Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When God Wants to Make a Point...

He makes it! :-)

As you might have already figured out from the header of this blog, our family's theme verse this year is from Micah 6:8. These few weeks, God has been further teaching us {through our nightly devotions} about His lovingkindness and His justice. A couple of passages from the Bible have jumped out at us during our devotion time. The first one is from John 21:15-17 and another one is from Matthew 25:31-46.

In this post, I wrote about Micah 6:8.
And just last week, I wrote about John 21:15-17.
And, about a month or so ago, I wrote about Matthew 25:31-46.

A few days ago, I *found* a book we have called Blind Spots by Bill McCartney. It has been sitting on a side table in the house for quite some time collecting dust. I picked it up, randomly flipped the book open to page 58 and started reading. I guess I was bored that day... :-)

What I read on these pages awed me... it is a section called God's Pleasure In Justice... and all three of the above-mentioned Scripture passages were referred to in just three short pages! Didn't I already say... when God wants to make a point, He makes it?!?

Here are portions from those three pages:
For good reason, many believers name Jeremiah 9:23-24 as their favorite verse. "This is what the Lord says," the prophet declares: "'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the Lord." The word translated kindness is the Hebrew term hesed, which refers to the Lord's covenant love and is sometimes rendered loving-kindness. The authors of the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament say that hesed "is a kind of love, including mercy... when the object is in a pitiful state."
God advises us not to glory in our mental capabilities, for they are temporary. He counsels us not to hang our hat on our strength, for it's as nothing compared to him. He warns us not to exult in our wealth, because it can soon vanish. If we boast in anything, it ought to be that we understand who he really is. And who is he? He is a God who delights in justice and righteousness. That is where we find God's pleasure.
So doesn't it make sense that he would require of us the very things that delight his heart? And what does God require of us? Micah makes it explicit: "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).
God is saying to us, "Do you really know and understand me? Then you know that I delight in justice - and that I require you to reflect my character and to delight in justice by doing justice yourself. Get to know those in my family who need your help! The more you get to know them, the more you can become part of the solution. The more you understand their needs - needs that do not escape my attention - the more you will see how you can do justice in their lives."
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, he took Peter aside to officially restore the chastened apostle to the gospel ministry. As Peter had denied the Lord three times before the Crucifixion, so after the Resurrection the Lord three times asked Peter, "Do you love me?" Each time, the burly fisherman replied in the affirmative. And how did Jesus respond? "Feed my lambs," he told Peter. "Take care of my sheep... Feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17).
The fact is, our Lord could hardly conceive of a true believer who would consciously turn his back on a brother in need. So closely did he associate personal righteousness with public justice that he insisted the absence of one indicated the nonexistence of the other. On the day he returns to earth, he said, he will "separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25:32). To the sheep he will say, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me" (Matt.25:34-36).
The sheep - "the righteous" - will protest, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" Then the Lord will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:37-40).
~ Excerpts from the book Blind Spots by Bill McCartney, pages 58-60.
What do you say? Pretty cool, eh?

As if that wasn't enough to make His point already, the "cherry on top" came this past Sunday via the teaching time at church where the guest speaker spoke on none other than the verses from Isaiah 43:16-21!

You see, the spark that started our family's intentional journey towards becoming a Micah 6:8 family was Beth Moore's message at Living Proof Live {Toronto} way back in March 2010. She spoke on the very same verses, the ones from Isaiah 43:16-21... on God being up to something new!

Since that weekend, we started to feel restless where we were ministering and serving God at. God was indeed up to something new... He was moving us in a new direction. In hindsight, I can now see that that was the beginning of a new thing for our family --- and that is to become a Micah 6:8 family!

God is indeed always good... even during times when we do not understand His master plan, when we can not see the big picture.

He is always good and I am always loved! 

Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!

1 comment:

  1. So cool...I had a similar experience of God speaking to me just 2 nights ago. I've been working hard at memorizing scripture this year and my husband was questioning why I felt it was important. He feels like it's enough to know scripture and be able to find it, but not necessarily need to memorize it. i did my best to explain why it was important to me.

    Then, later that night, I was working on my current Bible study (Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore) and as I worked through the study, God brought several (5 to be exact) scriptures to me as companions to what Beth was saying...they were all verses I've memorized this year.

    It was very powerful to have God speak so directly to me - through His word.

    I love testimonies like this...I call them "hugs from God"