Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 28 – God’s basics

Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8 HCSB)

Acting justly basically means living in fairness, which is not as easy as it sounds.  If we treated God fairly, we’d be far more devoted to Him and willing to surrender to His desires and commands.  He surrendered His all for us, and keeps loving us even when we don’t deserve it.  It’s only just and fair that we live a life of submission to Him.  In Matthew 25, He teaches that it’s impossible to love Him if we don’t show compassion, mercy and love to others: “For as much as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” (vs. 40)  Those who think that acting justly means donating to the poor or writing large checks in church while ignoring the needs of those around them at the same time are missing what God requires. 

Faithfulness has become a rare commodity. “Why do I feel so bad after your sermons, pastor?” I’ve been asked.  “Why do I leave those other churches feeling so happy, isn’t that what church should be?”  Nope.  Encouragement, rebuke, conviction, teaching, challenge, inspiration, compassion… God’s Word has all of these combined.  And whoever is faithful to God embraces them all – the joy of being uplifted and strengthened, and the joy of being corrected and convicted of painful changes, knowing that they lead to greater blessings. But whoever want the pleasure of marriage or of parenting a child without life-long faithfulness, just tears those relationships apart, and usually beyond repair.  When we love faithfulness to God and to others, we weather the ups and downs, the mountaintops and the rebukes.  We never give up, and find even more of God as we grow. 

Walking humbly with your God is the safest place to be in the world.  You could be lost in an unfamiliar city among total strangers, but be peaceful and secure because you are bonded together with Him.  Sometimes walking humbly feels like blindly walking into an uncharted wilderness.  But you faithfully obey what you know He asks of you, even though you can’t see beyond the nearest bend in the road.  He is your master, and you are His bondservant.  You’re never abandoned or forgotten, and your needs are provided for because you live in loving, humble obedience. 

These are His three requirements.  Most of the time it’s the small but determined choices to live them out that make the biggest impact in heaven.  Sacrificing has its time and place, but grandiose gestures of devotion are meaningless if we can’t even live these basic requirements of justice, faithfulness and walking in humility before Him.  Right before this passage in verse 7, Micah asks: “Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my firstborn for my transgression, the child of my body for my own sin?”  We can’t buy a relationship with God, we can only join in one as we accept His terms. Take a good inward look to see if you’ve been sincerely striving to live out what He asks. 

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