Thursday, May 7, 2020

What God Really, Really Wants From Me

With what shall I come before the Lord, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”  - Micah 6:6-8

I often quote Micah 6:8. In fact it is one of my favorite verses – along with Joshua 1:8-9, Galatians 6:2, James 1:27, Philippians 4:13 – I guess I have quite a few. Anyway, as I was contemplating what this devotion would be about today, my thoughts went to Micah 6:8 but then I read the verses before it and they gave context to the text. Did you ever consider the word “context”? In Spanish “con” means with – so I guess we could say the other text that goes “with” the text.

Micah was asking what he could give to atone for his transgressions.  What could he do to undo what can’t be undone so he might be in the presence of the holy creator God? The answer – he needed a heart transplant – to love God and love others.  Don’t you think it interesting how often that idea comes up in the scripture.

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

The whole Law hinges on those two commandment. Do justly – love mercy (loving others) Walk Humbly (love God) It is not enough to think good thoughts.  By the way, telling someone to “think good thoughts”  is today’s euphemism to avoid saying, “Please pray for someone.” “Think good thoughts” It makes me sad, really. 

So what does God want from me – from you? To actually love others not just in thought but in deed and to love God sacrificially, not just in thought but in deed. That means less of me and more of God.  We can’t love other people, the way that God intends, unless we first love God the way God demands. 

“I [beg] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  – Romans 12:1-2

God wants your heart totally devoted to Him.  A heart turned toward God and away from the world. And the result will be that we love others the same way that God loves us. With mercy and grace.  Pretty simple really. So why then isn’t it easy? Simply stated – it is our old nature – what we want to do naturally.  Jesus was telling us to do what man cannot do apart from God. Certainly is starts with a decision when we are born again – but continues with really that same decision every day – with every breath we take – choosing God and not the world.  So what will you choose today?

If anyone comes after Me (Jesus), let them deny themselves, pick up their cross (every day) and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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