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Categorized | From the Pulpit

What do you want from me?

Pastor Kristi Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs

Have you ever wondered how faith fits in an increasingly corrupt and violent society? If we only look at the circumstances revealed in today’s media, it may appear as though God is distant and uninvolved.  I’ve been reading the book of Micah, a short book with only seven chapters. Micah is one of the minor prophets who reminds us that no matter what it looks like, God still cares and offers hope for those who choose to remain faithful to Him. He also reminds us that God is still active in this world and will not allow sin to hinder His purposes.

Micah had a poetic way of expressing God’s divine attributes, beautifully balancing justice and mercy.  Many of his figures of speech make his messages vivid and create a profound emotional impact. Take time to read it for yourself.  I know there’s a message in there especially for you if you are truly seeking.  

So, what does it look like to remain faithful to God? What does God require of us? God, what do you want from me?

God wants his people to live lives that measure up to his moral and ethical standards. Through faith in Christ’s death, not good works, God graciously saves us from the penalty of sin and makes peace with us.  But there’s so much more to the story! He saves us so that we might do good deeds that mirror God’s character. He wants us to treat others fairly and with compassion. He wants us to live humble, obedient lives. Most of all, He wants our heart; our whole heart!!

Many of God’s people failed to live up to God’s high standards in Micah’s time. God had delivered the Israelites from Egypt and established them as a nation. He called them to be a model society that would attract other nations to him (Deut. 4:5-6).  Instead they exploited the poor, selfishly pursuing their own interests. They rebelled against God’s authority and rejected his prophets.

Despite their crimes, many Israelites actually thought their lame sacrifices would make God happy!  Micah attacked their faulty thinking. Empty ritual worship means nothing to God. God wants hearts of genuine ethical and moral integrity.

“What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? 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? NO, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and THIS is what he requires of you:  to do what is right, (act justly), to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:6-8, NLT; emphasis mine).

If we give God our whole heart—do what is right—love mercy—and walk humbly with our God, then we must trust Him to take care of everything else; no matter what it looks like—God IS working and ultimately wins!  

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