Category Archives: Devotions

I will wait

Isaiah 51:4-5 “Pay attention to Me, O My people, And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples. “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait for Me, And for My arm they will wait expectantly.

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If you haven’t discovered it yet, I believe all justice. Further, no matter the level of acceptance or measure of punishment, Justice is set by a single standard.  That standard is God.  I guess that would put me at odds with the current social environment.  Those who would cry for social justice rejects the premise of a single standard. All I see in the current cultural revolution of “wokeness” is a rejection of one justice for all. There seems to be an obsession with control of the result, or the end justifies the means. Justice is seen as a bendable thing.  Is it acceptable to burn down a building in the name of justice?  Does the new norm permit the invasion of a public building if it is in the name of justice? The new social understanding of justice sees the world divided into groups. One group includes the oppressors and the other victims. There is no place outside of this separation.  Every issue is shadowed by which group you are put into. There is no middle ground. There is no place for equality. There is no place for justice before God.

Oh, God, please, if there was ever a time and place for your justice it is now and right here. Lord until that time comes, I will wait.

Micah and justice

Micah 6:7-8 — Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 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.

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Micah was a prophet from the Old Testament. Here is an instance of his boldness, courage, and impartiality.  Here he strikes out at the ruling class of the land, and charges them with sins, and reproves for them, and denounces judgments on account of them; that abhor judgment, and pervert all equality.

It is a sad day when the very character of those charged with justice are not doing so. In our culture our elected who should well know and love justice. They should take delight and pleasure in the distribution of justice to all. It is terrifying to have judges see justice with a personal perspective and not in equality. Here in Micah, he was almost overwhelmed with the terribleness of it all.  The powerful hated to do that which was right and just; and perverted all the rules and laws of justice and equity, clearing the guilty, and condemning the innocent.

What does the Lord require?  Act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.

True Justice

Romans 3:28-31 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

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Paul was a dedicated, energetic, almost driven keeper of the Law. For Paul, the law was kept by acts of the will: doing things. Further the law was a social construct of behavior: it was designed for his group, his ethnicity, his class. All his life he had been taught the exclusivity of the “People of God”, the “God of the Jews”.

Then he encountered Jesus. That encounter changed everything. No longer was his fixation on class, race, gender, or lifestyle.  No longer were they a part of his life.  He saw through the eyes of God and saw the unity of faith. He now saw the law and justice as divine gifts, bestowed upon everyone. No longer was anyone defined by the group to which society was placing upon them. Sure, the law was kept.  But it was kept by faith in the perfect vision of God’s image of all people.  True justice.

Rule of Law – Equality

July is justice month day 9

Numbers 15:14,15 And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he shall do as you do. For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord.

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Just societies are founded and kept by the rule of law.  Further this established law must, if it is just, applied equally to everyone.  It is of little consequence if the person is a foreigner, same law.  It does not matter if a person is citizen or not, same law.  Those who create the rules and regulations for the well being of the people must adhere to that same law. Politicians who adapt or bend the law to produce a preferred outcome is simply wrong. They are not free to set one interest above another anymore than you can choose which law to obey or not to.  Equality or respect for the rule of law is and always be, one of the foundation stones of our culture. Justice before God is equality.

Revenge does not belong to me.

Matthew 5:38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

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Revenge is an attitude the seems to permeate our culture. When we feel put upon, or canceled we quickly fall into response mode.  We want to react in to wreak vengeance upon the offender.  A simple sarcastic comment slips out of our lips or runs through our minds. Even occasionally even the most devout Christian has visions of due justice.  We want people to get exactly what they deserve.

God tells us we are not to seek revenge but submit these feelings to God and respond His way.  Jesus challenges His people to choose a different behavior when we are confronted with anger and want revenge. I must resist and convert my feelings of anger into attitudes of positive action.

Forgiveness as Justice

1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 

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The closer the relationship and the stronger the offense, the more we MUST walk in forgiveness, compassion, and love. When we resist the urge to pay back evil for evil, God rewards with blessings.  Going the extra mile in Godly responses brings life instead of death.  Responding the way Jesus would promises blessings on you that will pour over on your household, relationships, marriage, in your work life, and in your church. 

Couching our lives to be more Christ-like is Justice.  Reacting to insults or offenses is a critical place to begin walking out our faith.  Imagine if your reputation at home, work, or your neighborhood was that of understanding, love, kindness, compassion, and humility.  People would trust and respect you more.  These characteristics open doors to all kinds of blessings in your life. 

July is justice month Day 3

Hebrews 10:30

For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

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There have been times when someone I love and respect simply lashes out with a hurtful comment or condemnation.  I am bruised and wounded.  How am I to understand the innermost feelings and pains of others?  I cannot come to an understanding of someone lashing out because of some perceived slight.  Justice is about mutual agreement.  An agreement between two people which have lived in two different lives.  I am not making excuses for bad behavior. I have no position of authority to pass judgement. I do not set the rules for you.  I hope you do not have a set of rules for me that is different than those who you hold yourself to. Please do not demand of me that which you do not exhibit and live yourself. Show to me they are better than mine. That is justice. Until that day, I must follow the expressed expectations in the will of God. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Just Larry

April is ASSURANCE Month, Day 27

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

April has been a month of revelation of the importance of assurance in my life.  To be well grounded in the Word of God, to accept God’s promises, to walk in the light as He is in the light.  Not because of anything I have done or even deserve.  I live in the assurance of God loving me. It is God dwelling in me as I realize this presence and know to whom I belong. One is salvation the other the assurance of it.

April is ASSURANCE Month, Day 18 – Romans 5:6-8

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Joy is a completed, accepted, and settled assurance of God.  Joy comes from knowing that God is still in control.  Joy comes from a quiet confidence of our forgiven past, current care and resignation to God in my tomorrows. Joy is the assurance that everything, everything, everything is going to be alright. And in that joy of assurance, I am determined to give all praise and credit to God in everything.