Let It Overflow!

“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” –Amos 5:24 (NIV)

Water takes on the form of whatever contains it. If we were to pour water into a bottle, it will take the shape of the bottle. If we were to pour it into a bowl, it will take the shape of the bowl. This makes water, or any other liquid for that matter, a very malleable substance. Through technological innovation we have the power to divert rivers for irrigation and reap the agricultural benefits this would bring for us. We also have the ability to build dams which partially block the natural flow of water so that we may harness it to produce energy for ourselves. Such architectural feats are fascinating to learn about and it shows how through technology we can use the natural force of water to our advantage.

But how often do we attempt to pervert the course of justice and righteousness for our own benefit! How often is it that instead of justice rolling on like a river, it is diverted here and there so that the selfish interests of the unscrupulous may be persevered? How often is it that we have prevented ourselves from standing up for righteousness out of fear that we will be ridiculed or silenced? In a world where sin is promoted and a blind eye is turned to corruption, it can be hard to be the voice calling for integrity and purity. However, as children of Christ we are called to be bearers of His light wherever we go. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and carry out His redemptive work in our lives, His righteousness and love will overflow from within us. He will give us the boldness and confidence to stand up for what is right and true so that others will see that we serve a God who is holy and just. What is stopping the flow of righteousness and justice in our lives? Only by surrendering these areas to Christ can we shine for Him in a world overtaken by darkness.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Why We Must Love

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” –Acts 17:26 (NIV)

Ethnic violence is still an ever present reality for many in the world. Even after the Holocaust, the civil rights movement in America, and the collapse of apartheid in South Africa, racial hatred continues to persist. The programs of one ethnic group to eliminate another, the bloody reprisals of the oppressed, together they form a cycle of bloodshed and injustice that is both tragic and horrifying. Faced with these issues, where do we begin to respond? We are all taught that racism in all its forms is wrong. But why is it wrong? Is it merely because it is a nasty and ignorant attitude to adopt, or is there a much deeper reason? To answer this question, one needs to look at humanity through the eyes of God.

Each and every one of us born into this world is created in the image of God. As an expression of His creativity, He has made us all unique; having varied physical characteristics and speaking different tongues. But these differences do not nullify the fact that before God we are all equal, both as cherished bearers of His image and as fallen creatures in need of His redemptive power. Like our forefather Adam, we have all chosen to rebel against Him and indulge in our sinful desires. This even includes turning against one another either in thought, word, or action, and in effect spitting upon those whom God has lovingly created. But God does not want us to be bound to our sin. He knows the destruction that it will cause both to ourselves and to the people around us. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ so that all, regardless of who they are, may come to Him and be saved from their sin. If Christ has shown such impartial love, what right do we have to withhold it from others? When we have allowed Christ to enter our lives and seek to conform ourselves to Him, we will see with new eyes. Through Him we will understand that all men are precious in His sight, each of whom God has a specific plan for, and in need of His grace.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

The Right Foundation

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime!” –Habakkuk 2:12 (NIV)

When an empire or state resorts to violence and corruption to maintain its hold on power, it will not last. Though the swift power of their repression may seem intimidating, there will come a day when their perceived invincibility will be exposed for the myth that it is. Not only will the victims of its oppression grow weary and fight for their liberty, but also those who are brave enough to support them and take up their cause. If the foundation of a regime is based upon bloodshed and tyranny, it will be swept away by those willing to stand for justice and truth at all costs.  It serves as an assurance of hope to those who must bear with injustice, as well as a warning to those who perpetrate it.

In our lives as well this same principle applies. Each of our actions has consequences either for better or for worse. If we have allowed sin to form the basis of our lifestyles, our relationships, or our careers, we have set ourselves on a path that will lead to our destruction. We will feel the sting of regret when we realize our folly and we wish that we could go back in time and correct our mistakes. However, while we cannot change our past, there is hope for the future through Christ. When we allow His Spirit to cleanse us of our sinful nature and permit Him to carry out His redemptive work in our lives, He will give us the wisdom to know that what we sow now we will reap in the future. By choosing to walk in His ways through His enabling, we will be able to rest in the assurance that as long as we keep in step with Him we will be laying a foundation that God will honour; bringing life and hope to ourselves as well as others.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.