Close to Home – Day 4.4

Today is a reminder that you don’t have to go half way around the world to be on mission for Jesus – to be the hands, feet, eyes, or ears of Jesus for someone.

Go back to some of the things you wrote as suggestions on Day 2.4, and pick one to do today.  Brandon Hatmaker has some good thoughts in his blog …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/make-or-break-week-4-day-4/

 

 

Cause & Effect – Day 4.3

What holds us back from doing justice?

Hatmaker says: “We probably all struggle in varying degrees with individualism, consumerism, and materialism. All are barriers to the Kingdom. Thus all are barriers to justice. We naturally prioritize our agendas by things that benefit us. Too often our we live our lives on the bring and with nothing to spare that can be shared with others.” (p. 83)

Ouch! I never quite put it together that way before.  If I use all the resources (physical, emotional, spiritual, temporal) on myself or on my agenda, then I have nothing left to give to God’s agenda and others. How can I create margins so that I can be prepared and able to join God on His mission when the opportunity presents itself?  Better yet, how can I not only create the margins but seek to intentionally not just opportunistically be on mission with Him?

Check out Brandon’s blog for today.  He has some great ideas on how to use today to prepare for tomorrow …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/cause-and-effect-week-4-day-3/

Thinking about Justice – Day 4.2

When it comes to modifiers for the word justice, I hear a lot more people both inside and outside of the church talk about getting justice rather than doing justice.  The idea of getting justice is usually coupled with the idea of people getting what they deserve or getting even. I don’t think that’s what the Bible is usually talking about when it talks about doing justice.

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (© 1986) says the following about the Biblical concept of justice …  “The practice of what is right and just. Justice (or “judgment,” KJV) specifies what is right, not only as measured by a code of law, but also by what makes for right relationships as well as harmony and peace.”

“The English term justice has a strong legal flavor. But the concept of justice in the Bible goes beyond the law courts to everyday life. The Bible speaks of “doing justice” (Ps. 82:3; Prov 21:3), whereas we speak of “getting justice.” Doing justice is to maintain what is right or to set things right. Justice is done when honorable relations are maintained between husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, government and citizens, and man and God. Justice refers to brotherliness in spirit and action.”

Isaiah 42:1 says:  “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.”

In Luke 3, we see a picture of John the Baptist preparing the way for the one (Jesus) who would receive the Spirit and make Him available for those who follow Him. Jesus’ idea of justice was to offer forgiveness and restoration.  Of course, that forgiveness and restoration could always be accepted or refused.

Brandon Hatmaker looks at it from a little different perspective …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/justice-defines-god-week-4-day-2/

 

 

Exploring “Justice” – Day 4.1

Last week our emphasis was on mercy.  This week we are going to explore the concept of justice.

Mercy fills an immediate need for help in someones life.  Justice moves beyond that to restore or make things right. Both are needed if we are going to become the people God is calling us to become.

Mercy addresses immediate needs to survive; while justice seeks to restore a situation so that some can experience blessing and possibly abundance.  I would certainly say that this applies to both physical and spiritual needs.

It is like giving people grain – mercy is the grain that is given to grind into flour to make bread to eat today and tomorrow.  Justice is like the grain given to plant, cultivate, and harvest to provide for future days.  Without the grain for flour today, the grain for seed would be meaningless.  Without the grain for seed, one would always be in the need for mercy and a daily handout.  It applies both physically and spiritually.

I think that doing justice requires more time, perseverance, and spiritual energy.  It’s harder than showing mercy; but the lasting rewards are greater. God calls us to both to become whole.

Here are Brandon Hatmaker’s thoughts …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/do-justice-week-4-day-1/

 

 

Rest – Day 3.7

What have we learned about mercy this week?

Hopefully, we’ve taken a fresh look at the mercy we have received from God … and from others?  I like to reflect on the last suggestion on Day 3.7 of the Primer  …

“As you make room for rest, family, and friends today, ask God to show you how he has demonstrated his mercy toward you through each person you come into contact with.”

Brandon Hatmaker’s blog for Day 3.7 …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/a-new-heart-week-3-day-7/

Cultivating a heart of mercy – Day 3.6

Today’s “calibration” deals with the tension between a “short-term fix,” and a more sustainable fix to a situation or problem.  It’s often easy to say that we would rather spend our time and effort on the sustainable solution; but many times that is the end of our discussion and actions – because it is usually harder to find a sustainable solution than it is to do a simple act of mercy.

Jesus told us: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” -(Luke 6:36 – NIV).  Many times it is hard to be merciful;  but if we want to follow Jesus, we will do it any way.  I’m reminded of the following poem by Mother Teresa …

Here is Brandon Hatmaker’s blog for Day 3.6 …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/rethinking-mercy-week-3-day-6/

Community Time & Project – Day 3.5

Today your group does it’s first project together.  This should be a fun time.  It should be the first priority of your group.  If you have children and youth in your group, be sure to look at the suggestions to include them.

If you are making hygiene kits, decide how you will distribute them.  Will individuals take them to hand out personally,  or will you distribute them through an agency that has regular contact with the people who will need them?

Below are Brandon Hatmaker’s suggestions for Day 3.5 …

http://barefootprimer.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/creative-community-week-3-day-5/