What does the LORD require of you but to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8b (NKJV)
Maybe the greatest beauty of the Christian Faith is it’s meek simplicity. It is true that you can multiply ad nauseam the theology, doctrines, practices and controversies of the church making the most simple things complicated. Over the centuries, well-meaning men have excelled in the art of making straightforward things complex. But ultimately, the question that should most intrigue the heart of the true believer is: What does God require of me?
The passage before us offers a wonderful summary of both God’s demands and desires for His people. And it is presented here in plainness and eloquence in three equally significant parts; do justly, love mercy and walk humbly. Imagine what the Christian life would look like if we but just consistently and faithfully followed these? How different would your life be?
The purpose of this short devotion is to remind the reader to keep their eye on those aspects of their faith and life that most matter to the Lord. These three requirements here in Micah essentially sum up the law to love God and love your neighbor. While engaging in the more weightier matters of our faith has its place and is important, we must begin and retain the simplicity of Christ as well, to do justly, love mercifully, and walk humbly with the Lord.
[They] honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. ~ Matthew 15:8a (NKJV)
The Christian faith is first and foremost a matter of the heart. If one thinks living for Christ is simply, or primarily, going through a set of religious rites and rituals, they have missed the point entirely. Sadly, we can convince ourselves otherwise. Many do practically, though maybe unintentionally, honor Jesus with their lips while their hearts are far from Him.
The Lord made this clear even under the Old Covenant with Israel. He desires our heart. Though true believers in the Lord Jesus should honor Him with their lips, it should be from a heart that is drawn near to Him. It isn’t either or, it’s both. May we not depend on our outward conformity as the basis for our experience with God, rather may we be inwardly convicted and surrender our whole hearts unto Him honoring the Lord heart, mind and soul.
[Y]ou meant evil against me; but God meant it for good… ~ Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
The story of Joseph’s rise to prominence in Egypt is filled with unlikely twists and turns. It begins when Joseph receives the covenant blessing of Jacob indicating his rise as the leader of God’s people, Israel. But because of the jealously and hatred of his brothers again him, Joseph’s life would take an unexpected turn towards violence, suffering, slavery and attempted murder.
Though his brother’s sought Joseph’s demise, he remained faithful to the Lord, and as a result, God favored and blessed him, even in a foreign land. Joseph rose to great power in Egypt. So that after the death of their father, and during a terrible famine, Joseph’s brothers went up to Egypt to plead for Joseph’s help. And oddly enough, Joseph was in the perfect place to assist.
What Joseph’s brother meant for evil against their brother, God meant for good. Their jealousy drove them to want to kill Joseph, to drive him away, and to prevent him from taking his rightful place as their leader. Yet God preserved Joseph and used him mightily despite them. Joseph remained faithful to God through it all and the Lord blessed him for it.
Sometimes everything can seem to be working against you. It can feel like God has let you go and the world is winning. Still remember, even in our darkest hour, God can bring good out of it. He can bring good out of pain, sorrow, and affliction. Maybe today you are in the pit of life, and like Joseph, with little reason to hope. Yet, be faithful; trust in the Lord. For what others mean for evil against you, your good and faithful God can mean ultimately for your good.
When we are weak
When strength has failed
When life seems bleak
When we're assailed
Then it's time
To lean on Him
When all around
Appears most grim
Christ our hope
Our Rock Our Way
He draws us near
When we're astray
What faith can do
When placed in Him
His love's for you