Everyday Justice: Trading Sensationalism for Everyday Justice
For the next six weeks, I will have guest blog posts featuring Tony Merida from Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC. He released a new book this year called "Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down." At Old Fort Baptist Church, we are walking through the six-week study associated with this book. The material posted through these weekly blogs over the next six weeks will relate to the session we are currently working through. Hope you enjoy!
EQUiP - Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down - Session 1
Everyday Justice: Trading Sensationalism For Ordinary Christianity
The most vulnerable people are those with no one to love or care for them. Kids without parents and women mourning loss are among the most at-risk people in our world today. They often suffer from poverty, sickness, and even abuse. It’s those very people whom Scripture commands we reach out to. James wasn’t offering his audience something new as a matter of their worship practice. He’s reminding them of something very old, the heart of God as described by God’s Word.
12 I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. 13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
Job 29:12-16, ESV
Job refers to justice as a robe and turban that he puts on. Job is saying that he wears justice. He puts it on everyday. He lives with a social consciousness. The vulnerable are always on his mind and in his heart. His lifestyle reflects the character of God. Plainly put, it was obvious and easy to spot the kind of man Job was.
Spiritual maturity isn’t just something you do with your mind. It’s about how you live your life. One of the saddest indications of failure in the area of justice and mercy is our description of those who excel in doing justice. We describe them as radical, extraordinary. Yet as we read the Bible together, we find that it treats issues of mercy and justice as anything but extraordinary. Frankly, doing justice is just a normal part of the Christian life. It’s really easy to become part of a super-Christian subculture, comfortably embracing sensationalism. You can listen to Christian music, keep up with the latest Christian podcasts, and read Christian authors. You can engage in multiple Bible studies and serve on ministry teams, all the while never actually touching one of Scripture’s defining characteristics of God-honoring faith: justice.
Mankind, He has told you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Excerpted from Ordinary. © 2014 Tony Merida. Published by LifeWay Press®. Used by permission.