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Minority Report: Micah 6:8

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God desires actions based on the heart, not duty

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What is it that God requires?

Micah 6:8 NIV84
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.
TRUE WORSHIP… is not left as a matter of OPINION by man
“I feel closer to God walking through the woods”
Micah
“I feel closer to God at the race track”
“I feel closer to God… wherever!”
THEN you get into PASSION...
If you ask Lynn… more people should be at Love Closet
If you ask Peggy… we need more people at the rummage sale
Vacation Bible School… “everyone should be inviting kids”
PASSION - different for everyone… and the QUESTION becomes… what does God expect from ME and what does God expect from EVERYONE?
I BELIEVE that is a question we all have thought about / should think about in our lives
I cannot answer the INDIVIDUAL question… but I can answer the EVERYONE question
Frankly, it’s not a matter of our own taste and cleverness
Today’s verse… stands as the motto of the alcove of religion in the reading room of the Congressional Library in Washington… many politicians have quoted it over the years:
Passage: in a part of Micah where the Israelites are almost on trial… takes the form of a legal proceeding, as if God has taken Israel to court as a witness and complaint to their behavior
And Israel has to give an account…
MP Smith - called it “the finest summary of the content of practical religion to be found in the OT”
Rabbis - a one-line summary of the whole Law
Micah 6:8 NIV84
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.
The New International Version (1984) The Lord’s Case Against Israel

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.

Micah 6:8 NIV84
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.
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XXXIX Micah’s Message for To-Day (No. 2,328)

THIS is the essence of the law, the spiritual side of it; its ten commandments are an enlargement of this verse.

Offerings are no substitute for obedience

In context, the listeners were even asking… IF we sacrifice more, will God be more pleased. They were willing to “up the ante”… but it was not the ante God was looking for.
THIS is not the type of religion God is looking for… one that focuses only on action and not the heart
THAT type of belief… sacrifice without the heart… allows us to ignore what God wants and pretend that we are ignorant of it… because we convince ourselves otherwise

False worshipers think God’s favor, like theirs, can be bought” or earned. They “offer the Lord everything but what he asks for: their loving and obedient hearts.

NOTE: these are ONGOING expectations…

#1: Act justly

Do acts of justice yourself
Do what is fair and just for all
Work for the weak and powerless…
Every person who is a true Christian DOES JUSTICE
If faith doesn’t make a man honest, what good is that faith?
THINK about what this means: It is far more important to DO what’s right to perform the most sacred rites of the faith
According to this passage - it is far more valuable to have great moral character than any outward religious action
THINK of it this way: we are the BRIDE of Christ…
As a husband… which would I prefer: a wife who strives to love me well and do the right thing every day or a wife who gives me a gift every week but doesn’t care how she behaves or acts the rest of the week? I’d prefer the one who does what is RIGHT, even if it meant NO gifts at all

#2: Love mercy

Hebrew word for mercy is HESED… mentioned it briefly a couple weeks ago that this is God’s “faithful covenantal love”…
It’s a word of relationship...
It’s an attitude of obligation...
It’s a word of partnership
Remember God’s mercy toward us
PRACTICALLY: it means we DELIGHT in doing acts of kindness for others
We do this CHEERFULLY...

#3: Walk humbly

Maybe a better translation may be “walk carefully” with your God
God wants us to be careful how we LIVE…
In a world filled with pride and inflated egos… let’s get this one right
SLOW DOWN enough to let God show us what is RIGHT and WRONG… be teachable… allow for correction / criticism
I know we don’t like criticism… to the point that when we are corrected we respond in a defensive tone… even if it wasn’t meant to be criticism
I know I catch MYSELF doing that…
WALKING humbly with our God is DOING SOMETHING
Performance driven people… we want to DO something
Walking with God is DOING SOMETHING
Kristy and I walking…
It’s a perception of God’s presence and being
There is a God… he is near… he is real
And we need to live/act in that truth
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XXXIX Micah’s Message for To-Day (No. 2,328)

I would not advise any of you to try to be humble, but to be humble. As to acting humbly, when a man forces himself to it, that is poor stuff. When a man talks a great deal about his humility, when he is very humble to everybody, he is generally a canting hypocrite.

Old Testament XIV: The Twelve Prophets The Lord Requires the Self

You ask what you should offer: offer yourself. For what else does the Lord seek of you but you? Because of all earthly creatures he has made nothing better than you, he seeks yourself from yourself, because you have lost yourself.

Frankly… it’s easy to lose ourselves
We do not like to admit it… but our hearts can be full with corruption… and it can run deep
We fool ourselves
“Blind spots”…
NOT that Jesus doesn’t cover this… forgive this… but we need to continually be looking inside and growing / developing
God WANTS us to be HOLY
God’s END GOAL is for us to be like CHRIST
It’s too easy to do something else that OFFER ourselves…
EASY to connect holiness with external ceremonies
But God’s worship is spiritual
IF we circle back to #1 from #3 (walk humbly to act justly)… the ONLY way we get to the highest form of character is walking humbly with God
Walking - daily, constant communion with God
Humbly - being teachable, changing… constant activity in becoming more like Jesus
Coaching: “that’s what I did”
Micah 6:8 NIV84
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.
Deuteronomy 10:12–13 NIV84
And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
Micah is appalled by sacrifices and worship that does not match with real spirituality… FOCUS is on social justice and TRUE religion
God still expects obedience
IF you want to measure your spiritual health… THIS is is a good starting point

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Mentioned earlier… ME / EVERYONE question… we need to be careful not to re-invent the wheel… THIS is what God expects… and let’s ENCOURAGE each other to do as such… and know the difference between God’s EXPECTATIONS and our PASSIONS
Cruise… ministry that’s mission is to eliminate abortion in the U.S. in our lifetime… great ministry… letting it ruminate how we can use it here in Jackson
TOO MANY people jump from THIS to THAT… and what God requires:
Act JUSTLY
Love MERCY
Walk HUMBLY with your God
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XXXIX Micah’s Message for To-Day (No. 2,328)

Dear friends, if ever you should think that you have reached the highest point of Christian grace,—I almost hope that you never will think so,—but suppose that you should ever think so, do not, I pray you, say anything that verges upon boasting, or exhibit any kind of spirit that looks like glorying in your own attainments; but walk humbly with your God. I do believe that the more grace a man has the more he feels his deficiency of grace.

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