April 6, 2014

God's Will: Micah 6:8

The following is a short study presented at a local nursing home April 6, 2014.


- How many of us have asked God to reveal His will to us?
- Many times, when we are faced with circumstances that are challenging, we pray and ask God, “Well, Lord, what do I do now?”
- God’s will has been the subject of many books and countless sermons over the years.
- People identify God’s will in many ways…a feeling…a sign…feeling peace about a decision…feeling led in a certain direction…knowing beyond understanding that a path is right.
- But let me add another way…God tells us a lot about His will in the Bible.
- In the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, for example, Jesus tells us we should be meek, we should really try to be righteous in what we say and do, that we should be merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers.
- Well, God gives us a summary of His will in our scripture today from the prophet Micah.
- Micah lived about 2,500 years ago in Israel. God gave him a message for His people about how they should turn from their sin and live holy lives.
- Micah chapter 6, verse 8 summarizes God’s will for all Christians:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
- When it comes to the will of God for your life, who better to ask than God Himself?
- So what is God’s will for me? Micah just told us…

1. Act justly
- This means to do the right thing, Gen. 18:25
- 1 John 2:25-- If you know that he (Jesus) is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
- In Hebrews 11:7, we are told that righteousness is one result of faith: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”
- Romans 1:17—“ For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The just shall live by faith.’”
- Paul is quoting the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk, who prophesied to the people of Israel and advised them to live by faith and justice.

2. Love Mercy
- Mercy is defined as ‘kindness’; ‘favour’; ‘good deed’; ‘compassion’
- The word ‘mercy’ is used nearly 300 times in the Bible
- Grace’ 176 times -“forgive’ 112 times
- These are things we do when we are living a life that shows we love mercy…we show grace to others, and we forgive them when they have done wrong to us.
- In fact, we must remember that it was ‘grace’ and ‘mercy’ that saved us, and it is the grace and mercy of God that sustains us in Christ!
- Living a life that shows constant grace and mercy is God’s will for us, just as He Himself shows us all grace and mercy.
- In loving mercy, we are merely doing to others what God has done for us.
- In Hebrews 4:16, we read—“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
- We know from the prophet Micah that it is God’s will for us not just to show mercy, but to love mercy.
- Showing mercy isn’t just something we do even if we don’t feel like it…we are to develop a frame of mind that loves to show mercy and not judgment.
- God wants us to love mercy as much as He loves mercy. After all, He showed us His great love for mercy when we least deserved it…as the Bible tells us, while we were yet sinners—that is, enemies of God—Christ died for us.
- That is the greatest act of love and mercy the world has ever seen.
- How do we show our love for mercy?...we treat others with grace, not judgment; …we forgive rather than hold a grudge and complain about others;…we show patience rather than irritation toward others;…we are kind and not selfish or harsh;…we love others as we love ourselves.

3. Then Micah tells us we must “walk humbly with (our) God.”
- That means we live lives that we know are in God’s will.
- And how do we know God’s will? Micah just told us—in everything we do, we must act justly and demonstrate our love for mercy.
- When we do that, we can know God’s will and how to live it.
- We can know God’s will because each word we speak, each decision we make…in everything we do we have first asked ourselves whether it is just, showing the love of mercy, and doing what God would do in our circumstances.

Conclusion
To act justly…to love mercy…to walk humbly with our God…these are God’s will for us.
Jesus put it another way when He told us the greatest commandment…He said the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”