August 17, 2011

What God Really Wants

Micah 6:1-8

He has shown all you people what is good… To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8


The last day of school was judgment day. Report cards were handed out, and I would be summoned before my parents to answer for my academic performance. How was I doing? Had I improved? What did I need to work on?

Micah 6 describes Israel’s judgment day. God summons Israel into his cosmic courtroom to answer for their actions. God recites all he has done for his people. He brought them out of slavery in Egypt and led them through the desert. He gave them victory over their enemies and gave them prosperity in Canaan. Yet Israel had broken God’s covenant. They had neglected the poor and needy. They had ignored justice. They had failed to seek God in humility.

Israel tried on her own to make things right with God. Did God want more sacrifices and burnt offerings? Did he want more religion? No! God wanted hearts that loved him and reflected his mercy toward people in need. God desired hearts of devotion that produced obedient living.

Today the “heart transplant” we need comes through faith in Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus, God changes our hearts so that we share his own heart of mercy for people who are downtrodden. He shapes us so that we seek to do what is right and just in this world.

How will you love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with your God today?

Lord, may our faith produce a life of joyful obedience. Teach us to walk faithfully with you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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