psst—Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 6, we’ll begin our study of Hebrews! We hope you’ll join us!
“If the longing for justice in our hearts does not translate to our hands, we do not fully grasp the passion of our God.”
– She Reads Truth
On Sunday, we wrapped up our community study of Justice. It was a powerful reading plan, filled with passage after passage of scripture revealing God’s undeniable passion for justice, and it left us—it left me— longing for more. Not more words, but more action.
We’ve heard your confessions in the comments and on social media of how you long to reflect God’s love of the poor and vulnerable, His love for what is good and right. And though we’ve admitted we don’t know all there is to know about justice, we do want to leave you with some resources and reflections to carry with you as you go.
Here are some practical next steps for your personal justice journey—
We are so grateful to those who shared their voices and insights as guest writers for the Justice plan— Gary Haugen and Bethany Hoang of the International Justice Mission, Jessica Honegger of Noonday Collection, and IF founder, Jennie Allen.
Here are some additional voices and resources that offer much wisdom in the area of justice:
Generous Justice, by Tim Keller
The Locust Effect, by Gary Haugen
The Good News about Injustice, by Gary Haugen
The Micah Mandate, by George Grant
Deepening the Soul for Justice, by Bethany Hoang
When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
Meditate and memorize.
No words have the power to shape our hearts for justice and mercy and humility like scripture itself. Consider committing some of these verses to memory as you seek to adopt God’s heart for justice in your life.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. (Isaiah 1:17)
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (Isaiah 58:10)
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Corinthians 10:24)
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:5)
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free… (Luke 4:18)
No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:24)
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? (1 John 3:17)
There are so many wonderful organizations promoting justice throughout the world and proclaiming the hope of the gospel of Jesus. Here are just a few:
Pray for the poor and vulnerable, for the oppressed and enslaved around the world. Pray for those who charge the darkness and fight injustice. Pray for your neighbors across the street and across the globe. Pray the scriptures listed above and ask the Lord to engrave them on your hearts. And, if you’d like, pray this beautiful prayer for justice that has been prayed for years before us:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
– Prayer of St. Francis
Don’t let the giant concept of biblical justice overwhelm you. Just start.
Begin by loving your (actual) neighbor. There’s no shame taking a casserole to someone’s door, or secretly mowing a lawn. You never know how impactful the simplest gesture can be.
Get to know people’s stories. If you see the same person a the grocery checkout every week, learn their name and the names of their kids and maybe even their birthday. Be mindful that they are loved by Jesus and treat them accordingly.
Make reminders for yourself. Put a note in your car or your cubicle that says “each person is made in the image of my God.” Look at the stranger through the lens of the cross.
Dive in. Find out what your church is doing to serve the poor and vulnerable, and join them. Open your heart to the possibility that God can use you, just as you are and where you are, to show His love to the people you will cross paths with even today.
IJM founder Gary Haugen says, “Justice is doing for others what we would want done for ourselves.”
Let’s start there.