Today we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King. It’s an American holiday that is designated each year around his birthday which is January 15th. There are many varied activities today from prayer breakfast(s) to community service events.
As a prophetic minister, I wanted to take time to not only celebrate his birthday, but to share some of his quotes that reflect the man. Dr. King was a prophetic voice to nation during his day. He was committed to the Christian faith and combating social evil and injustice. He changed many lives.
He is definitely a prophetic voice that is needed today. I am of the belief that God raises up prophetic voices such as Dr. King to speak his heart to the nations.
God is concerned about how people are treated and the oppression of his creation. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever more.
Dr. King was passionate about the rectifying of injustices. His philosophy of nonviolence: his belief in a divine, loving presence that binds life. This belief was the force behind his quest to eliminate social evil. What he referred to as “the interrelated structure of reality.” In essence he was saying that whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly:
“All men are caught in the inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I out to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”
We are divinely interconnected – mutually joined together through creation. This is one of my favorite scriptures. God continues to reveal himself to me each time I read it. Acts 17:26-28 ESV says, “And he made from one man (Adam) every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us. In him we live and move and have our being; and as some of the poets (prophets) have said, “For we are indeed his offspring.
I believe that wherever God allotted for anyone His intention was for them to flourish in that place, but because of sin mankind suffers the many inequities brought on by sin.
We are God’s offspring. He is the creator of mankind. The prophets of old stressed that our primary way of worshipping the Creator God as his people is love, justice and righteousness. We cannot substitute religious activities for righteousness or right living. Doing and being righteous (just) is a part of being in a covenant relationship with God. Christians are called to act justly, to love mercy and kindness, and to walk humbly with the Lord.
The church is to be clothed in righteousness. If you have received the gift of salvation you are his dwelling place. His temple where the Holy Spirit resides. 1 Corinthians 6:19 We are all one in Christ.
Justice is important to our Creator – God. He is insulted when his creation is being oppressed. Proverbs 14:31 says, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” I believe we tread on thin ice when we support things that oppresses others. We honor God when we show kindness and mercy to the oppressed.
Dr. King was very concerned with humanity. Below are some of my favorite quotes by Dr. King:
• “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
• “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
• “The time is always right to do what is right.”
• “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
• “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
• “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
• “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Has the church lost it’s prophetic zeal?
“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”
The church is called to be the “salt of the earth and the light of the world.” If taken to heart what Dr. King said, we can drive out this present evil when we begin to live as the salt of the earth and display the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ! We can live out the gospel in such a way that brings the good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18). I believe as do others that the church is the hope of the world.
We have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). More than ever this broken world needs it. We prove to the world that we are Christ disciple by how we love one another (John 13:34-35). It begins with us!
I do believe that we will begin to see God overturning many injustices in 2019.
For any nation to be great and blessed of God repentance, and standing for truth, righteousness and justice is required, and eradicating the evils of poverty, economic injustice, homelessness, human trafficking, drug addiction and more is required. God is the righteous judge.
Psalm 33:4-5 “4 For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love”.
Jeremiah 4:1-2 “If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the Lord.“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast.”
Amos 5:24 “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a righteous never-ending stream”!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.