Thursday, October 27, 2016

God's Requirement

Chuckle: "Just think how much deeper the ocean would be if sponges didn't live there."
Quote: "I love to be in the company of people who are willing to make a sacrifice to hear the word of the Lord." --Elizabeth Gunn Witkowski
"What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8 NIV).
No doubt you have often thought about what God expects from you, and realized that you can't earn God's love and acceptance no matter how hard you try. No, God loves you unconditionally and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more and nothing you can do to make Him love you less. However, we do know we can live in a manner that honors Him, pleases Him, and shows our love for Him. The prophet, Micah, penned some important guidance and instruction for God's people on this subject.
People have tried everything they can think of to please God. "What can we bring to the Lord to make up for what we've done? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and tens of thousands of rivers of olive oil? Would that please the Lord? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for the sins of our souls? Would that make him glad? (vv. 6-7 NLT). No, but our text tells us what God requires of us as His children.
First, we are to act justly. This means to do what we know is right. God wants us to be people of integrity -- showing honesty in all our dealings -- and showing love and compassion for others without partiality. Pleasing God requires each of us to be rightly related to others. Our actions must reflect kindness and fairness toward all people, not just a privileged few.
Second, we are to love mercy. The word "mercy" means to show grace, love, and compassion even when it is not deserved or expected. It means giving others what they do not deserve, even if they have wronged us, in the same way that God has shown mercy to us. Our hearts must love mercy rather than demanding justice for ourselves. Jesus said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" (Matthew 12:7 NIV).
Third, we are to walk humbly with God. To humble ourselves before God means to see ourselves as God sees us. We will recognize our total dependence upon Him for our salvation, our strength, and our peace of mind. Every action we take must come from our relationship to God, making Him Lord as we humbly serve Himq. We humbly serve God by being servants to others. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up" (James 4:10 NIV).
In our efforts to please God, and show our love for Him, we would do well to examine ourselves in these three areas on a regular basis. Do you treat others fairly? Do you show mercy even to those who wrong you? Are you constantly learning humility? If you answered, "yes" to these questions, you are showing your love for God as you honor and please Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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