“What Does the LORD Require of You

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					    “What Does the LORD Require of
                You?”

January 2, 2011                        Ainsworth Assembly of God


BIBLE TEXT: Micah 6:1-8
     1
      Hear now what the LORD says:
    “Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
    And let the hills hear your voice.
2
     Hear, O you mountains, the LORD‟S complaint,
    And you strong foundations of the earth;
    For the LORD has a complaint against His people,
    And He will contend with Israel.
3
   “O My people, what have I done to you?
And how have I wearied you?
Testify against Me.
4
   For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
  I redeemed you from the house of bondage;
  And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5
   O My people, remember now
  What Balak king of Moab counseled,
  And what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
  From Acacia Grove to Gilgal,
  That you may know the righteousness of the LORD.”
6
     With what shall I come before the LORD,
    And bow myself before the High God?
    Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
    With calves a year old?
7
     Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
    Ten thousand rivers of oil?
    Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8
    He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
                                                                         2
INTRODUCTION:

               A police dog responds to an ad for work with the FBI.
“Well,” says the personnel director, “You’ll have to meet some strict
requirements. First, you must type at least 60 words per minute.”

Sitting down at the typewriter, the dog types out 80 words per minute.
“Also,” says the director, “You must pass a physical and complete the
obstacle course.”
This perfect canine specimen finishes the course in record time.
“There’s one last requirement,” the director continues; “you must be
bilingual.”
With confidence, the dog looks up at him and says, “Meow!”
(from the Humor Haus newsletter)

     As we move into a new year, it is good to re-examine
some foundational truths of the life of faith. This passage
helps us look at some foundational requirements God has put
in place if man is to have fellowship with Him.
     In the verses leading up to our text, we find that God has
a complaint against His people (v; 2) The question God asks
Here is, “What have I done to you, that you have forsaken
Me?” “Why have you turned away from Me?”
God reminds them of His great works on their behalf (vv; 3-
5). When Balak (king of Moab), wanted Balaam to curse
Israel, God refused to allow the prophet to speak a curse.
God‟s purpose has always been to bless Israel, yet they
turned away from Him continually.

      This causes the prophet to reiterate God‟s requirements
to the nation. What does it take to be in right relationship
with this Holy God? How can we come back to Him?
      Notice the question in the 6th verse, “With what shall I
come before the LORD, and bow myself before the High
God?” In the 8th verse He puts it another way. “What does
God require of you…?” Here the prophet speaks for the
people.
                                                                                           3
     Now my friend, that is a good question. What does
God require of me? Does God have requirements to meet if
we are to live in His favor? Common sense says He must.
And here the prophet spells them out very simply.

      What does the LORD require of you? That is our
question.


I. Simple Faith NOT Sacrifice is Required.

     Notice the prophet first answers in the negative. To
each question in verses 6-7 the implied answer is “NO!”
6
     With what shall I come before the LORD,
    And bow myself before the High God?
    Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
    With calves a year old?
7
     Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
    Ten thousand rivers of oil?
    Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

       Notice the progression. If I come to God with burnt
offerings, is that enough? The burnt offering spoke of total
consecration to God. It spoke of a life entirely dedicated to
God. But here it was simply religious activity without faith
and love for God. Some people burn themselves out serving
in the church. Their thought is, „Surely God will accept me,
look at all I‟m doing for Him.‟ But does religious activity
without love please God? Is that what He wants from us?

     In I Corinthians 13:1-3 Paul spoke to this issue when he
wrote:
    1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have


become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could
remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods
                                                                                           4
to feed the poor, and though I give my body £to be burned, but have not love, it profits
me nothing.
    Mere religious activity is not acceptable.

    Then the prophet goes on. He mentions, “calves a year
old.” Then he asks “will the LORD be pleased with thousands
of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil?” If I must sacrifice, then
the more the better!
       But even after a multitude of sacrifices and pouring out
gallons of libations, the worshiper still senses something is
missing. So the next logical sacrifice is human. He offers his
firstborn son. Surely that will satisfy this Holy God! Notice
the intent of the worshiper: “The fruit of my body for the sin
of my soul” (v; 7). This is the ultimate sacrifice! What more
could one give to God? Surely this will gain acceptance with
God!

