Friday, December 21, 2012

God's three requirements

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 6:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "He has shown you, O man what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
- Micah 6:8

Micah's exaggeration in the verse just before today's focus verse is almost humorous:

"Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?"

But the next item is no grinning matter:

"Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression
The fruit of my body for the sins of my soul?"

Micah, using exaggeration, is asking, if the extreme sacrifice of one's own child isn't enough to please God, what is? A footnote article in my Bible tells us about the demands of the law:

"The rabbis analyzed the law and found 613 precepts. Those are reduced to eleven principles in Psalm 15, and down to six commands in Isaiah 33:15. But here they have been condensed into three:
1] Remain just / right in all you do.
2] Cherish compassionate kindness and faithfulness.
3] Commit yourself to live in submission to your God" - William S.Elijahson, New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1210.

Micah is saying that no sacrifice is big enough if the heart is wrong. And a right heart is shown in three simple things: justice, mercy and a humble day-to-day walk with God.

Living with such attitudes is no easier for us now than it was for the Israelites in Micah's day. How can I show (or fail to show) a heart of justice, mercy and humility if:
  • I lightly scrape someone's car in a parking lot. The owner is no where around.
  • The telemarketer who always calls around dinner time is on the phone again.
  • My life takes a path I never envisioned. It includes sickness, heartache and disappointment.

PRAYER: Dear God, please engrave the attitudes of justice, mercy and humble relinquishment on my heart. Help me to not only say 'Yes, yes' with my mouth, but to live out these attitudes when I'm tempted to be dishonest, unkind, bitter or rebellious. Amen.

MORE: It's practical

"The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics. God's life in us expresses itself as God's life, not as human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian is that the supernatural is made natural in him by the grace of God, and the experience of this works out in the practical details of life, not in times of communion with God."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 20.

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