How should we then live?
It’s a question that’s been asked before. It’s a question that we should be asking now.
After you have seen and touched and tasted the realities of this broken world, how should you then live?
What are you going to do about what you’ve seen? What are you going to do about the things you’ve now witnessed and know to be real and glaring and ugly? What are you going to do about the shattering your own heart now better understands?
It’s a question Israel and God wrestled out through the prophet Ezekiel in the 33rd chapter of the same book. Israel had yet again turned from God. They had been led astray by false gods and were paying the penalty for their sins; they were deported from their homes and exiled to Babylon. The wickedness that was first present in their inmost hearts had overflowed into their living, and a holy God cannot dwell with an unclean people.
And for a moment the people got it. They knew they had greatly grieved God and they cried out in their distress saying they were wasting away in their sinfulness. God heard their cries. And He reminded them that He didn’t want their deaths but that He wanted their hearts and lives and ways to change and to know full and abundant life. He wanted them to live.
“Turn! Turn from your evil ways!(vs 11). Do what is just and right and you shall surely live.” (vs16)
Do what is just and right and you shall surely live.
Tim Keller wrote a book called “Generous Justice” that has shaped and helped me to better understand the high priority God places on just living. God has been and always will be about justice. That’s who He is. He doesn’t separate His love from His justice, they are one and the same. And we are commanded to care about it as well.
“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.” Micah 6:8
If we have received the remarkable grace of Christ through the Cross, we will do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God. Not because we are trying to be good people, but because we will be compelled to truly care. Because the grace of the Cross makes us just and if we don’t do justice, have we ever really tasted the grace of the Cross? Because you can’t have one without the other.
Or maybe you have tasted the grace of the Cross but you just don’t believe it or understand how that very grace is absolutely vital. Not just for a singular proclamation, but for every waking moment.
Because if you have tasted grace, you would know what it is that the LORD requires of you.
Justice. Mercy. Humility.
How should I then live?
It’s a question I’ve been chewing on for a few weeks now. What was the point of this trip to Uganda, Lord? What are you asking of me? How can I follow you? How do you want to leverage my one life for your Kingdom purposes? How does all of this fit together?
Oh Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!
I don’t know what the Lord has in store in the next months or years or entire seasons ahead. I do know that He’s asking me to obey Him now. So I’m taking a few steps, testing the waters, always waiting on the go-ahead from God. Because at this point in my life I can’t GO permanently (see Japan!). But I can give and give and use the many things God has blessed me with to support those who can and are there being the hands and feet of Christ.
So I’m doing some small things that could change the life of a few.
I’m hosting a party, finding creative ideas to cut corners, and sharing my story to as many people as will listen closely. Tomorrow, I will receive in the mail a large load from Ekubo Ministries (see FB page) and will be selling their goods to raise funds for their ministry. Funds that will put vulnerable children in schools. Funds that will share the Gospel to a whole village. Funds that will feed kids who don’t get a meal everyday at home. Funds that will unite and support families. Funds that will cover a clinic with a roof. Funds that will finalize a Baby Cottage for abandoned infants.
Funds that will be Christ to this broken and aching world.
Will you join me? Will you prayerfully consider how the Lord is asking you to be a voice and support for those who have none? To be the loving hands of Christ to a world that is desperate for Him? To the orphan, the widow, the distressed, the down-trodden, the oppressed, the marginalized, the “least of these”? Here and wherever the Lord directs your heart.
This definitely will look differently for YOU than it does ME. But will you at least take the first step and ask God? And if He directs your heart to partner with what He’s doing in my own, will you obey Him?
How should we then live?
God has shown us what is good and what He requires of us! Ask Him to specifically show you how He has uniquely made and gifted YOU to be a part of the solution. Ask Him how He yearns to leverage your life for the least of these.
Ask Him. Trust Him. Obey Him.
DO justice, LOVE mercy, WALK humbly.
Each of us, linking arms, taking just one small step in obedience that changes hearts and lives.
How will you then live?