What is expected?

What is expected?

What does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

Deuteronomy 10:12 What does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul.

How do new players become part of an NFL football franchise? Every spring, the NFL teams draft new players that have the potential to become permanent members of their squads. About a month before, the NFL conducts a Scouting Combine. It has become the “Path to the Draft.”

Around 300 prospects participate. What is expected? They demonstrate for the team scouts their strength, speed, and overall movement skills. They show off their ability to run, and where appropriate, their ability catch passes.

Most prospects at the combine perform as expected. Some not so much A few “winners” exceed expectations. The point is to rate each player and rank the most valuable players for each playing position.

The combine is only one part of a robust evaluation process. Teams also evaluate prospects’ game tape, all-star game performances, interviews and background checks to determine their final grade.

Many people wonder what the Lord expects of us. It is only natural for us to think that we are in some type of tryouts for heaven. Rather than show off our skills, strength, or speed, surely there is some high expectation of performance that we have to measure up to.

In ancient Israel, at the time of Micah, religious Jews thought that was all about sacrifices and offerings. The more the better. But how would they ever know what was enough? That is always the problem about merit based on personal effort. How do we know we’ve done enough?

The Father speaks specifically regarding this. He defines what is good and acceptable in His eyes. The Father is also quite clear regarding His expectations. It’s not about what we do or give that matters to Him. Rather it’s about who we are on the inside and how we live it out.

Hosea 6:6 I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

Micah 6:6-8

 6 What can we bring to the LORD? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves?

 7 Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?

 8 No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

In simple terms, we are to be just, righteous, and fair. We should be characterized by a love for mercy and kindness. We must be humble, and make walking with the Father our highest priority.

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father desires His children possess courageous faith, good and tender hearts. Who we are is all about Who He is, not by how other people act or react.

Father Your loving kindness is better than life. How I long to love lovingkindness and live it out. Please make it so.

INSIGHT

Yet regardless of what the Scriptures say, it seems like our DNA is programmed for action not attitudes. Somehow, we think it’s about doing rather than being. Sadly, we have it exactly backwards.

1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

Micah 6:8 What does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

The qualities which Micah speaks of are descriptive of the very heart of God. He is just, righteous, good, and kind. He is intensely loyal and devoted, He is characterized by lovingkindness, grace, and mercy.

What does the Father ask us to do? What does He expect from us? He asks us to be like Him! We are to emulate Him. Our heart attitudes and sensibilities should be just like His. When our hearts are right, what’s on the inside is revealed and acted out in everyday life.

You want to talk about sacrifices and offerings? We are required to be living sacrifices! We are to present our bodies as a sacrifice, alive, holy, and pleasing to the Father, this is truly the way to worship Him (Romans 12:1).

The Father wants His children to do justice. In other words, be fair and honest. He asks us to “Do the right thing.”

He does not want us to just be kind, He wants us to love kindness. The word translated kindness is a very special and wonderful word in Hebrew. The Hebrew word is hesed. It is often translated kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, or loyalty.

No modern English word fully captures the meaning and significance of hesed. Perhaps the closest equivalent would be loyal-love. Hesed is “love that will not let me go.” It is the kind of love, which is firm, certain, faithful, and unwavering.

Hesed is the very essence of the Father’s heart. He wants each of His children to love hesed, (loyal-love)and live it out.

Our lovingkindness, or the lack thereof, may be the only lovingkindness that others ever know.

Thy Loving Kindness – by David Lewis

Thy loving kindness is better than life

Thy loving kindness is better than life

My lips shall praise Thee

Thus will I bless Thee

I will lift up my hands

I will lift up my hands

I will lift up my hands in Thy name

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