How does our ministry demonstrate the character of God?
The Bible talks a lot about God’s justice and mercy. If you’ve spent any time in a church, these words may sound a little fuzzy—you’ve heard them so often that you’ve lost touch with what they really mean. These are important words. They sum up much of what we do at Jericho Road. More than that, they sum up who we are. Because our God is merciful and just. And, we are to follow suit.
Jericho Road works to seek justice and love mercy (Micah 6:8). In doing so, we demonstrate the character of God.
What could be a more exciting aim?
God is just. ‘For I, the Lord, love justice’ (Isaiah 61:8). In the Bible, God’s justice is shown to be a beautiful, terrible thing.
He will not tolerate injustice.
‘There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.’ (Proverbs 6:17-20).
The prophets remind Israel of God’s justice, and that is both an encouragement and a warning. In the depths of oppression and slavery, Israel can rejoice that God promises to bring justice. In moments of disobedience, Israel should remember God’s justice and change their ways. The Old Testament records glimpses of God’s justice enacted—God does not let unjust nations and individuals prosper. And yet, there is always a promise of final, perfected justice to come. In Jesus, we see the dawning of that final justice. Christ died on behalf of those who deserve God’s justice. On the cross, God’s commitment to justice is demonstrated in a surprising and breathtakingly beautiful way. Jesus, the spotless lamb, is now crowned as judge. He promises to return and bring about perfect justice. Having borne God’s judgement himself, Jesus offers free forgiveness and is able to deliver absolutely perfect judgement.
How We Show Justice
As people who worship a God of justice, we are to demonstrate his unfailing fairness. He defends the weak, protects the vulnerable and frees the oppressed. So do we. At Jericho Road, our ministries seek to demonstrate God’s justice. Our child protection efforts aim to protect and defend children. Our disability advocacy work promotes dignity and inclusion. Our work with refugees provides hope for those who have often suffered terrible injustice.
God’s justice sits alongside his incredible mercy. He does not give us what we deserve. He is patient and kind.
‘The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness’ (Exodus 34:11).
The Old Testament promises that God will rescue his people from their disobedience and provide a way back to him. And, Jesus is that Way. Just as God’s justice is demonstrated on the cross, so too is his mercy. Through faith, we swap places with Jesus. He takes on our sin and the just punishment for that sin. We take on his righteousness and his perfect, everlasting relationship with God. He stands in our place, and so we can receive God’s mercy. Undeserved, extravagant, insanely good mercy. Though we are bound for death, we receive life. God’s justice is met in Christ and his mercy is given to us.
How We Show Mercy
Jericho Road has a heart for mercy, because we have known the mercy of God. We offer mercy because we have received it. Allowah Children’s hospital provides high quality care for children living with serious disabilities. Our chaplaincy services bring a listening ear to those in local hospitals and prisons. Our drought relief and emergency aid ministries demonstrate God’s generosity and kindness.
In Matthew 25:35-36, Jesus explains what loving him looks like. He says it looks like loving others—those most in need of mercy.
‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
As we celebrate the mercy and justice God has shown us in Christ, we are driven to show that same mercy to others.
Mercy and justice ministries paint a beautiful picture of who God is.
He is the God who declares sinful people to be his perfect children—because of what Jesus had done.
So, we respond in mercy and justice.