What God Requires

‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:8 NIV

The prophet Micah asks: ‘What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give Him? …Should we offer Him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?’ (Micah 6:6–7 NLT)

Do you feel like you can never be good enough to please God? Does religion look to you like a set of impossible demands designed to make us feel guilty? Do you feel religion is about trying to appease a distant deity who takes delight in making us squirm?

Thank God for Micah, who comes along and dispels that notion by telling us, ‘He has showed you, O man, what is good.’ (Micah 6:8 RSV) Because you’ve been redeemed and filled with God’s Spirit, you can:

(1) Act justly. Just simply ‘do right’, even when nobody else is. Why? In order to maintain your confidence before God! (see 1 John 3:21–22) Nothing in your life is more important than that.

(2) Love mercy. Jesus went through life lifting people up, not walking all over them. And His Word says: ‘Go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:37 NIV)

(3) Walk humbly with your God. When God promotes you, your greatest challenge will be to make sure He gets all the glory. Every good thing you have today is a gift from Him; try to remember that!

So the word for you today is: ‘Act justly… love mercy… walk humbly.’

SoulFood: Matt 5:3, Luke 18:9–14, Isa 57:14–21, 2 Sam 7:18–29

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Matthew 5:3 ()

()

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 18:9–14 ()

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He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Isaiah 57:14–21 ()

()

14   And it shall be said,
  “Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstruction from my people's way.”
15   For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
  “I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
  to revive the spirit of the lowly,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16   For I will not contend forever,
    nor will I always be angry;
  for the spirit would grow faint before me,
    and the breath of life that I made.
17   Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,
    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18   I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
19     creating the fruit of the lips.
  Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD,
    “and I will heal him.
20   But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
    for it cannot be quiet,
    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21   There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Isaiah 57:2 ()

()

    he enters into peace;
  they rest in their beds
    who walk in their uprightness.

1 Samuel 7:17 ()

()

17 Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the LORD.

Sun 08 March, 2020


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