Like many of you, I don’t want to go back to normal after this. I want God to refine me. I want God to refine the Alliance and to do whatever He wants to do in us and through us. One of the things I haven’t been able to get off my mind comes from Matthew 5:16. This scripture has always been the core motivation for me and my calling with the Alliance. Here are a few things I think are important for us to remember about the work of social justice, or as I prefer to call it, Biblical justice.
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Matt. 5:16 is an important passage for those of us involved with justice and mercy ministries to treasure in our hearts. It speaks to what our deepest passion and greatest motivation ought to be. While we earnestly desire to meet temporal needs and solve physical problems, our supreme desire is for people to know and love God.
I have found that it’s easy to drift from this core value when we live in a society that embraces good works but wants people to keep their religious beliefs to themselves. In the nonprofit world it’s not always politically correct, or financially beneficial in some cases, to keep these priorities straight. It also might mean that you are not taken as seriously or praised by certain groups. But all believers at some point find themselves having to ask the question that Paul asked in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I don’t think this means that we have to have a Christian symbol or Bible verse on everything we do. But it means that we keep straight in our minds and hearts what we’re doing and why. It means that we don’t give way to the philosophy of humanism that permeates the culture. It means that we understand that for people to thrive and flourish they need God-empowerment, not self-empowerment.
As for the Freedom Church Alliance, we want to support everyone doing good, but our deepest levels of support will be behind ministries and organizations that share the priority of building the Kingdom of God and helping people physically and spiritually. This is because we care not just that people have a better life in the here and now, but that they are saved and live with God forever.
May the body of Christ be bold and distinct in these days. May we love people enough to make it our highest aim for them to know our gracious and loving Savior Jesus Christ who can do more for them than any human - far more than they could ever ask, think or imagine (Eph. 3:20).