God is Just
by Daren Mitchell
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God is just. Here is a description of what the word “just” means according to an online dictionary:
guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness; done or made according to principle; based on right; in keeping with truth or fact; given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward.
If we put God into the above definition the one that scares me is the last one. God will give or award what I deserve whether punishment or reward.
When it comes to judging me, I don’t want God to be just, I want him to be merciful, and abundantly so. And the good news is that He is merciful and abundantly so, but He is as just as he is merciful. This is the reason He gave us Jesus Christ. God in His justice demands punishment for disobedience. His Perfection demands absolution for our imperfections, and Jesus Christ was the perfect One to offer His own life as a sacrifice for you and I.
I believe in a Creator God who purposefully crafted all matter on earth and in the universe, formed it with this one purpose that all He created would make Him happy. All our praise, our behavior and our motives should encompass this one purpose; we simply want to make God happy.
I know that this sounds simplistic. But any time we use words like “glorify” or “praise” or a phrase like, “We want to bring God more Glory” “We want to make His Name more famous” “We want to please God.” What these words and phrases basically mean is that we want to make God happy. When we obey Him, please Him, love Him, glorify Him, praise Him, worship him, remember Him, and serve others in His Name we are making God happy.
But what does this have to do with God’s justice? What is one of the first complaints that you hear from your child from almost the moment they can put words together in coherent sentence. “it’s not fair!” We have this sense of fairness seemingly woven into the very fabric of our DNA. The fact that life isn’t fair is one of our very first life lessons, along with the fact that when mom is using the iron, it hurts a lot when we touch it. We find out that life isn’t fair even before we are potty trained.
If God made the world then it must be His fault that life isn't fair. Therefore, there must not be a God because if there was he wouldn't allow evil stuff to happen to children. Many people believe this. Maybe you do, too.
So is it God’s fault that life isn’t fair? This is a difficult question, maybe its a question you're asking right now. The go to guy in the Bible when we discuss suffering, or bad stuff happening to a good person, is Job. Why did God allow Job to suffer? In short, because Job through His suffering, made Satan a fool. He denied Satan the opportunity to gloat. Satan has never been able to say, “I told you so” to God.
I believe the devil had many personal encounters with Jesus, but, only one conversation between the two was recorded in the Bible. Even confronting Jesus personally Satan must have felt a certain sense of home field advantage. He had Jesus in human form, and he tried to tempt Jesus with what had worked on everyone else, but, Jesus didn’t give in. Like Job, Jesus didn't give in to the temptation to disobey or blame God. Jesus conquered death on the cross and in doing so put the victory in our hands over death.
“ For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5
The question I ask is "what did Job and Jesus have in common?" These were two guys with one mission. To make God happy; and it makes God happy when we stick it to the evil one like Job and Jesus did by keeping our faith through tragedy or tough times. God blesses us in our trials and suffering by providing hope in our eternal life with him in heaven. This is Justice!
This is why the Psalmist says in Psalm 146:2 “I will sing praises to the Lord until my dying breath.”
Let’s ask this ancient songwriter why he will sing to the Lord until his dying breath. He answers, "Because God is my ultimate source of help." Psalm 146:5
There are many ways that God helps those who follow Jesus. But the most significant help is this one.
God is my help to conquer death
This is why it's imperative for Jesus followers to show who God is through our love, our actions, the way we talk, and vote republican. Just kidding...Seriously, if our life is about making God happy, then let's talk about what this means for the life of a Jesus follower. Our greatest motivation is to help others understand God's justice. God is their help to conquer death, too.
As followers, our attitude should be the same as Jesus. We want to make God happy. We want to do what God wants us to do. I wonder if many of us need to change our attitude about God’s church. We don't make God happy simply because we attend church once a week, or volunteer for a church activity or teach Sunday School. We are a part of a Kingdom movement to preach Jesus to the lost and to provide resources for the needy. Serving like Jesus in our world makes God happy. This is how Jesus put it in Matthew 24:34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”
If you're a follower of Jesus, How are you doing with this?
What if it’s not enough to be a church member or attender? What if it’s not enough to raise our kids to be Christians? What if it’s not enough to simply study the Bible or belong to a small group?
Maybe its time for us to think bigger, to be more in tune with Jesus and His mission. Instead of thinking like a member of the church, think like a missionary. Instead of raising kids to be a part of church activity raise them to be preachers, teachers, elders, pastors, and missionaries. Instead of just studying the Bible ask, “Who can I introduce to Jesus?" Instead of just being involved in a small group, involve your small group in a mission effort to share the truth of Jesus in your community. Think different than just a church member. You are so much more than that. “you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
God is Just. He helps people. He has given us Jesus. He has given us His Holy Spirit. Now His justice demands our response. Living out the mission of Jesus on the earth makes God happy. “Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2
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