In this season of thanks & giving, search your heart about what you can offer to the Lord in appreciation for all that he has done for you.
If we took God more seriously than ourselves (Micah 6:8), how would our attitudes change on a daily basis?
Some punk kid flicked a lit cigarette at my windshield as I slowly & carefully drove around his group of friends standing in the middle of a neighborhood street in the dark. I dropped my kids off at home and then drove back to the block where he was. He and another kid had started walking down the street, so I rolled down my window and told him that I didn’t appreciate him throwing things at my car.
He snapped back, “I didn’t throw nothing at your car.” I resisted the urge to correct his grammar and said I knew he did, and he needed to act his age. He said, “Dude, I’m more mature than you are.”
I was thiiiiis close to coming back with, “That’s DR. Dude to you, punk,” but I told him to cool it off unless he wanted me to find out who his parents were and go talk to them. He shut up, and I drove back home.
Our neighborhood is a pretty peaceful area, which is perhaps why tonight’s episode rattled me like it did. I’d like to think I scared him straight and hopefully didn’t just make him more mad. It gave me flashbacks to a kid named Vernon in my childhood neighborhood. Looking back from a grown-up perspective, I can see that Vernon must have been a very troubled boy in desperate need of mental health services, but back in the day, I only saw him as a menace. He used to throw mayonnaise jars at people’s front doors and even went on a Christmas light cutting spree one year. It’s a wonder he didn’t get electrocuted. The last I heard of him, he was allegedly scheduled to go to juvenile, but his family moved seemingly overnight and left town. I hope he got some help.
What would it look like in our everyday lives if we loved mercy, as Micah 6:8 advises? How might our interactions with others be different?
Micah 6 is like many other Old Testament passages where God’s people griped, repented, & backslid again. We share much in common, don’t we?
What Bible verse(s) are you trying to memorize this week? Try putting the scripture to music and sing it back to God in worship.
In what ways does your everyday life bring honor to God? What are some areas where the Holy Spirit is convicting your heart to improve?
We just celebrated Thanksgiving, but followers of Christ should live in a spirit of thankfulness every day. How will you thank God today?
Many years ago, I memorized Micah 6:8 as a song. The version I learned went like this: “He has shown thee, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee: But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” I had that song in my head this morning, so I looked up the verse again to read it in context.
Micah is considered one of the “minor prophets” of the Old Testament, and the book is tucked between Jonah and Nahum. They may be called “minor,” but there are some major insights within those writings. For example, Micah foretold that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (see Ch. 5). Micah also called out the people of Judah for being dishonest and worshipping idols. In fact, the heading for the passage quoted above is “The Lord’s Case Against Israel” in the NIV translation. God had a bone to pick with his people.
In the first five verses of Micah 6, the Lord reminds the reader of his many righteous acts. He dares the Israelites to backtalk him with complaints about life’s burdens, after all that God has done for them. Then, in verse 6, Micah poses the question of what gifts would be worthy to bring to the Lord as an apology for our sins. He mentions a variety of offerings before he hits the nail on the head in verse 8: God doesn’t want our sacrifices as much as he wants our hearts.
I like the way The Message paraphrases verse 8 (the same verse from the song that I mentioned up above): “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.”
The greatest gift that we can offer to the Lord during this season (or anytime) is ourselves. Romans 12:1 calls this “a living sacrifice” – our everyday lives, devoted to bringing him honor.
Sometimes, starting a new chapter in life means restocking your toolbox. Ask the Lord what spiritual tools you need to stock up on.