This is the 3rd article in a series called “The 68Mission.” The series examines the potential impact of Micah 6:8 on the church today. In “Part 1 – God’s Case Against His People,” I described how Micah 6 is presented as a covenant lawsuit that God is bringing against Israel in Micah’s day. In “Part 2 – The Nature of God’s Requirements,” I examined the three timeless commands God gives to all people: do justice, love steadfastly, and walk humbly with God.
How does Micah 6:8 relate to churches today?
An application of Micah 6:8 would have us live in three directions at once: toward God (though humility), toward one another (with steadfast love), and toward the world (with justice). We must always be mindful that God created us for relationships. In Genesis 1:26-27, we relate to God as our Creator, to each other as male and female, and to the world by dominion/management of it. (more…)
This is the 2nd article in a series called “The 68Mission.” The series examines the potential impact of Micah 6:8 on the church today. In “Part 1 – God’s Case Against His People,” I described how Micah 6 is presented as a covenant lawsuit that God brought against Israel in Micah’s day.
Micah 6:8 establishes God’s most fundamental and universal demands on humans. The requirements placed upon ancient Israel here are essentially the same requirements placed on us. These are not requests, and God has not changed his standards. (more…)
In a recent study of Micah 6:8, I came across a 27-year-old journal article (“An Expository Exegesis: Micah 6:6-8,” Faith and Mission Vol. 2, No. 2) written by Elmo Scoggin on the passage. This important verse is part of a larger context—a “covenant lawsuit.” God has brought a lawsuit against his people, and he plays four different roles as the case progresses: prosecuting attorney, bailiff, judge, and plaintiff. The list below is a very brief summary of the verses leading up to Micah 6:8.
- Micah 6:1 – The defendant, Israel, is called to the stand and challenged to speak up in self-defense.
- Micah 6:2 – The court issues various witnesses—the mountains and the foundations of the earth—to hear the Lord’s complaint.
- Micah 6:3 – With Israel on the stand, the Lord asks, “How have I made you too weary to serve me?”
- Micah 6:4-5 – Each year, Israel recited God’s deliverance of their lives at Passover. Now, the Lord uses the very same tactic and turns the tables on Israel. He recites their history himself. Scoggin writes, “Why, then, not return, repent, and serve God with joy? Surprise! Israel has become so insensitive to the deeper spiritual values that she now misses the point entirely… The glamor of formal, ritualistic religion has acted as a narcotic that has desensitized God’s people to the essence of true religion.”
Then we get to the heart of the matter. (more…)
On July 1, the town of Anton, Texas was devastated by a massive hailstorm. Hail the size of softballs destroyed roofs, busted out windows, and damaged cars.
The wonderful people of west Texas came together to assess needs and provide immediate assistance. Many needs are ongoing, however. The Anton High and Elementary School still needs a new roof. Some people in the town were too poor to afford homeowner’s insurance, and their houses are still in disrepair.
In spite of the hardships they continue to face, the Anton High School Bulldogs want to help out some fellow Texans that are going through a more difficult time: the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The fundraiser is called “Bulldogs Care!” All funds raised will go to J.J. Watts’ relief fund. You can donate online at https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053.
Thanks to reporter Elizabeth Pace and KLBK-TV in Lubbock for her report on Bulldogs Care! You can watch it below.
Don’t you wish that life had only happiness and no sadness? Bob Ross explains why darkness has value.
When you find yourself in a position to make a difference, you have a choice to make.
In Esther 4, Mordecai encouraged Queen Esther, who was Jewish and his own cousin, to appeal to the Persian King Ahaseurus to spare the lives of the Jewish people. The Jews were threatened with extinction due to the hatred of one of the king’s officials, Haman. Only an edict from the king could stop the wicked plan from being executed.
Esther, however, was scared. If she entered the presence of the king without being invited—even though he was her own husband—she faced the possibility of being executed herself. Mordecai reminded her that because she was a Jew, she was also in danger of Haman’s wrath. And then he added these words of hope: “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
Esther was convinced. She now believed that the unseen Lord was quietly orchestrating the events in her life so that she could make a difference. Esther chose to act, and the Jewish people were saved.
There are two questions that deserve reflection today. The first is this: Where has God placed you to make a difference? In other words, define your sphere of influence. Who can you persuade, convince, or nudge? Whose life can you impact with your words or actions?
Once you can answer the first question, the second becomes clear: What choice will you make? What will you say that can encourage faith, give hope, or express love? What can you do that will change someone’s life?
Perhaps you have been placed where you are “for such a time as this.”
If Mr. Rogers can ask for forgiveness, is there anything stopping you?
Don’t miss out on being forgiven!
In Deuteronomy 26, the nation of Israel received instructions about what they should do after they entered the Promised Land. Once they arrived at the land which God gave each tribe and family, they were to plant their crops. When the harvest came, they were to go to the place where the Lord would establish his name and give an offering of the firstfruits of their harvest. They would accompany their offering with these words: “Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O Lord, have given me” (Deuteronomy 26:10).
In 2012, the Lord gave me new soil from which I was to bring him a harvest. The church was called Cotton Ridge. It began in 2010 when a group of hurting believers joined together to seek God’s healing and see what the Lord would do. Through a unique set of circumstances, this small congregation in a small west Texas town seemed destined to invest its resources not in property, buildings, and other temporary things, but in people. For over six years it supported orphans, ministered to widows, rebuilt homes for the needy, fed the hungry, prayed for the sick, witnessed to the lost, and baptized those who wished to follow Jesus. The church was able to accomplish all of this without ever owning a building, a kitchen, or even a baptistery because the people believed a very fundamental truth: people are the church. (more…)
The tenth chapter of the biblical Book of Ezra begins this way:
“1 While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the Temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel—men, women, and children—gathered and wept bitterly with him. 2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, a descendant of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God, for we have married these pagan women of the land. But in spite of this there is hope for Israel. 3 Let us now make a covenant with our God to divorce our pagan wives and to send them away with their children. We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law of God. 4 Get up, for it is your duty to tell us how to proceed in setting things straight. We are behind you, so be strong and take action.”
The longing of every true and faithful servant of God’s people is to lead a repentant congregation that stands ready “to proceed in setting things straight.” Repentance, however, is rare in our day.
Repentance is dependent on at least three factors being present within us:
- We must be willing to examine our lives according to God’s standards.
- We must be willing to be humbled.
- We must be willing to pay the cost of setting our past errors straight and living life God’s way from this point forward.
Are we willing to repent? If so, God will visit us and heal us.