SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014
“DYNAMIC DISCIPLESHIP: In the Real World!”
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: “Freedom Sunday”
- Awareness: for those in the world AND our own alertness!
The issue of human trafficking doesn’t make for an easy sermon topic. There are no handy passages listed for it in the average concordance, and very little awareness of it amongst the average congregation. But with over two million people being trafficked around the world each year (50% are CHILDREN!), this is an issue which we need to find a ‘Christian response’ to, and that response has to be deeply rooted in the Scriptures, in who God has revealed himself to be, and in what he expects of us, his people. We don’t act to stop human trafficking because it is the latest craze, or even because it is something that needs doing. We do it because it is a preoccupation of God’s heart. We take the lead from him.
1. Our God is the REAL DEAL.
Our motivation to act and pray on matters of injustice should always come from an understanding of who God is.
• Exodus 34:6-8 the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
He is gracious, compassionate, loving and just
• Jeremiah 31:4,10, 23-25 & 33 “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.’ 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks.25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
He is in the process of restoring his broken world; the momentum of his Kingdom is towards freedom, healing and salvation
• Isaiah 42:4, 6-7, 21-22 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth… to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness… But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them, they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.”
He does not leave his creation to its own devices; he actively works on behalf of those who suffer. If our motivation is rooted in God’s character, it will be both deep and long-lasting.
2. Fallen mankind is the REAL PROBLEM.
Despite God’s goodness, humankind has ignored his intentions and distorted his creation.
• Galatians 5:17-21 (acts of sinful nature) The sinful nature has a tendency to be selfish and corrupt.
• James 1:14-15 ‘Outward’ sin is born in our attitudes
• 2 Samuel 12:9 Even the godliest people sometimes get tempted to treat other human beings as objects (i.e. David and Bathsheba,)
VID: “NBCBayAreaFamily”(3:23) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa_Wo4hbh50
3. How does the real God react to the REAL ISSUE of human trafficking?
The Bible doesn’t provide a nice, compact discourse from God on the subject, but his nature and character leave us in no doubt as to how he feels about the trafficking of human beings.
• Psalms 94:1-11 and 146:5-7 Rescuing and caring for the poor and oppressed is intrinsic to God’s very nature
• Luke 4:18-21 This desire to rescue characterizes his interaction with humanity; Jesus’ mandate was all about reaching the poor, the deceived and the enslaved
• Matthew 26:14-16 So strong is God’s compassion for the used and abused that he chooses to identify completely with them; Jesus himself was trafficked
(Judas sells for 30 silver pieces)
4. How should we REALLY RESPOND to human trafficking?
A ‘Christian response’ to this issue is a response which takes the issue as seriously as God takes it. What grieves him should also grieve us – and cause us to be different. “COM-PASSION”
• vv4-6 MOVE IT! – We must be ready to change, and to let God reset our agendas
• vv14-15 SPEAK IT! – We must be different in our attitudes: not allowing prejudice, arrogance or selfishness to creep into our speech and actions
• vv16-17 PRAY IT! – We must be ready to let God’s compassion move us to deep, heart-felt prayer, broken over the broken!
• vv21-24 STOP IT! – We are called upon to do whatever it takes (with our time, energy and finances) to bring about justice for those who need it
VID: “My Name Is Katie” (2:46) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPY9ITWuf7E
RESPONSE: HE KNOWS MY NAME / CLOSER: ALL HAIL THE POWER