MIRRORING OUR HEAVENLY FATHER | God of Justice : Part 3

Principles of a Just God

Have you ever come across a child, observed their behavior – both good and bad, and immediately thought about who their parents are? It comes naturally. Not because parents are solely responsible for the child’s character, but because every child, in some way or the other, mirrors their caretaker’s behavior.

Over the past two blogs, we talked about our heavenly father being a Just God and then how He wants us to be Just in every way and every time. Today, I want to share with you some basic underlying principles from the Word of God on how we can become daughters and sons who mirror our Just Father in an unjust world. Simply because when we become His children, we become aliens and strangers to the world which lives on its own principles. Children live by the principles of their parents or guardian, not strangers.

Are you and I claiming to be sons and daughters of God, but not displaying Jesus in our talk, actions and living? Then I’m afraid, if we do this, we may not enter the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus said in Matthew 7 : 21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

The truth is that we are called to mirror Him here on earth as it will be in heaven. Today, let us choose to make that commitment. Let us not misrepresent Him, half represent Him or not represent Him, let’s mirror Him as He is – a Just God. We can mirror our heavenly father only when we live, think and talk based on His principles that are all about love, justice and mercy.

So how do we do it? The commonly known ‘Golden rule’ is the foundational principle to every other principle in the word of God when it comes to living for God.

Let us not misrepresent Him, half represent Him or not represent Him, let’s mirror Him as He is – a Just God.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7 : 12

If we can begin to apply this in every facet of life, we will be living testimonies of Jesus across this world. All we got to do is treat others the way we would want ourselves to be treated. Would you want to be helped? Then help. Would you want to be given second chances? Then give. Would you like to grow? Then allow others to grow, better still, help them grow.

There are principles based on the basic principle of doing to others what you would have them do to you –

  • FREELY RECEIVED TO FREELY GIVE

When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, the word of God records His first miracle as turning water to wine for a wedding, where the family ran out of the drink for guests (John 2). We see that He gave so freely the grace, the power and anointing that He already received. Not to say, the greatest thing that Jesus gave freely for us was His life. He died on the cross for our sins, iniquities, shortcomings, weaknesses and insecurity, when he had no err in Himself.

If we realise that everything that we have is freely given to us by God – spiritual bondages of pride, insecurity and double mindedness will begin to break away from our lives.

If we understand and practice this principle of our Just Father to give freely because we have freely received, it will be the first step to a completely transformed mind and character. Yes! If we realise that everything that we have is given to us freely by God – spiritual bondages of pride, insecurity and double mindedness will begin to break away from our lives.

When Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, He told them this one principle to be servant leaders – which is a root characteristic to being ‘Just’. He said in Matthew 10 : 8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you received; freely give.” As believers in Christ, we have received God’s unending love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, healing, provision and so much more. What Jesus was saying is that if you received it freely, you give it to others too freely. Not at a cost. Don’t only give because they will return it, give because God asked you to. Don’t only show mercy because they deserve it, show mercy to the one who didn’t do anything to deserve it. Freely you have received it all, freely give it all.

  • MERCY AND FORGIVENESS BEFORE JUDGEMENT

When Peter asked Jesus how many times to forgive someone, you can imagine that he was coming from a place of despair of forgiving the person over and over again to the point where he felt ‘really when should I stop forgiving this person and judge them for what they did to me?’. So Jesus then shares a beautiful parable to explain how someone who has been shown mercy should show more mercy to anyone who wrongs them (Matthew 18 : 21 – 35).

Being Just begins with being merciful and forgiving. Yes, this is a paradox. But it is the truth.

God who is holy, blameless, blemishless and spotless, so willfully sacrificed His only son to bring forgiveness to us, who sinned against him. Then who are we, full of our own faults, weaknesses, and imperfections, not to forgive a brother or sister who wronged us?

Being Just begins with being merciful and forgiving. Yes this is a paradox. But it’s the truth. You may ask how. You see, first of all, when we ourselves are being forgiven and shown mercy by a perfect God , it is only just for us to forgive and show mercy to our fellow imperfect beings. Secondly, when we are merciful and forgiving to someone, we are being just by giving them another chance at being the true, holy, pure creation that God created them to be.

  • BETRAYING COMPARISON

If we want to be just to those around us, we first need to understand and value everyone around us the way God understands and values them.

Jesus put this so well in a parable He shared with his disciples. He talked about how a master paid the same wages (that he had vowed to) to the worker who worked the whole day and also to the worker who just worked towards the end of the day.

When the workers who worked the whole day told the master that he was being unfair. The master simply reminded them that they were paid what they were told in the beginning.

Look how simply because they compared themselves to the other workers, the wages that they would usually be happy and content with seemed less.

Isn’t this so applicable to us?

We don’t appreciate, help, support and encourage and sometimes become unjust to people whom we compare ourselves with. In that process, we end up carrying out injustice to the person, who God so dearly loves.

When our friends are getting married one after the other, we tell God that He is being unfair to us by not letting it happen as yet. When someone else gets a job so easily, we question God for not making it happen to us. But what we don’t realise is that God never told us or gave us a word that He will get us married or get us that job that early. He would do it, but at the right time. In fact, at this time, God probably wants you to be doing something else to help you grow and fulfill the purpose He has for you.

Comparison causes us to be unjust to those around us. We don’t appreciate, help, support and encourage, sometimes become unjust, to people whom we compare ourselves with. In that process, we end up carrying out injustice to the person, who God so dearly loves.

