Week 7 of the JPC Project
(ICYMI: You can learn more about and join us in the JPC Project HERE).
Go Deeper Passages:
Matthew 5:1-12, 12:18, 25:31-46, Luke 7:18-23, James 1:9, 27, 2:14-18, Isaiah 1:17 | 30: 18 | 58, Jeremiah 22: 3, Psalm. 33: 5 | 72 | 106: 3 | 140: 12 | 146:5-8, Deut. 16: 20, Exodus 23:6
Justice is at the heart of the Gospel. Over and over again in the Scriptures, God appeals to His people to be about freedom, equality, and integrity. To live with grateful generosity to others because of the one who freed them from slavery. To serve others as co-heirs to the kingdom of God. To remove obstacles from others being as free as we are. Yet the story of the Scriptures shows a terrible cycle of those who have, taking advantage of the vulnerable and weak. We are prone to do the same. To get more than enough on the backs of others who have less than ends meet. God is not okay with this. This breaks Jesus' heart and He decries religious people for singing along on Sundays like everything is fine. When the hurting among us hurt, we are called to hurt with them and to bring healing to them. God repeatedly calls upon His people to care for the poor, orphan, widow, and foreigner among them. To live in line with Jesus' mission to make all things right on earth as it is in heaven. God doesn't merely want to get individuals to heaven. God's kingdom is making a new heavens and earth where we will live with Him once Jesus returns and brings everything to healed wholeness once more (Revelation 22). Jesus told us to hasten that day by living justly as He did. Jesus taught, preached, healed sickness, cast out demons, eat with people who were far from God, stood against oppressive structures, and was a peacemaker. He showed us what this new reality will be like. He also said that the same Spirit that was upon Him lives in us. He said that as a result, we would see and do "even greater things" than He did. Can you imagine that? Us living justly in ways that continue Christ's ministry until He returns. Lives that "proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, set the oppressed free, and declare the year of the Lord’s favor." This is our requirement and calling. To continue His mission. To live justly. To do justice. To love mercy. Jesus promised that whatever we did for "the least of these" we were doing on to Him. As we make wrongs right, we give true reason for the hope we have. By being a people who are just, our generosity to those in need will provide an alternative hope in a world that takes and takes from those who have nothing left to give.
How can you live more justly in your day-to-day life? What oppressed people or person has God put on your heart? Who have you been invited to do justice towards? Where is God asking you to do justice for their sake? Are you doing it?
Who can help you follow through on the ways God is asking you to be just? If you don't know how to, who can help you learn how to practice justice? Is there a way you believe you can help our A Seattle Church community to learn to live more justly?
Where do you see injustice in our city? Our country? Our world? How can you stand up and be a justice-worker by the power of the Holy Spirit? What steps are you going to take today or this week to do so? Who can you invite to serve justly alongside of you?
Jesus: Live Justly. Ask God to reveal an area of your life that you benefit at the expense of loving others. Entrust that area to Christ, and choose to alter your lifestyle by the Spirit’s strength.
People: Help us shape a culture of justice at A Seattle Church. Work together with your group, mentor, or friends at ASC to consider how we can do justice, love mercy, and walk more humbly with Christ as a community. Help us grow in this way
Please share what you experienced going through this/how God moved in your life by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org