What Does The Lord Require?
Because of His incredible love, God created man. He wanted to share eternity with us. But He also created mankind with a specific purpose. We are all called to do good works.
“ For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
These works are intended to point people to eternal life with God-through His son, Jesus. The Bible calls this our ministry of reconciliation. We are part of the war between God and Satan, and God’s ultimate plan is to defeat Satan forever. In fact, Jesus already won the battle. He was victorious when He died on the cross and rose again on the third day. By putting our faith in Jesus, we defeat any power Satan has over us. (Ephesians 6:10-18).
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)
Angels (including Satan) were present when God laid the foundation of the earth and set its measurements (Job 38:4, 5). It was then that the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
“While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy.”
Job 38:7 (NIV)
Satan and his angelic followers fell sometime after the original creation of the heavens and the earth. His fall from heaven was a direct result of his self-exaltation, which was due to pride. Pride is the very first sin (1 Timothy 3:6).
Before God created the devil, the heavens, the earth, and us He knew there would be a spiritual battle. He knew Satan would succeed in tempting Adam and Eve and that mankind would need a Savior to find redemption. He knew that Jesus was the only acceptable sacrifice that would atone for sin and restore man’s relationship with Him.
Before everything began, God knew how it would play out. So man has a purpose, a reason to serve and obey.
Micah 6:8 provides even more insight into our purpose.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)
What then does God require of us? He has shown us. Rather, He has told us what is good. Good being that which is best, fine, beautiful, and of a higher nature. We are to act justly by following laws and obeying those in authority.
A plea to God for mercy is asking Him to withhold the judgment we deserve and instead grant to us the forgiveness we in no way have earned. We are to love mercy and thus put it into practice. This act of loving-kindness is real godliness in action. It points others to God’s unconditional love.
To walk humbly with God could be a whole other study. We would learn a lot about humility by examining the life of Moses. But for now, let us say that humility means esteeming others better than your self.
“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Numbers 12:3 (NIV)
Every day, we have our part to play in God’s eternal plan. We are ambassadors for Christ. Each of us should be active in the ministry of reconciliation. Each one of us is His handiwork, created with the ability to forgive, show mercy, and provide life-changing love. Is any of this possible when done in our own strength? No. However, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Ephesians 4:13 (NKJV)