Faithlife Sermons

168 Vision; Micah 6:8, Live Biblically

Vision  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 12 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Intro

In the next few weeks we’ll be talking about SC3. I love to talk about the church. I’ll always be a church-man. When my time in leadership is done, I’ll spend the rest of my time supporting and helping the next generation of preachers.
Foundations
I love the church because Jesus loves the church. He gave his life for the church. The church isn’t a place you go. The church is the redeemed people who are called together to live in a fashion that mirrors Heaven today.
Matthew 28:18–20 NIV
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The church is the gathering of people who are called to live out the realities of love, justice, mercy.
The church is that gathering of people who are called to worship and equality.
I love that SC3 is part of God’s big, beautiful, redemptive, messy, church.
I love to talk, and pray, and dream about the future of SC3. Easy to talk about programs and growth but I’ve come to realize (sorry it took me three and a half years) that we need to approach our task from the ground up.
What are the processes that we go through as we grow as Christians?
How do we grow in love, mercy, and living according to the Bible?
What are the processes to help people get involved and become a part of the church?
2018 will be a year of foundations. Admittedly, there won’t be a lot of specific application today. It’s more of a “what’s coming and why” sermon.

Transition

Transition

Before we start talking specifics, we’re going to step into a old text. This text is important because it shows us God’s heart and what he desires his people to look like.
If you have a Bible, please open it to the Old Testament book of Micah. Chapter 6.
Micah was a prophet during the time of prophets Hosea and Isaiah. It was a dark time in Israel’s history where it seemed people had forgotten the God that had made them great. In large part, they had abandoned the God who promised himself to them.
In this you see God’s heart. What we see here is where our foundational work will begin.
As we step into this text, we have pay attention to who is speaking. If you simply read it straight through, you’ll miss that there are different speakers.