We need to betray comparison and become just to one another, loving one another the way Christ loves us.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – John 15 : 12

  • GENEROUS LIVING AND GIVING

This is what Jesus told the disciples in Luke 6 : 30-36, “…Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back…”

A person who is generous from their heart will be just in all their actions.

Being generous has been something that Jesus talked about and the disciples reiterated over and over again in their letters. It is not only about finances, it is about being generous in giving and living in everything, from your love to your belongings. A person who is generous from their heart will be just in all their actions.

You see, generosity causes us to think beyond ourselves and step into the other person’s shoe. It automatically makes us treat them the way we would like be to treated. Yet, generosity begins from acknowledging that all we have belongs to God.

So are your homes open to the lonely and brokenhearted? Do you generously show love to the old person who just needs someone to talk to? Are you staying up to look after the sick?

In fact, generosity is a channel to justice. Let’s learn to be generous to all those around us, setting an example of Christ’s love.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9 : 11,12 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God”

God wants us to not only put our faith in Him, but also be like Him – JUST in all we do. It begins with living out the principles that He laid out for us in His word.

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A GOD WHO DELIGHTS OVER THE JUST | God of Justice : Part 2

But let justice roll on like a river,

righteousness like a never-failing stream!

AMOS 5 : 24

What was your response when you saw a distressed and needy person? Or an aged person struggling to cross the road? Or a foreigner, a woman, a child being mistreated? Or an innocent person being falsely accused? Did your heart break? Did you feel an anguish in your heart? Did you do anything about it?

These are not questions I’m asking you. But, these may be the questions that God will ask you, as a believer, on the day of the judgement of the living and the dead.

You see, a just God desires His people to be like Him – full of justice and love.

Jesus said this when He was talking about how, on the day of judgement, God is going to separate the sheep from the goats. Wonder why He used the example of sheep and goats, because both of them have a shepherd or goatherd, right? Well, I read this somewhere and I’m requoting it – “The sheep follow their shepherd, the goatherd follows the goats”. The quote pretty much sums up what Jesus was trying to say. God’s sheep will follow God, yield to His voice and obey Him, but the goats rather go their own way and the goatherd goes behind them. Earlier, in many parts of the world, sheep and goats looked identical and it was hard to distinguish between them. Yet, the shepherd always knew his sheep.

Now, when Jesus spoke about separating his sheep from the goats, he talked about one measure through which he was distinguishing them. Jesus says in Matthew 25 : 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.’

Remember, both the sheep and goat are part of the flock – Yet, on the day of judgement, there will be a filtering of the sheep from the goat. The sheep will be those having God’s heart and doing what He would do – being just.

You see, a just God desires His people to be like Him – full of justice and love.

Yes! Your worship, your devotion to God, your bold proclamation of your faith is important, but along with it, what is more important to God is that you show justice and the love of God in everything you say or do.

In the same passage Jesus describes it like this – He says to the sheep in verses 25 – 26 – “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

In my previous blog, I talked about God being a ‘Just God’ (do read it, if you have not as yet) and today I’m taking you through how His heart is for you and me to be his arms and feet of that justice. He wants us to carry His heart of justice to the weak, the downtrodden, the helpless, the orphan, the widow, the broken, and the lonely.

If you call yourself a believer in Christ, preach His word, worship Him, talk about your faith in Him but don’t carry out his heart of justice in your daily living – you will be put onto the left side, separated as a goat and not His sheep.

Do you look down on your colleague who may be isn’t as culturally adaptive as you? Or mock a classmate who is always reserved and shy? Do you shift loyalties from one person to another just to please someone? Beloved, no one who does these things can please God in any way, even if they are serving in church or leading a flock or even saying they are believers in Christ. This is exactly what Jesus held against the Pharisees. In Luke 11 : 42, Jesus says “”Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”

Yes! Your worship, your devotion to God, your bold proclamation of your faith is important, but along with it, what is more important to God is that you show justice and the love of God in everything you say or do.

In Micah 6:8, the prophet says,He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

When we don’t act justly to defend the cause of someone victimised by injustice, no matter what the consequences, we are going against the will of God. And, God takes it very seriously. We have read about what happened to Sodom – God destroyed the city because of their wickedness. However, when God spelt out the sins of Sodom that He held against them through prophet Ezekiel, He says that they were arrogant, overfed, unconcerned and did not help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16 : 49).

God not only detests us carrying out injustice, but He also dislikes us being ignorant and unconcerned about injustice. In fact, those who withheld justice to the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow were cursed according to God’s law (Deuteronomy 27:19).

Now, the question is how do we exercise justice in all we do and for every single person around us?

Jesus lays down a foundational principle for us to be ‘just’ in everything we do. He says in Matthew 7 : 14, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Although this is difficult to practice, it is as simple as that. If you can constantly look at those around you and respond, converse and act with them by treating them the way you would like to be treated, you will be ‘just’ in all you do.

There are enough scriptures that point out to us to ‘seek justice’, ‘administer justice’, ‘continue to remember those in prison and those being mistreated’.

God not only detests us carrying out injustice, but He also dislikes us being ignorant and unconcerned about injustice.

The prophet says in Isaiah 1 : 17 – “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Go out there beloved, there are many hurting, lots of them hungry and needy, hundreds homeless, thousands helpless. Become God’s hands and feet that reach out to the broken.

Truly, God has prepared His kingdom for those of you who seek justice for the weak, poor and needy.

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