“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)
I was in junior high school the first time that I heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. My teacher played a recording of his famous, “I have a dream,” speech from 1963. I was so engrossed by every word that I knew I had to find out more about this man. What I found out was that one month before I was born, he was murdered; by someone who was threatened by his ideas, by his character, by his existence.
There can be no question that Dr. King is someone who is worthy of being celebrated. His was a life that was well lived and should be remembered; not because he was perfect, but because he walked humbly with God. In 1954 he said this:
“I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow, but to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
How many of us get up every day and devote our lives to that which is eternal, and absolute? In Micah we are given three things to which we can commit ourselves with complete confidence that that God considers them to be “good”: justice, kindness, and humility. Dr. King literally gave his life for each as an expression of His love and adoration for the God Who is forever.
We all want to be good, to do what is right in the moments where it counts the most. Micah gives us the formula, but it cannot be faked. There is a relentless work ethic that is required to do what the Lord requires. While it is undeniable that we are saved by faith, it is equally true that our salvation is confirmed and proven genuine through our commitment to work for the One Who saves us. Another quote from Dr. King that grips me is this:
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people”
Where can you be a dispenser of justice, or kindness? Where can you proclaim loudly the love and mercy of God while elevating the needs of others beyond your own? Who needs you to stand in the gap for them, or stand up for them, or meet a need that they have? According to God’s requirements, we simply cannot stay silent; we must do the good that Micah records for us.
Most likely for many, we can still hear Dr. King’s famous words about going to a mountain and seeing a promised land, a land that he feared he would not be able to get to in his lifetime. He spoke those words in Memphis exactly one day before he was shot and killed. What some may not know is that the sentence he uttered just before describing the mountain was, “I just want to do God’s will.” His singular focus in life was to follow what God was leading him to do, and that was what made him extraordinary. Essentially, Dr. King’s dreams were given to him by God.
As we begin 2012, I submit to you that, as God’s people, the greatest pursuit upon which we can ever embark is an unapologetic quest to discover and then to fulfill God’s will for our lives in this world. And there is no better place to begin that quest than to, “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” If you want to live an extraordinary life, then understand that the only thing that separates the ordinary from the amazing is a connection to the living God who gives to each a purpose that goes beyond what anyone could ever dream on their own.
May God fill you with His dreams in the coming days and months.
Posted on Mon, January 16, 2012
by John Hill