    And history shows that Israel had done this. They offered
their sons and daughters in the fire! (II Kings 21:6;
Leviticus 18:21), though God clearly forbid them doing so.
       In this progression, Micah helps us see that no amount
of sacrifice can gain the favor of a holy God. Even the
ultimate sacrifice on giving one‟s son or daughter falls short.

    The New Testament puts it this way,
    5
      not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to
His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and
renewing of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5


    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
    8


yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast.
                                                            Ephesians 2:8-10
   Abraham came to understand that faith is what God
required. Genesis 15:6 says:
    And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for
    6


righteousness.
                                                                             5
      That is, Abraham found acceptance with God on the
basis of faith!
      The prophet Habakkuk articulated this great truth as
well. But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4

       This was the scripture that set Martin Luther free from
the bondage of the Roman Catholicism of his day. He had
spent half a life time trying to gain acceptance with God by
religious activity. But the realization that simple faith is God‟s
requirement set this man free!

      My religious friend, people make this same mistake
today. Are you one who feels you can never quite do enough
for God? Are you driven by the fear that there must be
something more you must do?

      What does God require of you?
      The answer is faith; faith in His sacrifice; faith and
acceptance of the One who made the perfect sacrifice.
Believe not in what you can do for Him, but in what He has
done for you. John 3:16 preaches this truth:
       God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that
the world through Him might be saved.

       Listen to the words of the apostles:

      “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians
5:21

      “…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not
imputing their trespasses to them…” II Corinthians 5:19

      “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son
of God does not have life.” I John 5:12
                                                                  6
      but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to
put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:26

      The first requirement to gain God‟s favor is quit trying
to do something to make Him love you. He already does.
Accept by faith that He loves you and has made provision for
your sin. Plant your feet squarely on the truth of Justification
by Faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

      Micah teaches us here that first and foremost God
requires faith, not self effort! Not sacrifice! The nation had
gotten out of favor with God and if they wanted to return to
His favor faith was the path, not sacrifice and self effort!



I. How Is Faith Expressed Daily?

      Now notice with me the positive answer from Micah.
What does the LORD require of you? His answer is clear and
simple:

But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?          Micah 6:8

I look at his answer essentially as three ways to express faith.
This is faith lived out. The apostle James would put it this
way I believe:
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

      God does require that we live a certain way if we want
to continue in his favor. A life of sin and disregard for God‟s
law certainly demonstrates a lack of saving faith.
                                                                               7
       1. First, he calls God’s people to DO JUSTLY!
This simply means treating people right. This means walking
in God‟s ways and doing right. The Mosaic law outlines how
we are to do this. The Psalms and Proverbs teach us „right‟
living.
Psalm 145:17
The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
  Gracious in all His works.

Proverbs 15:9
“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves Him
who follows righteousness.”

Proverbs 21:3
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than
sacrifice.”

Proverbs 4:18
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter
unto the perfect day.”

       This has to do with treating people as we should. Some
people leave a path of destruction because they do not think
about how their words cut and wound others. It‟s not doing
justly to tear people down with our words.
       Some people would take advantage of others whenever
the opportunity presents itself. If the store clerk forgets to
charge the right price, that is okay as long as its in my favor.
If the waitress doesn‟t add up the ticket right and
undercharges me, too bad for the restaurant! But we know
its not RIGHT!
       If my cattle get out and damage my neighbor‟s property
or use up a significant amount of his grass, I have a duty to
make it RIGHT!
       A fair wage for a fair day‟s work is RIGHT!
       Jesus helped us understand this important truth for
living when He taught:
       “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you,
do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”
                                             (Matthew 7:12)
                                                                             8


The Golden Rule is not what one of the characters in the Wizard of Id said. He
said, "The Golden Rule is, 'He who has the gold makes the rules.'" It is
precisely this concept of justice that protects those who don't have the gold.
(Michael Shannon – Cincinnati Bible College in „Preaching.‟)

      That‟s how society without God operates. He who has
the gold makes the rules. But as God‟s people we are called
to do what is RIGHT in the eyes of God! Doing justly
demonstrates my faith and submission to God.



2. Secondly, I am to express faith by LOVING MERCY!

       The Hebrew is „chesed.‟ It is translated, „kindness,
mercy, lovingkindness, unfailing love, tenderness, and
faithfulness.” It often is used to refer to God‟s mercy.

    Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 where God says, “I desire
mercy and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13).

      One of the great examples where Jesus demonstrated
mercy is found in John 8:1-12. It‟s the story of the woman
taken in adultery. The words of Jesus to this woman taken in
the act of sin are significant: John 8:10-11

   “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned
you?”
   11
        She said, “No one, Lord.”
   And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no
more.”

      Strict adherence to the law required that this woman be
stoned to death. But here our Lord demonstrated chesed!
Mercy, kindness. He forgave her and challenged her to live
pure from this time on.
                                                                               9
       Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a
transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter
separates friends.” Here loving mercy is a commitment to
refrain from repeating the sins and mistakes of our fellow
brothers and sisters. Mercy seeks to quash gossip. But the
person without love runs around repeating the matter no
matter how it might hurt someone.

     God requires that we operate in love, mercy and
kindness toward our fellow man. Jesus referred to this as
“the weightier matters of the law.” (Matthew 23:23).

      Loving mercy means we are sensitive to human need.
We are forgiving to those who fall. We are kind to those who
don‟t deserve it.



3. Thirdly, God requires that we WALK HUMBLY WITH
OUR GOD.

       We express faith through daily submission to our God.
In reality we cannot walk with God without doing justly,
loving mercy and walking humbly!
       Humility requires we lay aside our pride and desire for
self preservation and self exaltation. It‟s hard to be on an
ego trip and truly serve God. Walking humbly with God
means I yield my will and wishes to Him. I come under His
authority.
       Jesus‟ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane reflects His
total submission to the Father. “Not my will, but Thine be
done.” (Luke 22:42)

What is humility?

        Several years ago I read the story of Sammy Morris, a devoted
Christian from Africa who came to America to go to school. Although his
pathway to service for Christ was not easy, his difficulties never deterred him.
Perhaps this was because he had learned genuine humility. One incident that
                                                                              10
showed this occurred when he arrived at Taylor University in Upland,
Indiana. He was asked by the school's president what room he wanted.
Sammy replied, "If there is a room nobody wants, give it to me." Later the
president commented, "I turned away, for my eyes were full of tears. I was
asking myself whether I was willing to take what nobody else wanted."

-Sermons Illustrated November/December 1988

     Humility doesn‟t push its way to the head of the line.
Humility can take a back seat to others and be happy with it.

        Corrie Ten Boom once observed, "You just collect roses, the praise
and compliments, during the day; you hold them, put them together in a
bouquet, then at the end of the day, you get on your knees and say, 'Here,
Father, these were yours all along. I just held them for you." (Stand Firm,
Feb. 2004, p. 7)

      Humility understands that all I have I owe to God‟s
grace and mercy. Whatever success I have is because of His
blessing. All praise goes to Him.

     Leonard Bernstein, the celebrated orchestra conductor, was asked,
what is the hardest instrument to play. He replied without hesitation:
"Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who
plays second violin with as much enthusiasm or second French horn or second
flute, now that's a problem. And yet if no one plays second, we have no
harmony."
 -   Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, Sept 2003

Are you walking humbly with your God?

    What does the LORD require of you? As we enter this new
year I trust Micah 6:8 will have an influence upon how we
live.

       Give up trying to earn God‟s favor. Simply accept His
love by Faith. Trust in what He has done to deal with every
sin, fault, mistake, iniquity that we are guilty of. Trust not in
the sacrifice you can make but in the ultimate sacrifice Jesus
made on the cross for your salvation.
                                                           11
      Then seek to express that faith by doing justly, loving
mercy and walking humbly with God through the coming
year. God will enable you to do what He has called you to do.
      In Jesus‟ name- Amen
                                                             12
     SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
January 2, 2011                  Ainsworth Assembly of God

                     ORDER OF SERVICE

OPEN:      #182 He Is Able to Deliver Thee
           Prayer

WELCOME/GREET TIME

ANNOUNCEMENTS

HYMN #403         What A Friend We Have In Jesus

PRAYER FOR SPECIAL NEEDS

OFFERING

WORSHIP           (Vicki lead)

           Ah Lord God
           Our God is An Awesome God
           All Heaven Declares
           White As Snow

SCRIPTURE READING        Micah 6:1-8

SPECIAL SONG (If we have one)

SERMON

COMMUNION         “Surely the Presence of the Lord…”
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