What Does the Lord Require?
There is often a sense of nostalgic when quoting Micah 6:8. This is deemed an important ideal to the human spirit, regardless of religious or political persuasion. But unpack this a bit. What are the implications for you and me? What are the expectations of the Lord for us?
The setting is a discussion of what might be pleasing to God. Is it a set of actions that we construct? Will the Lord be pleased with sacrifice? Will He be sufficiently pleased with religious activity, such as going to Church, serving others when it is convenient, or giving now and again, or even tithing?
Notice that this is an action packed list of expectations.
Act justly and to
love mercy and to
These are all proactive words. These are to be major life initiatives, a focus of our lives, out of our routine, out of our comfort zone. The Lord expects that we will stretch—to act, to show mercy all the while walking with in humility, that is, with no hint of self-importance. These are not occasional activities. They are required.
There are plenty of other spots in scripture where we are asked to be on the offensive to serve others; to pursue skillful living. Here are some from Proverbs 13, for example:
Offer knowledge (mentor)
Put humility before honor.
Be a listener; heed correction.
Dialogue with God, that is prayer. This pleases Him.
Take delight in encouraging others; give thoughtful uplifting responses to others.
Have a happy heart; be positive; focus on what you have, not what is missing; look cheerful
Fear, that is respect the Lord. He is the one that will be our judge; who will issue life's report card.
All of these are ways to wear the mantle of acting justly, mercifully and walking humbly. Sign up today or review your profile and ministry matches to see ways the Lord and others can be served in such a way that the Lord requires.
Nelson Malwitz, February 2011