Date: Friday, December 21
Scripture: Micah 6:6-8
Verse: He has told you, O mortal, 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)
In the ancient world, many religions were about pleasing and appeasing the gods. During a drought, the people ought to give gifts to the god of rain, because when that god was happy he would allow it to rain. Or if one were sick, injured, impoverished, or in any other way unfortunate he or she should give a gift to the gods to keep them from punishing them any longer. In those faiths there was often a protocol for what to give or sacrifice to bring about the desired result.
At times we still live under that same mindset. We wonder what to give to God in order to keep him happy, to keep him off our back.
God is not looking for sacrifice. He doesn’t want, in the words of Micah, burnt offerings, calves, rams, or rivers of oil – things of great value in the ancient world. Instead, the gift we can give to please God the most is to treat one another respectfully – to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God in our everyday living.
Often we look for the grand gesture, the big gift to express our thanks. We’d love to go on a mission trip overseas, give the money to build a wing onto our church, or make a speech to thousands about God’s love. Not all of us can do those things. God is not looking for the grand gesture. Rather he is looking for a new life lived every day – one where we are fair to our coworkers, kind to the people who serve us, and humble in our dealings with all we meet.
Prayer: Lord, show me how to live a life of justice, kindness, and humility every day. Amen.
Action: Do some small things today that demonstrate justice, kindness, and humility to those who share your life in the day ahead.