The source of this study is the International Justice Mission’s devotional As You Go.
A suggested approach to this study is:
- Begin in a spirit of prayer, asking for the gift of God’s guidance, wisdom, and love.
- Enter into a brief period of quiet meditation, seeking to actively listen and submit to God’s Spirit and God’s Word as you open yourself to whatever God wants to communicate to you.
- Consider, contemplate, and reflect on what God is giving you as you read and meditate on Scripture. Look for how it may be personalized and integrated into your life. You may want to record your thoughts in a journal.
- If you are doing this Bible Study with a group, share your individual reflections.
- God sends us into the world to be active agents of His love and transformation. Identify one or two actions you take on behalf of those seeking justice. Pray! – advocating to God on behalf of the suffering and asking for your own wisdom and strength to exercise a heart for justice.
Read and Reflect
- Read the three Bible selections and make a mental note of any words, phrases or verses that especially resonate in your heart and mind.
- After reading, pause and ask God if there is anything He especially wants you to notice.
- Now repeat the reading and notice what comes to your heart and mind this time. Is it the same or something new?
- Spend a few final minutes in silence asking and allowing God to guide your thoughts and feelings. Do you notice anything that makes you uncomfortable, anything that is refreshing or disturbing, or anything that you are particularly excited about?
- Read Luke 10:25-37.
- What does God say we must do to inherit eternal life? (v. 26-28)
- Why does the expert in the law ask Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Do you ever find yourself asking similar questions of God?
- How does Jesus reply? (v. 30-36)
- Who are our neighbors? What would it mean for you to “Go and do likewise?”
- Read Matthew 14:13-21
- What did the disciples ask Jesus to do? (v. 15) What was Jesus’ response? (v. 16) How do you imagine the disciples were feeling?
- Do you ever feel inadequate to do what Jesus asks? What hinders you from responding to His requests?
- What did Jesus ask the disciples to do with their meager resources? (v. 18)
- What do you hear God asking you to bring to him?
- Are you willing to present whatever you have to Jesus, expecting him to do the miracle?
- Read Matthew 17:14-20
- Why were the disciples unable to drive out the demon?
- In the face of such enormous injustice in the world, do you ever sense that your faith might be too small? Your perspective too limited? Confess this to God.
- What does God promise? (v. 20)
- What did you notice about God’s call to us to love others?
- When you consider the scriptures that you’ve just read, what message is Jesus sharing with you?
- What stood out to you as you read the scripture passages?
Reflect and Act
- The action of justice can be challenging, even overwhelming. When you think about the action of doing justice in the world what do you feel? It is important to remember that this work happens out of God’s heart and passion for the weak and oppressed, and He promises to do it through us.
- What are the one or two action steps you feel God would prompt you to take in the next 24 to 72 hours so you can begin to take the action of justice?
- As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that He would remember His love for them and His promise of deliverance.
- As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that He would restrain the hand of the oppressor and the powerful dynamics of oppression.
- As you lift to God those who suffer, pray that truth would overcome the deception of lying lips, and that people of powerful influence would rise up on behalf of those suffering to stop the hand of injustice.
- As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that the perpetrators of injustice would be held accountable for their actions so that they cannot harm others.
- As you lift to God those who suffer, ask that God would draw you ever closer to His heart and grant you wisdom and courage to become the answer to these prayers