Thursday, July 01, 2010

What does the Lord require?

My stepmom gave me this sign a couple weeks ago, because this verse in Micah is one of my life verses. One I've memorized, and one I've tried to live by. Because really, it pretty much covers it all, doesn't it?

What does the Lord require of you?

Act Justly - To me, this means choosing every day to make choices that line up with the Word of God. The Bible tells us how to live, not so that we are mired down in legalism, but so that we can be free to fully live this life God has given us. His rules are for our good, to keep us safe, and to keep us connected to Him, so that He is free to will and to act in our lives. Acting justly also means that we treat others fairly, that we stand up for those who have no voice, that we fight injustice, and that we do not show favoritism, but treat everyone as one who is created and loved by God.

Love Mercy - This is such a beautiful and poetic way to say that we should love one another, and forgive each other, and give people the benefit of the doubt. Mercy means that we do not repay people what they deserve, but we offer a second (or third, or fourth) chance. It seems daunting to think about truly living this way, but when we remember that it is only by God's mercy to us that we can even come into His presence, when we remember the love that sent His only son to earth and His mercy that takes on the punishment that should be ours, when we remember that we love because He first loved us... it sure makes more sense that we should treat others that way too. None of us deserve a relationship with a holy God... but all of us can have one because of His love and His mercy. With all the love and mercy He has poured upon us, how can we treat others any differently?

Walk Humbly with your God - This is, perhaps, the hardest concept of all to wrap our heads around. In our society, we are told that the goal is to elevate ourselves. We judge those who are "beneath" us... and we envy those who are ahead of us in the rat race. We brag on ourselves, and puff ourselves up, and demand the respect that we think is owed us. But God, in His infinite wisdom, tells us who belong to Him to humble ourselves, and walk with Him. And again, though that doesn't seem to make sense when we look at the way the world works, it makes all the sense in the world when we recognize and accept one simple and profound truth... God is God, and we are not. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, able to do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine, and everywhere all the time all at once. There isn't a person on Earth who can make those claims. So because He is exalted so high above the earth and everyone in it... it just makes sense to humble myself and acknowledge His authority. And when I walk with Him, in humility, I am yielding control of all the little (and big) details of my life to Him. He, and He alone, can handle it all.

Can you imagine what would happen if all of us who are called by His name would really live Micah 6:8? What a witness that would be to the hurting world around us!

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