Youth News - June 2012
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YOUTH NEWS
June 2012
by Matt Kay

Micah 6.8
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
  And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
  and to walk humbly with your God.

As we approach this year’s 30 Hour Famine (June 22-23), I am reminded once again of the biblical call to seek justice and mercy on behalf of those who are the most vulnerable and needy in our world. Pastor and author Tim Keller explains that in the scripture above, "acting justly" focuses upon the action of helping those in need and the need for just retributions for those who mistreat others in society, while "loving mercy" focuses on the motivation behind such actions. In other words, we act justly, treating people fairly, generously, equally, and mercifully, because of God’s great mercy towards us. We as the people of God choose daily to handle our intimate relationships and our relationships with others in society in a just and merciful manner because God has first been merciful to us.

There are many motivations to help people in need. Some choose to use guilt, reminding others about how much they have in comparison to those that do not have. Interestingly enough, the New Testament writers do not appeal to guilt to motivate giving, rather, their appeal is to the love of Christ as our motivator to be gracious, merciful, forgiving, and giving. Our motivation for doing anything good as far as the Gospel is concerned, is Jesus Christ Himself and the infinite love that He has shown and continues to show us! The apostle Paul writes, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8.9).

As you consider the God who "executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry" (Psalm 146.7), I urge you to consider the ways that He longs to carry this out through you! Notice how closely the Lord identifies Himself with the poor in Proverbs 19.17: "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done."

May you lend to the Lord out of sheer gratitude for the gift He has first given you in His Son! May you "cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow's cause" (Isaiah 1.17-18), out of a heart that overflows with thanks for the forgiveness and righteousness that He has provided you with in Christ! And if you feel so led, may you take part in raising funds for this year’s 30 Hour Famine, providing a day’s food and healthcare for every dollar raised.

Grace & Peace, Matt

 
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