New Year’s Resolution: What God Requires

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Are you looking for one (or two…or three)? I think I’ve found mine.  I am proud to say that on Tuesday I went to an actual gym (although a few of the “dudes” in our church don’t consider Planet Fitness an ACTUAL gym, but I digress). It felt good to get some exercise, but for me it was more about creating better habits – see, I do actual practice what I preach (or at least try to…again, I digress).  But, going to the gym IS NOT my New Year’s resolution. And having better habits isn’t either.  As many of you know by now, I’m not big on making New Year’s resolutions. Too often, we set off to make changes out of some feeling of disgust or dissatisfaction with our lives – I don’t like how I look, I eat too much, I’m a bad parent because I don’t spend enough time with my kids or I’m a bad Christian because I don’t read the Bible enough. Making changes because of guilt or self-doubt is NOT a good place to start (see my sermon series on “Eat the Carrot”).  We are the chosen, the redeemed. Our guilt is gone and we’ve been made righteous through Christ and we are His righteousness (Romans 5:9, 2 Corinthians 5:21). We don’t do things out of guilt or condemnation. We do them because it is what God requires – or, what is “right”. So, if I HAD a New Year’s resolution (insert sermon joke here) it would be these three things from Micah 6:8:

  • To do justice
  • To love kindness
  • To walk humbly with God

It’s important to note that these three themes – Justice, Kindness, Humility – all have to do with our relationships with EACH OTHER. So, in essence, God is saying “What is right – what I require of MY people who I’ve redeemed (justice), loved (kindness) and made joint-heirs in My Kingdom (humility) – is for them to do justice, seek kindness (or mercy in other translations) and be humble – or put others ahead of yourself.”  I’ll be touching on each of these three themes in coming weeks, but for now, I wanted to leave you with the same questions I’m asking myself: How are you treating others? Are you seeking justice for those without a voice – the ones others seek to take advantage of? Are you doing everything you can to be kind and loving to others (Ephesians 4:32)? Are you walking in humility, putting others ahead of yourself? Let’s start 2018 off right by doing what is pleasing to God – what He requires. Let’s be the example of Jesus Christ to the world by walking the way He did – in justice, kindness and humility. BE THE NEW!  Pastor Eric

P.S. Here’s an AWESOME video explaining Biblical Justice from the fine folks at The Bible Project: