Forgive me for the times I have played favorites or shown partiality in a way that did not at all reflect Your heart.  Teach me the way of grace and graciousness.  In Jesus' Name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2009, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of

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