February 14, 2015

Micah 6:8 He has showed 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.

I preached on this verse not many months ago, and it remains one of the most imminently “preachable” verses in the whole Bible. The whole passage from verse 1 takes apart the folly of trying to earn standing with God through human effort and religious ritual. We tend to complicate things so badly! Micah here distills the whole Bible on a practical level. We know the First and Second Commandments, as specified by Jesus, (Matthew 22:37-40) but we often have trouble grasping what loving God and loving our neighbor looks like. Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) to help us understand it, but that could be said to be an illustration of this verse from Micah. Doing justice and loving mercy are how we are to relate to those around us, but it is all to be on the foundation of walking humbly with God, recognizing His love for us and loving Him in return. The Bible always requires practical application. If we fail to apply it we are only deceiving ourselves, as James said so famously. (James 1:22) We really don’t apply it very well, which is why humility is an absolute requirement. Everyone who has been genuinely great in the kingdom of God has also been humble. There have been those who have “made names for themselves” among men, but the question remains whether they are acknowledged by God at all. Jesus had some very pointed words on that subject. (Matthew 7:21-23) We are to walk with God in grateful humility at all times. If we will do that, He will lift us up. (1 Peter 5:6)

I have had the privilege over the years of rubbing elbows with many “big name” people, and I have seen first hand the truth I’ve just written. The question remain, how well do I practice it myself? If I set myself up as a judge of those who fail to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God, then I am certainly not doing any of those things! I am to proclaim truth, but always as someone who needs that truth as much as those to whom I am proclaiming it. I am to love God and love my neighbor, but always as a reflection of the love God has for me, because I could never generate that love sufficiently in myself. The Lord has poured His Word into me and continues to do so morning by morning, but if I fail to live that out in faithful, practical application, it does me no good, even if it manages to bless those to whom I communicate it.

Father, thank You for this clear, strong word. Help me live it out indeed! Thank You for the conference that has just concluded. My tank is full, so to speak, but I’ve got to process all of that fully and apply it practically or it is meaningless. I am to communicate it to the flock and to whomever else You indicate, but that’s got to be in the framework of receiving and applying it myself. Thank You for modern technology, so that I’ll be able to watch the DVDs again and again, once they arrive. Show me with whom I am to share those, as well. May I be a doer of Your Word on every level, so that it may accomplish everything for which You send it, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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