Day 4: Hope in The Future
Scripture- Isaiah 11:1-6
“11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them.”
What exactly is righteousness? Righteousness is the quality of being morally right or justifiable. In other words, living the kind of life and making the kind of choices so that others can see Jesus in you. We cannot live a righteous life without Jesus!
When we look at a righteous person, we see a person whose life reflects that he or she knows the Lord. The Bible says, “by their fruits ye shall know them.” An orange tree doesn’t produce bananas and an apple tree will never give you a plum. That would be ridiculous! The same is true of our lives. The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 that the fruit of lives lived for Jesus are filled with good things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You can claim to be a follower of Jesus but if you are living a life full of things like stealing, cheating, bullying and gossip, for example, no one will believe that you know Jesus.
Next, Look at the term justice. It means to be just, impartial and fair.
When we think about wanting justice for the poor and oppressed, we need to first use righteous or good judgement in our own lives by choosing to live for Jesus and know when the Holy Spirit is convicting us, when we are not acting righteously. When we begin to follow God and live more righteous lives, God begins to show us exactly what we can do to assist others in His name. The Holy Spirit will be able to assist us with being able to discern what is needed in situations that are unjust because the hurt and pain that others feel will bring us pain as well. Not pain like a cut on our finger, but pain in our hearts and in our conscience, that yucky feeling that God gives us when things just don’t feel right.
The children at Camp Change took a big first step this summer, knowing they should act to help the homeless. The children made freezer meals for families who would be transitioning from living in a homeless shelter to new homes. These families are temporarily staying at the shelter while they get their lives back on track spiritually, physically and emotionally. When these families move out of the Beacon ministry facility in Dunn, NC, they must start their lives over completely, including providing their families will all the food they need to live. The Children of Camp Change made homemade french toast sticks and dinner casseroles that could be frozen and given to these families, so they would have a little less to worry about in their first week on their own. This is an example of children stepping up and not just saying they care for others but taking action by doing something to make a positive difference in their lives.
“A little child will lead them”. That is powerful statement. The Children of Camp Change can lead the righteous path to justice and good not only at Christmas but every single day; and that gives us real hope for the future!
Prayer– Lord please open my heart so that I may live and give righteously. Help me to share what God has given to me with others. Amen
Activity– As a family discuss what each person feels passionate about in service to the community to “do” something about issues in the community. Encourage children to think of creative ways to serve.
Challenge– Once the family has decided what their family passions are, we encourage you to go into the community to serve.