Core Concepts 1: Lives of love and justice
What is God’s plan for all of the injustice in the world?
We are – We have been uniquely prepared, uniquely placed, and uniquely empowered as agents of change for such a time as this. Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission, says it well:
“…when it comes to seeking justice for the hurting in our world, God doesn’t have a special roster. He intends to use you and me. He doesn’t have any other plan. In fact, it was precisely for such good works that we were created; they don’t save us or make us righteous before God, but they allow us to fulfill the Godly purpose for which God created us…”
There is a reason we wake up in the world we find ourselves in day after day. No matter who you are, where you are, or what resources and skills you possess, God has prepared good works that He intends you to do (Ephesians 2:10).
What should our response be?
Again, Gary Haugen lends his wisdom:
“…if we ever look at the works that God asks us to do — proclaim the gospel, help the poor, defend the abused — and say, “Well, you know, that’s really not my thing,” then we have simply made the decision to impoverish our spiritual life. Christ in His holiness abhors injustice. As we grow into His character and image, we not only grow in our passion to seek justice, we are also led into those concrete good works for which we were created…”
Responding to God’s call for love and justice from His people is not optional – it is a matter of core discipleship, our identity in Christ, and the self-giving love of the cross (1 John 3:16-18).
A disciple of Christ cannot sit idly by nor allow his or her community to stay removed from the brokenness of the world. As the poor and the oppressed cry out for justice, they are crying out for Christ and His kingdom. They are crying out for you and me to enter into their reality and literally be the hands and feet of Jesus.
What does the LORD require (Micah 6:8)? What does a life of love and justice look like – daily, practically – with our time, with our giving, with our prayers, with our purchases, with our vote, with our voice, in our minds, in our homes, in our community, in our city and globally (Matthew 5:14-16)? What can we do differently tomorrow than we did today?
The Just Life: Justice Through Discipleship
Focus on the Biblical text:
Micah 6:8: He has shown all you people what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Matthew 5:14-16: You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 John 3:16-18: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Love those who suffer, because they have not heard the gospel (evangelism)
Love those who suffer, because they do not have basic essentials (compassion)
Love those who suffer, because they have an oppressor (justice)