Weekly Devotional

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LEARN MORE – GROW MORE – BE MORE – IN CHRIST JESUS

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness  mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

 

Justice is Just

Justice is Just – There is place for justice in our lives, in our churches and in our society. But what is justice and is there a difference between secular justice, biblical just and any other kind of justice? In our society, there is at least four types of justice: distributive (determining who gets what), procedural (determining how fairly people are treated), retributive (based on punishment for wrong-doing) and restorative (which tries to restore relationships to “rightness.”). But none of them will be discussed in this month’s lessons.

What we will discuss is the justice as detailed in God’s word and how it applies to our lives. As relevant as these types of justices are in our world, they can and will have their limitations. God’s justice encompasses every aspect of our life to address even the spiritual areas which need the more attention.  

Join with us as we explore the teachings of our Lord, When We See A Just Justice

January 2022

Jan 2nd – Justice Can Speak from the GraveGenesis 4:1–15 – Justice can be summed up as being the standard of right and wrong. It is used synonymous with righteousness. It is used mostly in the Old Testament to establish, maintain or execute a pre-determined law, God’s law towards people. God had established an order within his animal kingdom and gave the authority to maintain and execute justice. And with is human creation, there existed a law that required to be maintained. His “first family” consisted of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel. Dad, Mom, and sons.

Immediately into our lesson, the Lord shares with us how Adam and Eve bore two sons, who were of a certain age in which they were able to have responsibilities. In the process of performing their duties or responsibilities Abel became angry when he found out the Lord God did not respect his offerings but did respect Cain’s. Now there is an unmentioned element that needs to be concluded. They must have been told what to do and they either did what they were told, or they didn’t. Now knowing God respects, appreciates and honors obedience (I Sam. 15:22) we can safely conclude that Cain was not doing what he had been assigned to. God in turn addressed Cain’s attitude as being “angry”. Cain was angry and it was evident through his behavior (Gen. 4:5). God does know our heart and will bring our motives into account before he addresses our actions. Humanly speaking, we can only address the action because we cannot know the motives.

What we can learn from all of this is, God is omniscient and can know our motives even before they lead to our actions. He knows why we do or don’t do what we should. Cain did to his brother after he felt evil in his heart, but it originated in his angry heart first. His brother’s death resulted from his unwillingness to answer why he was not doing what he was instructed. Unchecked, unresolved and unconfessed sin will bring justice to our lives. And most times the wages of our sin are too much for us to bare (Gen. 4:13, Rom. 6:23).

Jan 9th – Hope In The Middle of InjusticeGenesis 21:8–20, Our lesson this week focuses on the possibility of having hope in the midst of injustice. Injustice is simply defined as a violation of right or of the rights of another or unfair treatment. It is a truth, God’s ways are not ours (Is. 55:8-9) God has a way of doing things that do not always line up with ours. He is God, and we will never be able (humanly speaking) understand why or how he does things or get things done.

And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing.[b] 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow.

Injustice from our standpoint is painful and personal. But more importantly it is an opportunity for God’s grace and strenght to be demonstrated. Our responsibility is to simple trust him and his word. Just as He delivered Israel from the mighty hand of the Egyptian oppressors (Judges 6:9), he has a strong arm and is able to deliver us from our oppressors. He is the Almighty and no one can stand against him. Hagar’s experience seemed to be an injustice done to her by Abrahma’s wife Sarah, but it was simply an open door for her to let God have his way and be glorified. Yes, there are many battles being waged in this life that will be used to distract us from God’s perfect plan. Injustice is not going to be corrected in the court rooms of our legislative representatives unless they are guided by the justice of a just and holy God.

Jan 16th – Justice and Fairness – Exodus 23:1–12 This week, we’ll start off with a definitive description of God’s law. It is perfect (Psalm 119:7). Since God is perfect it is to be understood that any law he establishes too would be perfect. In Exodus 23, Moses shares how this law can be practically applied. the commandments given by Moses in Ex. 20:16 include man’s responsibility to tell the truth regarding his neighbor. But our lesson today expands on that law, that commandment by reminding us justice begins and ends with the truth being declared. True justice cannot and will not be obtained in the truth cannot not provided by all parties involved.

Do not only tell an untruth, but do not relay an untruth. It’s bad when a lie is told but to keep it going is just as bad. It can and will stir up a world of uncertainty. James reminds us of the devastating influence and extent of a word told in untruth can have (Jam. 3:6-8). Following an “angry” crowd to pervert or distort justice is strictly prohibited. Truth is the bedrock foundation of justice and any attempt cover the truth, hide it or pervert truth will simply result in injustice. All the examples contained in these passages are forbidden of God’s people.

The second section of our lesson (Ex. 23:10-12) is on the issue of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is defined as a time or period of intermission. A moment between work and work. It is a moment to reflect on the harvest, the labor, the fruit of the labor and the expectation of the upcoming new opportunities of growth from the Lord. Justice in the eyes of the Lord is about doing the holy and righteous thing in all cases and keeping the sabbath was the right thing to do. It offered labor to be appreciated and shared. It was the right thing to do for the economy, the ground or fields to be replenished with vital nutrients for the next season of labor. Now for us not under the Jewish “law” per-sae, we can fold this under the law of God. For God demands and commands us to be holy for He is holy (Lev. 11:44). Doing right, not lying not deceiving are the things we should do for they speak of being the holy and peculiar people we are and have been called to be according to I Pet. 2:9. With everyone not doing the just or the right thing, it is an honor and privilege we carry to be the example and witness of God to bear the truth. This is why God tells us to let our light so shine.

Side note: In the Jewish community, The Day of Atonement, otherwise known as Yom Kipper is one of the highest an most respected of holidays.

Jan 23rd – Justice, Judges, and Priests – Deut. 16:18–20; 17:8–13

Jan 30th – Justice and the Marginalized – Deuteronomy 24:10–21

December 2021

Dec 5th – Justice and Obedience – Deut. 5:1b–3; 10:12,13; 27:1

Dec 12th – Justice and Kindness – 2 Samuel 9:1–7, 9–12

Dec 19th – Justice and Righteousness – Isaiah 9:2–7

Dec 26th – Justice and Deliverance – Nahum 1:1–3, 6–8,12,13,1

You are always welcomed to follow and study with us as we seek to show ourselves approved to the Lord, workmen and women who do not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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Steve
Steve
1 year ago

It’s amazing how our words can be both hard and damaging as well as sw3t and encouraging

Jae Jaecl
Jae Jaecl
1 year ago

This lesson is exactly what I needed. It causes me to ask myself, why I do the work of ministry. Knowing my “why” helps me know my “what” .My “why” is because of what Christ has done for me. And my “what ” is ” you do the same because Christ is my example.

Jae Jaecl
Jae Jaecl
1 year ago

Dear Lord Jesus, grant me purity of heart so I bring glory & honor to Your holy name as I serve you by ministering to other. Amen

Jae Jaecl
Jae Jaecl
1 year ago

The abundant life Christ has imparted to his followers is given not for our personal selfish gain, but rather to demonstrate God’s abundance of love, joy, peace, contentment in serving him through the good times, and the tough times. So that the world will come to know that he loves and cares for the whole world. His love is from everlasting to everlasting. Praise the Lord. Amen!!

Pastor Cason
Pastor Cason
10 months ago

I appreciate the plain spoken, rightly divided truth we get from these devotionals. We need this. Thanks for the spirit lead passion and energy excerted in producing this resource for NBBC and our faithful friends. Pastor Cason