Wednesday, January 5, 2011

There It Is!

Don't you just love it when you are reading your Bible and suddenly the words jump off the page and you get hit squarely between the eyes with God speaking directly to you? I do. I was doing my devotions tonight and came across this verse:
 "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)

There it is! If you've ever wondered what God expects of you, there it is. He expects us to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him. To act justly means that we have to treat those around us fairly. We have to give people the benefit of a doubt, to look for the best in them, and not be suspicious of their motives. We have to be honorable and unbiased in all of our interactions with those who cross our path. Our motives have to be pure so that we honor God with our lives.

God doesn't just tell us to be merciful but to 'love' mercy. We need to practice compassion and forgiveness to those who have wronged us. When we love mercy, then mercy becomes part of our every day life. Mercy is not condescension. No, mercy is having an open heart and overlooking offenses. God shows us mercy every time we sin and repent and He forgives us once again, and again, and again, and again, (you get the point). He is being merciful to us and how can we then not be merciful to those around us? We do not deserve God's forgiveness, yet He gives it to us. We need to love mercy so much that we willingly forgive others and extend mercy to them.

The Lord also tells us to walk humbly with Him. He wants us to remember that He is God and we are not. That's pretty simple but think about it. His ways are so much higher than our ways. He knows more than we ever will know. He created all things. Yet sometimes we get puffed up and demand our own way and think that God owes us something. Good grief! God doesn't owe us anything, yet He gives us everything that matters. He gave His only Son as the payment for our sins. He provided a way for sinful mankind to be reunited with a Holy God.

When we are walking humbly with God we will not be arrogant or prideful. Instead we will respect and honor God because we are the creation and He is the Creator. Sometimes I think we forget that. When we pay lip service to God, He knows. When we are fooling everyone else around us, we're not fooling Him. He knows our heart. When we think that we've got it all together, He knows the difference. He's God and He wants us to walk with Him.

There are those who will go through life, jumping through man-made hoops in an effort to please God. God is not looking for pomp and circumstance. He is not looking for religious ritual. He is looking for relationship with His creation-- us. So when we read something in His Word like this verse in Micah, let's sit up and pay attention. Here God is telling us exactly what He wants from us. He's taking all the work out of  wondering what would please Him. He's speaking to us directly. That is an amazing thing! There it is!

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