to the ends of the earth… day 8

Zechariah 9:8 I will camp around My house Because of the army, Because of him who passes by and him who returns. No more shall an oppressor pass through them, For now I have seen with My eyes. 9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’

There are more slaves today than at any other point in history. There are anywhere from 12 million to 27 million slaves in the world. Slavery continues despite being outlawed in every nation on earth. Most slaves are in forced labor and debt bondage, forced to work off a debt that may be impossible to work off, or being trafficked into prostitution.

But God sees all of it. He is not unaware or surprised. His solution is Jesus. Jesus came to speak peace to all the nations. When we rescue people from slavery, we need to introduce them to Jesus who will free their spirits. Jesus gives the ultimate freedom. He came to set the captives free. Thanks be to God!

His… Michelle

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woe to hypocrisy… day 6

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

With the dawning of the information age, we have so many things at our fingertips, like the ‘easy button’ portrayed in the Staples ads. We have one stop shopping on the internet. I am able to tithe through the click of a button on my church’s website. While these things add great convenience to my life, are they good things?

I know I’ve confessed to you before I don’t like people much. Forty two years of believing the lie that people were out to hurt me and were only pretending to like me has a lot to do with that. But, thanks to God, I am learning to like and, more importantly, to love people now. But it’s a process.

When I read the above verses, I can’t help but think it would be so easy to fall into this trap of hypocrisy. Look Lord, I sent my tithe, I sponsored that child, I write for you on the internet. This virtual world has been a real blessing for me, a person who loves the convenience of interacting without the mess of actual real life.

Think about it. God could have saved us with the snap of His fingers. He could have just looked down from His throne and chosen the ones to add to His family. But He didn’t. He chose to get down in the muck, the squalor of His creation. He chose to walk among us, to feel our pain, to get messy. Why? Because love is more than snapping your fingers. Love is more than tithing and sponsoring. Love gets involved. Love gets messy. His life is our example of how to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

So I am praying to be heart broken. I am praying for strength to be involved. I am praying to do all the right things. And I know I can do ALL things through Christ, my Savior. If He could get messy for me, the least I can do is get messy too.

His… Michelle

day 5 – 40 days of justice…

Psalm 70:4 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified! 5 But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.

How do you help the oppressed without turning into just a humanitarian? You don’t do it in your own strength. God is the Maker of heaven and earth and each person on the earth. When I am in trouble, who do I run to first? I tend to run to my friends. But really, the only One who can truly help me is God.

God loves the poor, the needy, the orphan, the widow, the slave, the rich man. He loves us. If I run off and rescue a person from slavery, but don’t introduce her to Jesus, then what have I really rescued her from? She will have temporary freedom on earth, but what about her eternity?

If I don’t keep Jesus as the central focus of my life, then I run the risk of rescuing for my glory.  If Jesus, my love for him, my great desire to follow him, and serve him, is the reason I live and move and have my being, then it is Jesus who is rescuing through me.

His… Michelle