Ultimate Justice

28 For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
    the offspring of the wicked will perish. Psalm 37:28

It’s not hard to see major injustices in this world. Look no further than the newspapers and the television screens to see the merciless slaughters of Christians in Kenya and Iraq to see gross in justice. The politicians ignore it so as not to upset the already hostile Muslims. Or perhaps they ignore it because they agree with the decision to kill them. Either way, there’s clear injustice.

On the one hand we grieve at their loss but realize that they are in a far better place. On the other hand, we praise God that He will not forsake those who are faithful to Him.

The ultimate injustice in this life is the taking of another before the person passes of natural causes. The ultimate justice will be meted out against those who commit such acts. I can guarantee that the justice God metes out “on that Day” is infinitely more significant than the satisfaction the person got from slaughtering an innocent.

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The Christian Walk

27 Turn from evil and do good;
    then you will dwell in the land forever. Psalm 37:27

This is the essence of the Christian “walk.” Of course the fruit of the Spirit must be incorporated into these actions, but where the rubber meets the road is “to turn from evil and do good.” On our own we would be powerless to do any of it. Fortunately, we have an Advocate, a Counselor, – the Holy Spirit – to help.

If we are to turn from evil, it’s absolutely essential we rely on the Holy Spirit, because let’s face it, on our own we don’t always lean in the right direction. The Holy Spirit will also help us – if we allow Him – to avoid unnecessary entanglements and to make godly choices.

The second part of this is to “do good.” What is good? If you asked a thousand churchgoers, they’d all come up with different answers, and most of them would probably be right!

Up to this point in the passage, we’ve seen a number of things that point to goodness: generosity, delighting in God, meekness, committing your way to the Lord. But you ask, how are these “doing good?”

  • Are you freely giving of your time and resources in your actions? That’s a good thing.
  • Are you delighting in God in your actions? That’s also a good thing.
  • Can you without reservation commit these actions to the Lord and do it in His name? That’s a good thing.
  • Is your motive to please God or to puff up your status among others? If it’s to please God, that’s a good thing.

This list is endless, perhaps as endless as the number of actions Christians can perform. But it does take effort on our part.

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I Have

25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing. Psalm 37:25-26

This was King David’s experience, but for many around the world, it isn’t theirs. I’ve written many times in this space that very bad things happen to very good people. Very bad leaders put Christians out on the street and force them to beg…or worse. To say otherwise is being dishonest about the world we live in.

However, the principle remains: God will not forsake His children. Their children will be a blessing both to them and to others. It does give us an opportunity to pray for those in desperate circumstances.

Open a newspaper and look at the turmoil around the world. Choose a country and pray. Ask God what He wants you to do about the plight of your Brothers and Sisters.

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The Delight Meter

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

What exactly does it take to delight in the Lord? Of course it’s reading and studying His word and finding out what He wants for you, but it’s more than that.

  • It’s a general appreciation for the things He cares does.
  • It’s smiling about the things He would smile about.
  • It’s becoming angry over the things He would get angry about.
  • It’s drawing a line in the sand where He would draw that line.

The only way all of that can happen it to know Him, which begs the question: how do you get to know Him?

It seems like circular reasoning but it’s not as complicated as that.

Most importantly, it’s spending time with the Father in whatever form that takes..

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Freely

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
    but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
    but those he curses will be destroyed. Psalm 37:21-22

The general principle here is that since the Lord has given us so much, we should feel free give it away, after all, you can’t take it with you when you go.

The ongoing debate throughout the Christian West has been, “should we give away 10%?” I only say this, “it’s a good start.” For some people, money is a big issue. in other words, they are stingy and should really be giving 20% of their income because money is still controlling them. It’s what happens with stingy people. You scrimp and save and cut corners, but in the end you’re as miserable as the day is long. You have no financial freedom (and I’m not talking about being independently wealthy).

It’s taken me a while to overcome my stinginess, which I came to realize was a form of greed. I still have moments where I can’t part with a few dollars extra even though it was something that I needed and would use a lot.

What camp do you fit into? Are you holding onto it desperately or do you give freely when the need arises? I suspect that those who cling to it don’t want to admit it, and the givers don’t want others to know about it.

As Jesus said in John 10:8, “Freely you have received; freely give.” It doesn’t just apply to money and finances but to talents and giftings and skills as well.

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