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.
Timothy was advised to set an example through his faith (1 Tim. 4:12). How can you live out your faith in a way that honors the Lord today?
Are you holding onto any lowercase-L lords that you need to let go of? Ask God to open the eyes of your heart & examine you.
Hezekiah could have begun his reign by merely seeking others’ advice. Instead, he sought to please the Lord and got to work immediately.
Read Psalm 111, then pretend like you are the psalmist and add another sentence: tell God from your heart what he means to you.
How can your attitude and behavior honor God and make a positive impression on others today?
It’s one thing to make a spectacle of oneself on reality TV; it’s another for God’s people to make a spectacle of him by the way they live.
Skim through your checkbook. Seek God’s guidance about your giving/spending habits. How can we honor him with our resources?
Our verse this week encouraged us to be “cheerfully expectant” to serve the Lord. What can you do to honor him today?