Tag Archives: Shine Your Light

Do: Shine!

“. . . in which you shine . . . like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15).

“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

star nightMy new Flourishing Faith Bible study Shine Your Light explores service, compassion, justice, action . . . the doing side of our faith. Take time to journey through this excerpt as we wrap up our discussion on doing.

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 “I will show you my faith by what I do” (James 2:18b). Faith—believing in the good news—is intricately interconnected with action. Just as faith demonstrates itself in works, works proclaim our faith to the world. Our actions, demeanor, words, character, and way of life declare a message!

. . .  One powerful theme interwoven throughout the book of James is that what we believe ought to show itself in what we do and how we act:

• We’re to truly listen to God’s Word and respond by doing what it says (1:22-25)

• As believers in our compassionate, just, and merciful God, we’re to live the good news by caring for the poor, vulnerable, and overlooked (1:27; 2:1-13).

• Living the gospel means loving our neighbors as ourselves—and that includes seemingly “unimportant” people (2:1-13).

• Belief in the gospel demonstrates itself in our actions (2:14-26).

• Our actions and demeanor reveal that we are aligned with a new way of thinking as we live by values “from above” (3:13, 17-18).

• When God leads us to do good, it’s imperative that we respond (4:17).

• Materialism and injustice toward the poor are absolutely contrary to the gospel (5:1-6).

• Intimacy with God through prayer empowers a gospel-transformed life (5:13-20).

. . . What can you do today to proclaim the gospel through action? Continue reading

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Just 3: Shayne Moore

For the next 3 posts I’ll be interviewing 3 different women with just 3 questions about living justly. First is my writer-friend Shayne Moore. Shayne is a Chicago-land mom and the co-author of Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery as well as the author of Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World Is Easier Than You ThinkSo grab a cup of java, get comfy, and listen in as Shayne joins us for “Just 3.”
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1. Why are you passionate about biblical justice?
shayne-logoThere is much division in the world. We are divided by issues of religious belief and practices, racism, sexism, agism, you name it. I grew up in the conservative Evangelical church. It is my faith family and my heritage and there are many positive aspects of my tradition I happily pass on to my own children. Yet I admit to being soured by the fighting and division over issues such as women in leadership/ministry, worship styles, and what to do with homosexuals in our midst.
When I woke up to the reality of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the church was just beginning to talk about it and to be aware of the crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. When I learned how mothers and children, families just like my own were struggling in unthinkable poverty, disease and death, it broke my heart.
An internal mantra began to play over and over in my soul: On Earth as it is in Heaven. . .
There are many things of which I am unsure. Many doctrines, practices, traditions, teachings that I will never be 100% sure of and, if others are honest, neither will they. I am not God. It set deep within me I might be wrong about a lot of things — but if I am spending myself on behalf of the poor and oppressed (Isaiah 58-59), I’m not wrong. There is no HIV or AIDS in heaven. There is no sex trafficking and rape of children in heaven. There is no labor slavery in heaven. On Earth as it in heaven. 
I can work tirelessly on behalf of those struggling in extreme poverty, preventable disease, the evils of human trafficking, lack of education, political influence, property rights, and know I am not wrong. In my adult life, this truth has informed my faith and how I live it out. It is, quite frankly in the current tone of Evangelical sub-culture dialogue, one of the only things that makes me passionate about my faith. It brings meaning to my faith and the sometimes dark world we live in.
2. Injustice in our world can seem so overwhelming and discouraging. Ever felt that way? And how can we overcome discouragement & inertia and move forward into hopeful action?
Perhaps cliche, yet it runs through my head often: The reminder that working on issues of global social justice is not a sprint. It is a marathon. I have found a great way to not get burned out or discouraged is to surround yourself with others who are also passionate about bring change to our world and to our generation. The Body of Christ is so diverse and so are the ways every person can make a difference. Continue reading

Hollowed Out, Fired Up

What is justice? A good place to start with this question is with its antithesis: What is injustice? We know it when we see it. We feel it deep down. It unsettles us. It hollows us out. It fires us up.

RubyIt’s so wrong. So horrifying. So against-all-goodness.

Racism. Abuse. Violence against the vulnerable. Genocide. Trafficking. Slavery. Oppressive poverty. Disease and death caused by environmental degradation.

This list could go on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

And it overwhelms us. Its weightiness can stop us in our tracks, can freeze us into inertia.

Can any one person actually fight these huge, systematic global problems? Is there really anything you or I can actually do? Continue reading

What is Justice?

Justice. When I was a little kid, my idea of justice was mostly characterized by superheroes. Superman and Wonder Woman who’d see the wrong in the world, fight it, and always catch the bad guys in the end. It was adventurous, exciting, and a bit dangerous . . . but it always turned out peachy. Justice is putting things right.justice league

When I was a bigger kid, my idea of justice was set to patriotic background music. Each day at school we proclaimed this land to be a place of “freedom and justice for all!” And I took it to be a given: Everybody here gets  justice. Woo-hoo! Yippee! Justice is freedom.

And then, as I grew older, I think a general idea of judicial justice crept in. Justice had to do with things being fair, things being right. It was pretty cut and dry. Pretty obvious. And, I assumed, for the most part pretty well-established. Justice is fairness.

But then in college, during an Intervarsity weekend conference, I got a shocking wake-up call. I didn’t realize at the time that it was going to be one of the most influential weekends in my life. But that weekend I learned that justice is biblical.

And it wasn’t a feel-good lesson. There weren’t patriotic songs bursting forth in my heart. My assumptions and pat-myself-on-the-back good intentions were all being torn up. Justice meant more, demanded more, than I’d ever realized. Continue reading