Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Micah 6:7&8

Micah 6: 7&8

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?  Shall I give my first born for my transgression, My own child for the sin of my soul?  He hath showed thee, O man, what is good;  and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

What does it take to live life as a Christian?  One word, grace. You can not try to be a Christian. You can not act like a Christian. You can not earn your Christianity. You did nothing to deserve it. In fact, the only thing we all deserve is the outcome of our sin. However,  God's grace removed sin's end game. That grace, was of course, provided through Christ. The grace of Jesus Christ is allows us to live the life of a Christian. This passage paints an intensely dramatic illustration that there is nothing the author can afford that is worthy of God's saving grace. Not thousands of rams to sacrifice, or ten thousand rivers of oil, which would have had immense value in the time of Micah. Even offering his own child in exchange for amnesty falls short. A repulsive idea and yet speaks profoundly of how desperately the author seeks to achieve a relationship with His Lord. Of course, we know God would never expect such an offering from us. But God did provide it for us. His son paid the ultimate price to enable us direct route to God's mercy. Many would try to convince you works define Christianity. Others would implore your Christianity can be lost. As if, it was you who found it. Finally, some say Christianity is a choice. How does a corpse chose to live? A corpse you say. Yes, in sin, we are dead to God's love and purposes. We have no desire to serve God or submit to Him in any way, shape, or form. We are in essence spiritual corpses. When Jesus opens our heart to His love through His grace that we begin to live, ressurected by and with Him. Before that, we had no choice, sin controlled every step we took. We were enslaved to it. I am amazed that some still profess free will. How is someone who is dead to Christ and bound by sin, free?  Even more so, what choice is available to someone who is blinded to anything but their own sin? Our will is freed, when Christ saves us from our sin. Then we understand what the choice is; to serve Him or serve the habits of our old, corrupt self. This verse is a testament to these facts. Verse 8 states; He (God) showed thee, O Man, (us), what is good. If we read on, we see a pattern of behavior that follows salvation in the statement, "what the Lord requires of thee." Three things are clearly stated; to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord. Are these requirements for salvation? No, again, grace is the only requirement. These are the resulting behaviors of the supernatural change within us. Let's examine each one briefly beginning with the word justly. Freedictionary.com defines justly as this; honorable and fair in one's dealings and actions, consistent with what is morally right; proper in nature, based on fact or sound reason, and well-founded. There is, in those definitions, a lot to digest but all fit. To put it simply, to act justly is to do what is right in the eyes of God. It is to do the right thing even when it is unpopular. To do the right thing because it is simply the right thing to do. His word guides us in His principles and precepts. It is the map of life. God has done all the work for us and all we need to do is follow His instructions relying on His strength. What does to love mercy mean? We visit the same site and learn that mercy is defined as; compassionate treatment and a disposition to be kind and forgiving. So we are called to be in love with the processes of compassion, kindness, and forgiveness of others. God loved those concepts so deeply that it resulted in imparting His grace to us. Finally, how does one walk humbly with God. To be humble is to be marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit. Humility is the complete opposite of arrogance, it removes self from the equation of our lives.  Humility means to submissively respect, to lower ourselves in position compared to God. In other words, God is first and we fall to last. John the Baptist, upon learning of Christ's ministry said, "I must decrease so He may increase." These are very powerful words from a sincere and Godly heart. True humility is a direct result of submission or obedience to God, to His word, guidance, and will. Humility is a bi product of our obedience. Three elementary principles; to do what is right, love others, and surrender to God. Do these three things qualify you as a Christian?  No, but they can not be accomplished without the presence of God's saving grace. Grace always comes first. When does Christianity begin, when you realize without God you are nothing. That only way to experience God is through Jesus. It is a complete acknowledgement that you are trapped and controlled by sin and only Jesus can forgive and free you from those sins. If you are reading this and the desire to follow Christ is there, grace has already come. Grab hold of it and allow God to create a marvelous and miraculous work in your life. When you are in the Masters hands, your life will become a masterpiece unmatched and unimaginable. God bless.

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