What God requires

By Helen Guilford

I’ll try not to judge others by my own experiences but, as you probably already know, that gets pretty difficult because, after all, who do I know best?

First, let’s look at a verse from the Old Testament that struck me this morning. Micah 6:8 tells us, “…this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

That doesn’t seem like a very long or complicated “to do” list, does it? But break it down into its three parts and it becomes all encompassing.

The first requirement God has for us for whom He sacrificed His only beloved Son is to do what is right. When I first made it public that I would be selling my home and renting an apartment in an independent living complex, the response from my church family was, “You’re doing the right thing, Helen.” That felt good. I came home on a high but did that high last? Only until the next major decision had to be made. Then, it was time to go back to God with questions. Why had I been on a high? Because I had sought God’s will before making that decision and I felt sure I was doing what was right.

Then, love mercy. To be sure, I did this the old-fashioned way and looked it up in the dictionary. We use the term mercy easily and without much thought because when using it we are usually in a group of Christian believers whom we assume to have an understanding of the word. But the very first definition in the dictionary is “compassion shown to an offender.” Oops! I’m in trouble here. There are those among my friends and acquaintances to whom I find it nearly impossible to show compassion because of a history with those persons.

Finally, walk humbly with your God. Though I try to keep it from showing, I have to admit to that sometimes I am proud of my humility. Hey! That can’t work.

Looking at my life stacked against what God requires of me, I definitely come up on the short end. How do you do?

Well, this was a verse from the Old Testament. Maybe that doesn’t hold true if we go to the New Testament where we walk in the grace provided by the blood of Christ.

Oh, here’s a verse from Mark 12:30 and 31 that covers the same thought, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength … {and} your neighbor as yourself.”

If we were keeping score cards, I wouldn’t come out too well. Don’t know about you. Maybe you did better.

But where I failed I know I have forgiveness through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, simply by taking my failures to Him in prayer. After all, He died on the cross to provide opportunity for me to live with Him in heaven for all eternity. That goes for you, too. If you haven’t done so, why not invite Him into your heart right now? He’s listening for your call.

By Helen Guilford