Thursday, February 7, 2019

Three Things

Submitted by Lara Cook
He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8
February 15-17, 2019, our middle school and high school students will be involved in DNOW.  DNOW is a weekend of discipleship, worship and fellowship for our students, during which many lives are transformed.  Their focus for this discipleship event will be the verse above.  Act. Love. Walk.  Three signs that we are being transformed from the inside out by Jesus. Pray for our students and their leaders as they spend this important time together. 
Micah was upset with the condition of the world, much like we may feel with all that goes on currently in our world.  God was not happy either and the Book of Micah is a collection of prophecies that the Prophet of God, Micah, spoke about Jerusalem and Samaria, the capital cities of Israel and Judah.  Samaria and Jerusalem were responsible for the widespread idolatry and rebellion that had spread through the Kingdoms.  In the beginning of the book of Micah, it starts out with warnings to Samaria and Jerusalem that God is angry because of their sin.  Micah gave them the bleak vision in chapter 1, verses 2-4: Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.   The leaders of these kingdoms were the big problem. They were corrupt, selfish and worshipping other gods, causing the people in their kingdoms to worship idols and seek other gods.  
Destruction came just as Micah had prophesied.  God gave them a warning.  He always gives warnings, so we will not have to be subject to consequences and punishment.  But often we, like Samaria and Jerusalem, don’t heed His warnings.  When we don’t heed His warnings, consequences are certain, not because He hates us, but because He loves us.  But after God’s discipline comes restoration wrapped in His loving grace.  
Further on in the book, Micah begins to speak of restoration for Israel, and proclaims the coming of a new leader – out of Bethlehem.  This leader will build a kingdom of peace, justice, and mercy.  But while they are waiting for this leader to arise, they have work to do.  Micah gives them three things that God requires that will build Godly character in their lives while they are waiting:
Act Justly– Simply translated this means to do what is right.  Be fair.  Treat everyone the same.  Do the right thing even if the wrong thing is easier.  Take care of those who can’t take care of themselves and protect them. Be honest and tell the truth.  We experience God’s justice and mercy in our own lives first and then spread it to others.  
Love Mercy– Don’t you love the mercy you have been shown?  We are called to extend mercy and forgiveness to others just as we have been shown boundless mercy and forgiveness from God.  We certainly do not deserve what He gives us – mercy, forgiveness, grace, love and salvation.  Even when we rebel, He still loves us and shows us mercy.  
Walk Humblywith Your God– Walk humbly with God knowing that He is our Heavenly Father and King of Kings, who created the heavens and the earth.  He is the Creator and we are His creation.  He is holy and pure, and we are sinful human beings.  While we cannot be equals with a holy God, we can still relate to Him as a friend.  This holy God invites, adores, and pursues us to walk with Him, totally undeserving, through this jagged life.  There is no better place to be.
I guess this story has come full circle since we are also waiting on this leader that will come, only this time it will be His second coming.  In the meantime, we can follow Micah’s good advice above to Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.  
Scripture to Claim:
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

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