Micah 6:8

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life?  Have you wondered what His plan for you is?  This verse is all we need to discern that in our lives…To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly.  That is the core of the Christian faith, the central idea to our lives in Christ…the answer to all our questions.

If we break it down into three parts we see that this verse encompasses all our doubts for the plan that God has for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God knows the plan He has in our life; a plan that is not meant for our harm, a plan that is fully developed in His saving power and grace.  In this passage from Micah we see the explanation of how we can greater understand the plan of God…

Do Justice…

Justice (JUHS-tis) – noun – the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness or moral rightness (dictionary.com)

The Justice system in America was set into place to uphold the law; a law which is put into place to provide a moral code for citizens to abide by.    Someone who breaks the law has to suffer the consequences of unjust living through a system which enforces Justice.  Think about the founding of the nation we live in…The Declaration of Independence brings to light the meaning of Justice in a nation that was founded on a biblical premise of Justice…

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

— The Declaration of Independence (1776)

Equality is the message that our forefathers wanted to pass along to a nation who was looking for an identity, looking for equality in a world that was far from equal.  In the eyes of God we are all created equally…Romans 8:29 states, “And those He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.”  Psalm 134 tells us through David’s words that we are fearfully and wonderfully made…and also that God knit us together in our mother’s womb, we were known by God before the world knew us…those He foreknew.  We are the ones mentioned in Romans 8:29…we were all known by God before the world knew us…therefore, we’re the ones who were predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ…so, if everyone was created in the image of Christ…doesn’t that mean that no one is greater than another?  Doesn’t that tell us that we all are created equal?

This equality is only achieved through doing justly…treating others with the respect you feel you deserve…treating others the way you want to be treated.  Jesus was asked once what the greatest commandment was…there were over 600 commandments in the Jewish tradition…600 laws that must be followed.  Jesus’ response was a surprise to everyone when he responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.”  He then followed that with a statement of justice…”and the second is like the first: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  — Do Justice.

Love Kindness…

Loving kindness starts in your heart.  Ministry organizations and missionaries are fully aware of this aspect of the Christian life.  If you look at the ministry of Jesus you see acts of kindness throughout the life that he lived…and also an aspect that is passed on to us in the scriptures.  We see this in Matthew 25:31-46, where Jesus is instructing the disciples on the final judgment.  In this passage we see Jesus explaining to his followers that the way they reacted to others who were suffering: the hungry, the weak, the thirsty, naked and cold.  “What you did for the least of these you did for me.”  Whatever kindness you do for others, you do for Jesus.

The way that we can apply this to our lives is by looking at others as the image of Christ.  Applying that to our lives puts us in the mindset of doing to others the way that we would do for Christ himself.  Think about it…if you were walking down the street in a city and you saw Jesus on the sidewalk hungry, you would feed him…so what’s the difference between him and the guy that is on the side of the street doing the same?  Maybe you see someone sitting on the side of the road in a broken down vehicle, or someone who needs water to quench their thirst…whatever the case may be the fact remains that you would help Jesus if he were there, in that situation…so why is it so hard for us to reach out to others?  We’re created in the image of Christ…so in a round about way…are they not Christ?

Do justice…love kindness…

Walk Humbly…

Humble (HUHM-buhl, UHM-buhl) – adjective – 1. not proud or arrogant; modest. 2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc. or – verb – to make meek.

Think about this…think of a situation in which you realized how little you mattered to the equation…or a situation where you had your pride torn completely apart…where you realized that you had no control and even felt inferior to someone else.  Remember how that made you feel…how it humbled you.

The feeling you get when something or someone humbles you is a feeling that you never forget.  Does this mean that being humbled is a bad thing? Not at all!  What it does mean is that the feeling we felt that day we were humbled is a feeling with which we should always approach our Savior. Becoming humble in the sight of God is something that we have to learn…not just something that we can figure out all at once.

Humility is something that Christians must achieve to fully grasp all that God has for their lives.  We can love God without being humble, but in our humility is where we see God’s true grace and mercy…where we see the full spectrum of God’s ultimate plan for our lives.  Don’t believe me?  Look at 2 Chronicles 7:14, where God says:

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God says, “If my people who are called by my name…”

God is saying to each of us…if you claim my name…you are my people…this is for you, the ones that call yourselves Christians…the ones that use the name of Christ.

He then says, “…humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…”

Basically this…humbling yourself is not seeking for your own gratification…it is seeking the face of God in all situations.  But not only seeking to know God…seeking to turn away from the wickedness and sin that keeps us captive…that keeps us from being humble.  Pride is something that can tear apart friendships, ruin relationships, and most importantly, drive us away from the God who loves us and cares for us.  We have to let go of our pride to be able to understand and accept the fullness of the grace of God.

He then finishes the statement with a promise: “then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Humbleness leads to forgiveness…being humble means we get past our pride and we let go of the things that tie us to this world…we let go of our sin…we repent.  God grants us freedom from the ways of the world, and also grants us peace that passes understanding…giving us freedom from the chains that tie us to our sin.  When we learn to be humble, we suddenly find ourselves able to let go of the things that are wearing us down, because we realized that we need help…and we realized that if we call on God we will find true freedom from those chains.

“…do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God…”

Three concepts that we as Christians must grasp to experience freedom from the chains of this world…three things that we must understand to find fulfillment in the empty life this world offers…and three simple steps that lead to redemption.  Three requirements of God for the lives of those who follow him…three requirements of upright living that is simply put in one verse in the Old Testament:

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 (ESV)

micah6_8

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