Such a wonderful message form National Day of Prayer!
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:16
Liberty and justice. If you’ve ever assimilated these words into the same sentence or verbalized “liberty and justice for all” – you’re one of many millions of Americans who have spoken these five words with patriotic fervor. There’s often even a compelling sense of oneness which inspires Americans when the words “liberty and justice” fluidly roll off their tongue reciting the final line in the “pledge of allegiance” to the flag.
Once the National Day of Prayer Task Force unveiled its 2021 theme to commemorate the 70th National Observation, it triggered a desire in me to understand the distinction between justice and liberty. I obeyed the Holy Spirit’s nudge to study to be an individual who could correctly “handle” the truths God would reveal to me:
- Liberty means freedom from physical restraint or arbitrary control
- Justice refers to the act of being fair based on natural law, religion, or equity
In the Greek language, the word for “liberty” appears ten times and signifies three meanings. Galatians and 2 Corinthians invites Christ-followers to allow liberty or freedom in Christ to inspire us to live as we “should” and not as we “please.”
Justice appears throughout the entire Bible showing the concept of ruling correctly based upon the law. Moses was the “Law-giver” who delivered God’s law, beginning with the Ten Commandments. Jesus said, “One greater than Moses stands before you.” The author of Hebrews later wrote that Jesus is far superior to the law giver (Moses) and even the law itself, “For He has come to receive greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of the house deserves greater honor than the house itself!” (Hebrews 3:3)
Justice and liberty are decidedly DIFFERENT realities. Only a rare human being would advocate for true justice when they would face consequences of personal loss. Not many people cheer for justice when they recognize their guilt – our innate human self-preservation gene clamors for mercy, not justice. This truth reveals why anyone who has been allowed to escape the consequences of their guilt and the justice system should be radically joy-filled. Understanding just how vastly different “justice” and “liberty” truly are reveals surpassing brilliance of how beautiful Jesus transforming grace truly is! It shines His light on the subject and their “guilt” and allows others to recognize the extent we’ve been dramatically rescued because to the light of Jesus’ astonishingly bright LOVE light!
Pray with us, Father, we thank You for Your amazing, love, life and liberty. We thank You that the justice that You demanded from us because of our guilt, has been paid in full by Jesus. That when we trusted in Christ, we were ‘washed, we were sanctified, we were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’ Liberty and justice, accomplished, finished, done. We thank You and praise You in Jesus name. Amen.
Director of Ministry Development
National Day of Prayer Task Force
About the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
To learn more, or to find a National Day of Prayer event in your community, visit www.NationalDayofPrayer.org.