If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
James 2:16 (NIV)
We are up to the “A” of our “PERFECT PEACE” acronym. This “A” is a bit of a “good trouble” maker and a rabble rouser. It’s going to tackle “peace with each other” head on, and in a backdoor manner, address “peace with God” and “peace within”. “A” stands for “Act with Justice”. Our Path to Perfect Peace will be a very superficial, frustrating, and futile one if we don’t take this “A” seriously.
For much of my life, I found it very comfortable to keep Jesus in my heart. For the most part, that kept me from being a bad person. I didn’t do much wrong, rarely broke a law (at least badly enough that I would be caught), and was very comfortable in my “warm and well-fed” state. I was almost totally oblivious about what it meant not to be warm and well-fed as virtually all of my family and friends were of warm and well-fed stock as well. I’m sure I knew there were some in the world who weren’t warm and well-fed, and in my piety I might occasionally pray for them and wish them peace.
At some point, Jesus started banging on the walls of my heart and asked to be released from the prison I had put Him in. He started leading me to those who weren’t warm and well-fed. He showed me the number of times He and HIs Father expressed their love and concern for such people, and He made it clear that if I wanted peace with Him and within myself, I better start becoming much more active in establishing peace with others. That’s when “A”, Act with Justice, came to the rescue.
Since becoming much more actively involved in acting with justice, the kingdom has come alive. I used to think the kingdom was just heaven someday. Now I better understand Jesus’ vision – that the kingdom would come to earth as it is in heaven. He has given me (and you!) the privilege of joining Him in this kingdom work when I (we!) act with justice.
This is the first in the “Act with Justice” series of blog posts.