If you are looking for a fresh approach to live the gospel through compassion and justice, then Restore 117 is for you.  Here are practical ways we will challenge you to think through how to live the gospel through compassion and justice.

Where the Cross Meets the Street

Noel Castellanos leads the Christian Community Development Association.   Noel’s book, Where the Cross Meets the Street, challenges us to incarnational living.  As Jesus wrapped himself in human flesh and moved into the hood, so should we.  The cross means more than we’ve let it mean. Proclaiming the gospel and forming the faithful: these are the most practiced disciplines of the evangelical church.

As central as these disciplines are, however, they are only part of the story.  The neglect of the gospel’s full implications for the world has contributed to the erosion of communities and the languishing of poor and other marginalized people.  Noel demonstrates the strengths and limitations of a narrowly focused church and broadens our imaginations to embrace a gospel that proclaims Christ and forms disciples.

This life-giving gospel also demonstrates compassion, confronts injustice and restores individuals and communities to wholeness. This is the whole work of the cross; this is the privilege of those who follow the Word made flesh.

Noel opens Restore 117 on this topic and will inspire you to think differently about what it means to live the gospel in community.   Get a signed copy of this powerful book and then attend a workshop on how to implement his challenge.

Do Likewise:  Live the Gospel through Compassion & Justice

I deeply appreciate my friend and his insights on entering into communities with the gospel while doing justice and bringing shalom.  I am privileged to lead a workshop building on this theme.

Each participant will receive a free copy of Do Likewise.  As I indicate in the introduction to those materials, many ministries exist to meet the important compassion needs of the poor (food, clothing, shelter, etc.), but the challenge of Do Likewise is to go deeper. Often assistance in these areas treats symptoms rather than addressing the underlying justice issues. Doing compassion with justice helps restore individuals and right broken systems.

Justice is love in action.  We enter into the brokenness of this world to see people restored.  This restoration begins with relationship with Christ, but extends to relationship with community.  We cannot walk past neighbors on life’s Jericho Road.  Perhaps you have been on that road, or know someone who has.  The injured neighbor in Luke 10.

Religious people may have passed you by.  They may have even judged you for a broken family, lost job, criminal past or other reason.  I hope a good Samaritan stopped, but I know that the Great Samaritan did.  Jesus stopped.  He sacrificed everything so you could be restored.  He invites us to be good Samaritan, follow His example, and do likewise.

Why should I care about justice?

In our time together we will explore what it means to live the gospel and justice.  We will wrestle with the reality that God cares about justice and so should we.  We’ll start with a quiz to see how well we understand the lack of access to our justice systems.  Video, stories of our neighbor and an examination of God’s word will inform our dialogue together.

Together we will pursue God’s heart.  As Jeremiah says, “to give justice and help to the poor and needy…isn’t that what it means to know me? Says the Lord.” Jer. 22:16 NLT.

We will explore the challenges that prevent us from doing justice and discuss ways to go deeper.  These are practical steps for application.  You can replicate this discussion in your church or neighborhood.  Gather friends and go deeper in how to live the gospel through compassion and justice.

To explore more of all that is available at Restore 117 visit Restore117.com.  Join us and gain practical insights and direction for your passion.  God created you for a purpose.  That purpose is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.  Mic. 6:8.  Explore that with us on June 8 at Judson University in Elgin.

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