Wednesday, April 13

What the Lord Requires

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. --Micah 6:8


Some people think that the Bible is full of rules and statements that prohibit Christians from experiencing anything fun. Christians are required to forgo certain worldly pursuits, and God does ask that we give up certain things in order to walk more closely with Him, but the Bible is much more than just a book of regulations. The Bible is, to put it more accurately, a description of God's love for His people. The commandments and rules are there for us to understand Him better so that we can come before Him on His terms. Today's verse is a generalization of the main things that we can do to show God that we love and serve him.

God doesn't necessarily care how exactly you serve Him; He just wants you to be serving Him faithfully. God doesn't care how many Christian friends you have; He cares that you are spending time together with them in regular fellowship, worshipping Him. Because each relationship with God is as unique and personal as the individuals who make up the Christian church, I think that there is no "preferred" method of serving God. The most important thing is that you serve Him on His terms and that your faith is demonstrated in a way that is in accordance with God's word, the Bible.

How does that relate to today's verse? What does each of part of the verse mean?

For us to do justice means that we take our knowledge of the Bible and use it to make decisions-- all decisions. When we commit to using God's word and seek to apply it consistently, we can be certain that the Lord blesses us by giving us wisdom and discernment in a variety of situations. We must judge things based on what we know from scripture to be true.

Love mercy-- God extended the ultimate mercy to us, and His love for us is unconditional. He loves us in spite of all the mistakes we have ever made. He loves us just as we are, and desires so much to be with us that He sent His only son to pay the penalty for our sins. He did this in order that we might be with Him forever in heaven. Although we can never pay Him back, we can make a conscious effort to extend a fraction of that mercy to others. We should love people for who they are and not for what we think we know about them. We need to accept them as they are, just as Christ accepts us.

We also need to walk humbly with God. Walking with Him involves spending time with Him and learning from Him. The best way to do this is to spend time reading our Bibles and praying. In order to be humble, we need to understand how little we really have to present to God.

God has shown us what he requires of us. It is up to us to fulfill those requirements on a regular basis in response to the outpouring of God’s love for us. The character of God is loving, just, and merciful. When we emulate those same characteristics in our individual lives, we reflect the love of God to the world around us.

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