In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of His people, and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

Isaiah 28: 5, 6

 

God is merciful, and His grace is great enough to accept each and every one of us without regard to the ways that we are living or the things that we have done or even the multitudes of times that we have rejected Him and cursed His name. However, this marvelous grace and infinite mercy is balanced by the Lord’s unceasing desire for righteousness and His relentless demand for justice. Without righteousness, grace has no meaning. Without justice, there is no mercy. In one sense these qualities of God are like the scales that Lady Justice holds in her hand with their unbiased equality. However, in God’s hands there is no give and take of these counterbalancing elements of life. Instead, they are all applied in full and total measure.

 

People who love God are also called upon by Him to love righteousness and to strive to live justly in our world. Our thoughts, our words, and our actions can depict God’s will and desire to our world. The way that we treat those who are close to us and the manner in which we interact with strangers speak loudly about the way that we view this mandate from God. This is one of the hardest aspects of living for Christ. Most of us are either rather good at being accepting, gracious, and merciful, or we readily apply our view of righteousness and seek a sure and absolute form of justice. In either instance there is seldom balance, and deep, lasting restorative relationship suffers.

 

Christ brought living truth into our world. He never failed to note and to recognize the brokenness and the destructive nature of sin. He confronted it in individuals and in the culture. Jesus also embraced the sinner, and He granted His healing touch of eternal acceptance to everyone who would accept it. God wants us to do the same things. He sends us into our world to confront the sin that bathes us in its acid-like wash of corrosive evil. Christ wants us to stand with Him at the gates of our world and stop Satan’s aggression from gaining any more ground. Yet, He wants us to do it in the same way that Jesus did. We need to be willing to suffer, bleed, and die upon the cross of truth, of mercy, and of grace. Christ wants us to sacrifice all for the sake of eternal relationships.