Faithlife Sermons

Walking Humbly With God

Tim Bouwsema's Funeral  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What does the Lord really require? Act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

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Tim Bouwsema was a loving, faithful, honest man. He was straightforward. What you saw is what you got. He was a man who trusted God.
There are many authors, probably many more preachers who will tell you, if asked, what you must do as a Christian. You must keep the commandments. You must go to church every Sunday. You must give, time, talents, treasures. You must do this, you must do that. Some people thrive on being told such things, churches are full of people who just want to be told what to do, and when to do it. But some people don’t. Some people wonder if there’s more to it than all that. What does the Lord really require of us? Not what human institutions require, what does God require?
What if I break the commandments, then what? What if I don’t want to go to church? What if I’m using my time, talents and treasures in other areas?
I mean, isn’t there a way to simply boil it all down? Don’t tell me what people require, what institutions require, tell me what God requires.
Tim knew and understood what the Lord required of him.
All God’s commandments,, God’s requirements can be summarised this way, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Love your neighbour as yourself.”
It sounds simple, but it really isn’t. Those two commandments are succinct summaries of an all encompassing command to love. Doing it well requires humility, knowledge and action—the proper heart. That’s what is talking about.
was the passage Tim’s Dad chose for his funeral. It fits Tim equally well. It’s a heart passage.
Micah was a prophet in Israel. He preached during the same time period as Isaiah, and his messages brought about king Hezekiah’s repentance.
The first 8 verses of chapter 6 is a court scene where God makes his case against his disobedient people—the mountains stand in as witnesses. God begins by laying down his case. What charge could they possibly bring against God? What has God done to them? He reminds them of all the good things he did: how he brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of slavery. how he provided leaders in Moses, Aaron and Miriam. He reminded them of all his saving acts.
It reminds me of those conversations parents have with a belligerent child who complains about how unfair his parents are. How you have to explain to the child, “Yes, it’s totally unfair that I provide you with clothing, food, and shelter.”
On behalf of the people, Micah asks, what shall we do in response to these good things? Will burnt offerings be enough? What about calves? What if Israel offered thousands of rams? Or should we give our firstborn? What can pay for our sins?
Don’t we wonder the same thing? Israel was guilty of sin. They had forgotten what God had done for them. They had ascribed God’s good deeds on their behalf to something else, to a god, an idol they made by their own hands. They had begun to worship other gods, preferring them to the one true God. And they were miserable. Confronted with God’s goodness, Micah & all Israel ask, again like a child, “Fine, what do you want from us? Do you want us to sacrifice everything to you?” But what’s good enough? What can we do to show we’re turning back to you? What kinds of sacrifices do you want?” Do you hear the echo of what I asked earlier, “What must I do as a Christian?”
God, is gracious. God is patient, like a loving Father. God wants their hearts. He wants my heart, your heart.
Micah, speaking for the people, asks, “But what’s good enough? What can we do to show we’re turning back to you? What kinds of sacrifices do you want?” Do you hear the echo of what I asked earlier, “What must I do as a Christian?”
God’s answer is different from many preachers and teachers today. He doesn’t give a long list of what must be done. The problem wasn’t in what they were or were not doing. The problem was in their hearts.
God, is gracious. God is patient, like a loving Father. God wants their hearts. He wants my heart, your heart.
They were trying to earn God’s grace. But grace that’s earned isn’t grace, it’s reward, it’s remuneration, it’s a wage.
No, what God wanted from them, and what God wants from us is our hearts. God wants us to give ourselves, our hearts to him. To trust him to provide everything we need. To trust him to lead us to where we ought to go, to do what we ought to do.
He has showed us what is good: God himself is good, taking sinful, lost, broken people and saving them. Saving them again and again, even though they keep turning away.
He has showed what he requires: Love mercy. God expects us to be as kind, as sacrificial, as loving toward others as he is. What we’ve received freely from God, who did not spare his only Son, but sent him as a sacrifice, as a payment for our sins. Jesus, who willingly died in your place, in my place, to set us free from bondage to sin and death. God expects us to show mercy toward others.
So that, from now on, like Tim demonstrated throughout his life, and is still even now, walking humbly with God.
So that, from now on, like Tim demonstrated throughout his life, and is still even now, walking humbly with God.
Walk humbly with God. Know who God is. If you don’t know who he is, ask someone, study and read the Bible. Know who you are. You’re not perfect. Your parents can assure you of that, and if you’re a parent, your children will be sure to tell you!
Walk with God. God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. God walks with you wherever you are: at work, at home, in your neighbourhoods, on holidays, in the mountains, on the prairies. But one thing I’ve learned over the years. God loves walking with his people wherever they are. And most of the time, he gathers people into churches like this one.
Don’t be too proud. Tim was a great man of real trust. He has left a legacy, his wife, his children and their children and their children, still yet to be born. He walked humbly with his God. He walked faithfully with his God. Not flashily, not exuberantly, simply. Let’s do the same. Amen.
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