Thursday, March 17, 2011

Justice in the Kingdom

When we think of justice God style many of us instantly picture a violent angry God. This God that wants to punish us for being sinners but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Jesus died to satisfy that punishment. We are covered in the blood of Jesus and God doesn’t want to hurt us because that would make him a child abuser and that isn’t my God. Jesus took everything on himself that we would be justified before the Father. God see us and sees His son. So what does justice look like in the Kingdom after the cross?

Jennifer Toledo puts it this way, “ Justice is returning everything back to love.”

Love is the standard. When we see children who are in pain, poverty, abused, or used there is no love there. 1Cor. 13 gives a detailed list of what love looks like. Whether we are fighting the sex slave trade, slavery, child soldiers, child labor, or abuse of any sort there’s not love in any of that. Love and God are the same. God is love!

We think of the story of Sodom and Gammora as one where God destroyed the city because of their wickedness but Ezekiel 16:49 says this “ Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and the needy.” The reason wasn’t because of the sin of perversion but it was because they had so much and didn’t take care of the poor. It’s just so interesting that we as the body of Christ focus on the sins of adultery and perversion and we preach from the pulpit against these sins when many of us are in the sin of having excess and not taking care of the poor.

So what does it look like to take care of the poor what is the alignment back to love? Well Isaiah 58 really describes in detail what that looks like. The whole passage is so wonderful to meditate on but we will start with verse 6-

Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Note that God doesn’t say go pay for them to have some fast food or your leftovers or even help them stay in a shelter somewhere else. God in this verse makes Justice an issue for our person. It’s a personal relationship with the poor and broken. Justice is getting low on the ground with those who don’t have homes or food it’s making everything that you have available to them. This is scary for many of us because we believe that we are entitled to the things that we have worked for. When in reality God is the one that “owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” Everything that we have is not ours it’s just instruments that God uses to bring His Kingdom on this earth. When we start making excuses for why we can’t give the best that we have to the poor and the broken we step out of the fullness that God has for us and we become selfish and miss out on the promises that are in the rest of Isaiah 58. We aren’t there in Love and it’s not an option to be selfish in the Kingdom because love is not about self it’s about laying down your life.

Love and Justice require and action. “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only son,”. Action requires us to move out of our comfort zones and face the reality that we aren’t called to be normal we are called to be radical. Whether that radical looks like jumping on a plane and flying half way across the world to rescue children from the sex slave trade or adopting from your country or participating in advocating for justice it’s our honor to be different than the world. Luke puts it this way in Luke 6:32 ,” If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” We get the honor of learning how to surrender to Father’s love for everyone and learn how to lay down our lives for those around us. That’s what makes us different from the world that is what will draw all men to Jesus (John 12:32). “It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.” (Romans 2:4) What does that mean for justice? When we in love move towards laying down our lives the kindness of God through our lives will be a testimony to those around us. Repentance means “changing the way we think.” People will begin to change the way they think and turn towards God.

This requires us to not just talk about it but be about it. It’s more powerful to live an example then preaching ideas of an example. This is my journey for the heart of God. What’s in the heart of God? What is it that moves God’s heart? I believe with all my being that it’s issues of injustice.

At the beginning of this journey I had a vision. I ask God to show me the inside of His heart. Instantly I was sucked into His heart and there in the middle were faces of orphans and widows. This was in His heart, the ones whose cries He heard night and day, orphans aren’t just children it’s anyone who doesn’t understand who they are in God. A fully loved and accepted child of the King of the Universe! People ask me, “Did God ask you to adopt?” to that my answer is, “Servants only do what they are asked to do, friends do what’s in the heart of a friend without having to be asked.” To me I felt like God gave me an invitation to take this journey it wasn’t a requirement by Him but it was a requirement in my heart. I just want the fullness of Jesus whatever it takes. I love what He loves and that brings justice from heaven to earth. The message of Love will always be unpopular to servants but to friends it’s being lead by the heart that makes the relationship worth it all.

Come with me as I walk out this journey of love….

No comments:

Post a Comment