Biblical Call to Justice

Louis and I were recently asked to participate in a panel discussion about Christian Community Development.  One of the questions we were asked to prepare for was…

Select one scripture that you think best describes the biblical call to justice, and what it has meant to your specific ministry.

As I prayerfully prepared for the panel discussion, I started making a list, thinking I would narrow it down to one.  Well, that never happened.  I realized that I couldn’t narrow it down.  It seems like I can’t read the Bible without seeing the Redemption Story and our role…our mission in bringing justice on earth as it is in heaven.

The short list of scriptures I came up with when I finally stopped….  What scripture drives you?

Micah 6:8   The Message (MSG)

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously.

John 1:14  The Message (MSG)

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.  We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

Matthew 16:18-19  New Living Translation (NLT)

18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid, bind, or lock on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit, loose or open on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

Matthew 25:39-40  New International Version (NIV)

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,

I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,

I was homeless and you gave me no bed,

I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,

Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 5:3
     New International Version (NIV)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 6:20
      New International Version (NIV)

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Isaiah 58    New International Version (NIV)

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: 
to loose the chains of injustice 
   and untie the cords of the yoke, 
to set the oppressed free 
and break every yoke? 
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry 
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— 
when you see the naked, to clothe them, 
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, 
and your healing will quickly appear; 
then your righteousness[a] will go before you, 
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; 
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.  “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, 
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, 
then your light will rise in the darkness, 
   and your night will become like the noonday. 
11 The LORD will guide you always; 
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land 
and will strengthen your frame. 
You will be like a well-watered garden, 
   like a spring whose waters never fail. 
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins 
and will raise up the age-old foundations; 
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, 
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Acts 2  The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

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