Text

Micah 6:1–2 NIV
1 Listen to what the Lord says: “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. 2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.
Micah announces that God has something to say. The function of a prophet was to speak for God. We tend to think of the prophets telling the future. In reality, only 12% of prophetic verses had to do with the future. The vast majority concern the character of God and what he desires from his creation.
Wording of a lawsuit. God calls on creation itself to be the jury.
I mentioned there was another prophet at time named Hosea. God used Hosea’s life as a sermon to the people. He intentionally had Hosea marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him. Her name was Gomer. Who would want to marry a woman named Gomer?
Micah 6:3–4 NIV
3 “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. 4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.
The point was God’s faithfulness despite Israel’s unfaithfulness. Hosea had to live out the painful picture of God’s unfailing love.
Micah 6:3–5 NIV
3 “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. 4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. 5 My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
He’s saying; remember! Remember, that I brought you from slavery. I provided godly leadership for you . When kings plotted against you and I protected you. These aren’t old tales—we know of these people from extra-biblical accounts as well. God is reminding them of how he has worked in history to help his people
Just get a peek at the incredible heart of God here. He never needs to justify himself or plead his innocence. Yet he loves his people with such an incredible love. The Hebrew word is hesed. It’s the idea of unending, always faithful, love.
Remember all the ways God has provided and protected you through the years. Troubles can’t be blamed on God. He’s never been a burden. He’s always been a helper and provider. He’s always been good.
Now the people respond
Micah 6:6–7 NIV
6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
Micah 6–7 NIV
1 Listen to what the Lord says: “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. 2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel. 3 “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. 4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. 5 My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.” 6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O mortal, 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. 9 Listen! The Lord is calling to the city— and to fear your name is wisdom— “Heed the rod and the One who appointed it. 10 Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house, and the short ephah, which is accursed? 11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? 12 Your rich people are violent; your inhabitants are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. 13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. 14 You will eat but not be satisfied; your stomach will still be empty. You will store up but save nothing, because what you save I will give to the sword. 15 You will plant but not harvest; you will press olives but not use the oil, you will crush grapes but not drink the wine. 16 You have observed the statutes of Omri and all the practices of Ahab’s house; you have followed their traditions. Therefore I will give you over to ruin and your people to derision; you will bear the scorn of the nations.” 1 What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. 2 The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets. 3 Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire— they all conspire together. 4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day God visits you has come, the day your watchmen sound the alarm. Now is the time of your confusion. 5 Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. 6 For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. 7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets. 11 The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. 12 In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. 13 The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds. 14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago. 15 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.” 16 Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf. 17 They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the Lord our God and will be afraid of you. 18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.
Micah 6:7 NIV
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
This response betrays a stark reality; they don’t know God at all.
This response betrays a stark reality; they don’t know God at all.
Should I bribe God? Is a ritual going to be enough? Fake worship always thinks God’s favor can be bought or earned.
Ceremony is never a substitute for obedience and heart.
Year old calves were considered a very expensive offering. Or, should they offer thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Maybe they should up the ante and offer their first-born child. In fact, that was common in the ANE religions of the time. As a matter of fact, Ahaz offered his children as sacrifices to a false-god named Molech. God said, “that never even crossed my mind” .
We may not do the same, but it still creeps in our minds (hopefully not child-sacrifice). It creeps in our minds that we need to buy God’s love. If you want to see how much your loved, simply look to the cross.
The plaintiff has made his case. The defendant has asked, “What’s it going to take.”
Now Micah will step in and answer the question. We go to this verse because it’s here that God bares his heart and we see clearly what he desires from his people.
This verse stands as the motto of the alcove of religion in the reading room of the Congressional Library in Washington.
Micah 6:8 NIV
8 He has shown you, O mortal, 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.
This verse is such a big deal that Jesus quotes it to confront the Pharisees.
Quote—not on screen
Matthew 23:23 NIV
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Our sacrifice could never be sufficient. His sacrifice would be required. We couldn’t sacrifice enough, so he sent his son. We won’t ignore his great sacrifice, or, try to bribe him with trinkets. We’ll worship and live according to his plan.
Our sacrifice could never be sufficient. His sacrifice would be required. We couldn’t sacrifice enough, so he sent his son. We won’t ignore his great sacrifice, or, try to bribe him with trinkets. We’ll worship.
Here Micah gives the answer to we’re supposed to live: act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Or as we’ll put it:
Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly
Act justly—live biblically (I’ll explain this in a minute)
love mercy—love the hurting
Walk humbly—grow in Christ
Next week we’ll look at loving mercy, or, loving the hurting. And not so much in a, hey let’s start a new program, sort of way. We’ll talk about what it means for each of us to grow in loving the hurting. Interestingly, the word for mercy here is hesed.
Then the following week we’ll look what it means to walk humbly and grow in Christ. Honestly, each of these fit together and feed each other.
What processes need to be in place to help us grow in these areas? Because this much is true; we will never grow as a church any more than we will grow as individuals. Something cannot be true of our church if it’s not true in our lives.
As we wrap up today we’ll briefly talk about acting justly, or as we put it, living biblically.
If we talk about justice, we’re talking about what is right and what is wrong. Who is to say what is right and what is wrong?
Should the church of Jesus allow Hollywood to decide what is just and what is not?
How about the media?
How about Washington?
As Christians, we don’t let Hollywood, or the media, or even Washington to tell us what is just. Rather, we view them through the lens of what God has said in his word.
As a church we’ll spend considerable time in 2018 challenging our mindsets and realigning them to Scripture. Again, we could start a program or an outreach but unless we challenge our own thinking, our hearts will never be in it. The work of the church is only as strong as the individuals who trust God to work in their private lives.
Everyday we see justice issues:
opioid epidemic
the #metoo movement
Child trafficking - more than 40,000 cases in the US in the past 10 years.
the me too movement
the overwhelmed foster-care system
Gay marriage
immigration
How do we think about these things? What forms our worldview? What stands as a pillar of truth?The answer of course is God’s word.
Psalm 119:105 NIV
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
I want to invite you to make 2018 a year where God’s word and his ways mark SC3 and person who calls SC3 home.
quote—not on screen
Romans 12:2 NIV
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1–2 NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
This is a call to wise discipleship. We’ll pray that issues of justice would grieve us and move us to wise action. Over the next year—hopefully more than ever—we’ll learn to reform our thinking . We’ll work on learning to grow in ways that bring our hearts in line with God’s. All by his grace. All for his church.
We’ll pray that issues of justice would grieve us and move us to wise action. Over the next year—hopefully more than ever—we’ll learn to reform our thinking . We’ll work on learning to grow in ways that bring our hearts in line with God’s. All by his grace. All for his church.
Quote about churches that last and churches that fail.
We’ll pray that issues of justice would grieve us and move us to wise action. Over the next year—hopefully more than ever—we’ll learn to reform our thinking . We’ll work on learning to grow in ways that bring our hearts in line with God’s. All by his grace. All for his church.
Close with needing God
Related Media
Related Sermons