Monday, August 18, 2008

Red Letters: Chapter 7 (A Call to Justice)

God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!” –Luke 4:18-19

Can you believe it? It sounds pretty crazy. God has chosen you—and me—to do all of the things in Luke 4?! I don’t know about you, but I don’t see myself freeing prisoners and giving sight to the blind. Maybe I’m not capable of literally doing those things (or maybe I am?), but I’m pretty sure I’m capable of figuratively doing those things. Either way, we are biblically obligated to do such things.


What is justice? [pulls out good ‘ole Webster]

Righteousness. Equitableness. Moral rightness. Lawfulness. Justness. Fairness.

Tom Davis defines justice in three ways:
1. Justice is giving to those who have nothing.
Biblical justice is about making sure the weak are protected and showing the love of God in a practical way.
Translation—it’s about people who have giving to those who have not.

2. Justice is action.
Translation—standing up for those without a voice, making things right, sacrificing our comfortable lives to serve those that are in need, praying for justice to come to those who need to be set free, getting up and doing something when you see injustice….

3. Justice is love.
This is what God is all about! This is what being a Christian is all about. Love God. Love each other. Love ourselves. And we do all of that because He loves us. How much we love others reflects our love for Christ. We all know that we are being watched closely…what will our actions be, how will we react, will we love? Our visible acts of love are what the world needs.

My God is a God of love and justice. As a believer, we are called to love. We are called to seek justice. We are called to move. Are you (and I) moving, seeking, acting, following, freeing, preaching, sharing…? We are all called and equipped to do all of these things. The question is, are we ready, willing and available for God to use us to do these things? You don’t have to be smart or rich or beautiful or popular or successful to be used by Christ. Actually, God likes to use people who are not any of these things…He’s a fan of using the ordinary to do extraordinary things! Phew—I’m relieved that I don’t have to fit into a mold in order to be used by Him!

If you feel like you are not capable of being used by Him, or maybe you feel intimidated…the task seems too daunting or overwhelming; first you need to leave the excuses and doubts in the dust! Then, start praying and asking God to equip you, to give you confidence, to open your eyes, to give you divine appointments, to be filled with His love, to have more compassion, to be His instrument…

When I’m in Liberia, and things are hard…or heartbreaking…one thought keeps me going. I always think what life would be like if I was born in Liberia, and I was one of those children living in a horribly dirty orphanage, with very little food and very dirty water, with one outfit on my back and a leaky roof over my head. If I were one of those children, I would hope and pray that someone would feel compelled to stand up against the injustice and fight for me. That is why I fight for the kids…because I have a voice, I have capable hands and feet, I have an army of people supporting me and praying for me, and I have a God who loves me and who pursues me and has compelled me to follow after His heart.

Giving up or going without things that the world says you need to be happy and successful is sometimes difficult, I admit. But, giving up those things and running hard after God and His perfect plan is the most rewarding, amazing, exciting way to live your life!

Also check out James 2:14-17 and Matthew 22:37-40.

No comments: