Out of the Abundance of the Heart: Justice and Mercy

Building People of Substance for Works of PowerWe can do this!

“Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19 NIV) ‘

I don’t think Joseph gets enough credit for a lot of things. He must have been a great guy for God to choose him to parent His only begotten. Reading the story of the birth of Jesus, we find a man who is a carpenter, not a priest or a prophet or a Pharisee, just a working stiff. He finds out his fiancée is pregnant. He knows he didn’t do it. He is a man dedicated to serving God, to keeping the Law. The same moral compass that kept him from fornication demands that he deal with this shocking situation in a godly way. His first thought? Kick her out but do it quietly so she won’t be stoned to death. Matthew tells us that he took time to consider what to do, and an angel gave him more information and a plan. He obeyed God. What a guy!

In our day, the church faces many issues that offer us an opportunity to prayerfully consider how we will respond: The continuing battle for the unborn, the demise of sexual morality, the rise of Islam, increasing persecution of a biblical world view, a revival of anti-Semitism … We see God’s standards and know that in some things there are absolutes. Compromise is not an option. On the other hand, we see the command to love, forgive, to extend grace. How we balance justice and mercy will be the challenge for the Church in this last day.

I believe the question of the hour for Christian churches is,” How do we respond to the normalization of homosexual behaviors?” It’s a tough call, and I don’t think we have done particularly well so far. Think about it.

  • We are obligated to educate and protect our kids. The culture is actively recruiting them to join in their perverse party. The schools they attend are obligated to teach them that our beliefs are hateful, and that perversion is love. How do we teach kids to love the sinner without condoning the sin? We don’t do it so well ourselves.
  • We are called to preach truth, so we can’t back off, even in the face of criminal penalty. God decides what is sin, not Hollywood or congress. Love doesn’t let blind people run into oncoming traffic, but that is exactly what those who give themselves to sexual sin are doing. Stop!
  • We are here to help those who experience the destruction wrought by such behaviors and reach the point of wanting out. Our attitude toward broken people must be one of compassion and hope. We can help, but only if they feel free to come to us. At the same time, we can’t compromise the Bible standard. Lord, help us get this right.

Scripture Reading: O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2 NKJV)

Somebody Said: The Left masks its distaste for the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality in a straw man argument that Bible believers are violent bigots. They are not. Citing the Bible doesn’t make you a bigot against human beings – it makes you a bigot against sin, which is a good thing. Ben Shapiro

Somewhere between standing on the street corner with a megaphone shouting, “Turn or Burn,” and the religious foppery of a “sloppy agape’ that condones anything and everything, there is a place that stands in the dignity of righteousness and the humility of grace. Lord, help us find it, even when those we are trying to help hate us. That is the Jesus call.

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