God Loves Justice

29th April

The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.”

Psalm 103:6

Throughout the world we see so much injustice that it must anger God so much. The very people He created are fighting, persecuting and even killing each other. Yet God fights for justice and righteousness. Jesus Himself said that He did not come for the well but for the sick, the outcasts and the marginalised in society.

So what is our role in bringing justice to the oppressed and hope to those treated unfairly? We must stand up and fight for those people, standing with them to oppose what is wrong and do what we can to bring God’s justice and righteousness in their situations. We must intercede for them in prayer and supplication, for the power of prayer is our greatest weapon. The great news is that God is actively answering those prayers because His desire is to see the prisoners and captives set free, the naked clothed and the hungry fed. His desire as David writes is to see “righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly”.

In Matthew 25:35-45, Jesus strongly presents a case for helping and serving those in need as if they are actually serving God Himself through their actions. Jesus’ tone in these verses has such a strong conviction as if He is trying to emphasize His point to His audience, I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me!” (verse 45).

God desires perfect harmony, peace and justice throughout humanity. His heart is to see His righteousness restored in mankind. As His children and His hands and feet on this earth, we have a great responsibility to participate with God in making that happen. We are not saved to become great disciples locked in our rooms but to make disciples out of the nations, showing Jesus’ love to all in the world, bringing His righteousness and glory to a dark and needy land. Will you accept the challenge?

True Religion Is To..

27th March

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”

Isaiah 1:17 

Yesterday we learnt that religion should not focus on external practices as a show of pride but should reflect the inward change by the work of salvation in our hearts. Religious works are sets of rules that say you must to do this or that to become holy or get closer to God, but according to Isaiah’s prophetic word from God, this simply is not the case. The only way we can become right before God is through confessing our sins and being made clean (verse 16). It is from that standpoint that outward expressions are true and noble.

So what do these pure and true outward expressions look like? Isaiah’s words in verse 17 help us to understand what true religion looks like. Simply put when God works in our heart for His glory, His glory pours out of our heart. In turn the things that burden Him, become our burden. The hurt and injustice He sees in this world becomes our hurt. The love and compassion He has for the marginalised of society (widows and orphans), is the same love and compassion we receive also. The difference is now we don’t look to help the poor, oppressed, orphaned and widowed to make ourselves look good but rather to bring glory to our Father in Heaven. This becomes selfless acts of true religion rather than works to make us look good and try to grab both man and Gods attention.

This message is so strong that even James echoes this in his letter to the early churches. “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you!” (James 1:27). This follows on from James’ strong words that we simply can’t just listen to God’s words (selfish) we must act upon it (selfless). So what are you waiting for… Go get right with God, then do good, feed the hungry, help the homeless, orphans and widows.