This is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT
One by one, they filed into the classroom and took their assigned seats—then waited for my instructions.
The first day of school is always interesting—especially for sixth graders entering the new world of middle school. They’ve heard the horror stories from their older siblings or from older peers who’ve already experienced the journey.
As they sat with blank stares on their faces and anxiety in their eyes—waiting for me to make the first move—I took my place behind the podium. Since I teach Language Arts—which consists of four courses—my requirements are normally lengthier. I took the syllabus in hand and spewed my expectations of them and also the requirements for doing well in the class.
Their facial expressions didn’t change much. Some were in shock. Others looked at their neighbor with disbelief. Only a few seemed excited.
According to the prophet Micah—and the entire biblical message—God has requirements also. The requirement for having a relationship with Him is belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made on Calvary’s cross. But beyond that, more requirements follow—not for salvation, but as a result of it. God expects right living, mercy, and humility.
Doing the right thing is easier said than done. My mind excels at rationalization and justification. Convincing myself a normally forbidden action is acceptable under the circumstances isn’t difficult. Joseph could have done it when the boss’ wife invited him to come to bed with her (Genesis 39). He was a slave who’d been betrayed and sold by his brothers. Maybe this would make him feel better. But he refused. God outlines the right He wants us to live by in His Word.
God wants mercy. The kind He showed us when He rescued us from our sins rather than letting us die in them. The type He shows daily by giving us good things instead of what we might deserve. Mercy turns our eyes and hands away from ourselves and to others.
God also wants humility. Not thinking less of ourselves than we should but also not imagining more about ourselves than we ought to. Humility helps us remember that while we can do all things with Christ we can do nothing apart from Him.
God’s requirements are designed to make your life better. Start living by them today.
Tweetable: Are you living by God's requirements?
Prayer: Father, give us the courage to take up the mantels of right living, humility, and mercy.