Appetite for justice

“So, what we’re talking about here is human rights. The right to live like a human. The right to live, period. And what we’re facing in Africa is an unprecedented threat to human dignity and equality.” – Bono

From the common man to the celebrities, this generation we live in is, for some unknown reason, driven to fight against injustices. I believe that it is God who is steering our hearts and giving us an appetite for justice. But why?

There isn’t a reason why anyone should not be involved in fighting for a fellow human. Statistics do not determine the seriousness of the issue. Even if the stats are in the single digits, we should have the same appetite, because we are talking not only about a human but an image of God himself.

In 1997, I had the privilege of taking a tour of the largest church in the world, located in Korea and pastored by Paul Yonggi Cho.  One of the  things I remember learning from the tour is that they don’t share the gospel until they do three acts of kindness.  We see the power of the application of this value through the grand church growth they have had.

Likewise, Jesus never ignored the social needs of a person, he always met their immediate need and, in the process, he cared about the perishing soul of the individual.  He knew his mission: To make the dead alive to him.

The greatest compassion is going through the physical need to the inner person that is lost.

The heroes of our faith, Mother Teresa, William Wilberforce, William Carey, Amy Carmichael, Franklin Graham and others, were marked with Jesus style justice. They cared about the individual’s physical needs and spiritual needs.  It is not “either/or” but rather “both/and”.  These heroes had an eternal perspective.

The danger we face today is to pick the easy way out, which is to meet the physical need and do social justice, but ignore the greater need of a relationship with Jesus.

The life giving power comes from the message of the cross.

Stanley Jones, a missionary to India, once said, “An individual gospel without a social gospel is a soul without a body. A social gospel without an individual gospel is a body without a soul. The one is a ghost. The other is a corpse.”

Jesus did not give the people he met a ghost or a corpse but rather life.  We can’t offer life by just offering a social gospel.

The greatest injustice is when a person does not have an opportunity to hear, understand, and apply the gospel.

Do you have an appetite for justice?

2 minutes, 52 seconds

“Do you have 2 minutes, 52 seconds to watch a video while I shop for something in your store?” I asked the girl in the surf store. She replied, “Hope it is not something bad.”  I told her it was a good video and has the potential to change her life.  The deal was made and she started watching the video on my iPhone as I browsed the store.  Every now and then I peeked to see how it was going and to my pleasure, her eyes were glued to the iPhone.  She walked towards me with a smile, complimented the video, and asked how she could watch it again.  I saw this great wide open door to take a normal situation and expect God to turn it into a transcendent moment.  I asked her if I could talk more about the video, and she was quite open to it, so I walked right through the open door and explained how Jesus can change her life.  She did not make any decisions to abandon her life to Jesus.  However, she knows Jesus more than she ever did before, which is a positive contribution to the quest for the meaning of life.

Most of us have a desire for God to use us to intervene into someone’s life so they can encounter a transcendent experience with Jesus, but have a hard time putting it in gear.  It is quite true that it is very hard to steer a parked car.  The opposite is true as well, it is easy to steer the car once it is in motion.

Here is a video that will put your faith in motion to share with people the life changing story of God. We live in the world of pixels and smart phones, which I believe have to ultimately contribute to the advancement of the message of the Cross.  Here is a free download of the video “For God was so ticked off”.  You can download it on your iPhone or iPad and ask someone, “Do you have 2 minutes 52 seconds to watch a video?” This has the potential for someone to meet Jesus in a profound way.  The video itself does not share the complete message of the Cross but opens a door for you to share your faith.

This small act of faith will Echo in Eternity!

A great contradiction from Christopher Vengala on Vimeo.