“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?” — MICAH 6:8
I am often asked the question, “What does God want from me?” Micah details our Father’s requirements in this verse. As we attempt to please the Lord with a long list of do’s and don’ts, keep your mind focused on these three mandates. Doing what is morally right, showing compassion toward others and living in submission before Him.
The Lord taught His disciples through parables; the following stories will illustrate how Christians can easily accomplish these three divine directives as we walk in the light of His love.
Captain Shaw was a Salvation Army medical missionary to India. He was assigned to take responsibility of a leper colony and among those transferred to the new facility were three prisoners who stood before the captain. Tears welled up in Shaw’s eyes as he saw the pain on the faces of these men who were suffering from bleeding ankles and wrists caused by the leprosy that was eating away at their bodies and the shackles that bound them.
The missionary turned to the prison guard and asked that their chains be undone. The guard immediately responded, “You can’t ask me to do that! These men are dangerous and besides that, look at them...they are lepers!”
“I will take full responsibility, they have suffered enough.” Shaw responded as he held his hand out for the keys. He unfastened their wrists and then knelt before each man and removed the shackles from their bleeding ankles.
About two weeks later, Captain Shaw was about to leave on his first overnight trip. He had his first misgivings about freeing the criminals and dreaded leaving his wife and children alone. His loving wife assured him that the family would be fine for God would watch over them. He prayed with her and left.
The next morning, when Mrs. Shaw opened the front door to her home she was startled to find the three prisoners lying asleep on her front step. They sat up and one of the men said, “We know the doctor go. We stay here all night so no harm come to you!”
She thanked them, closed the door and wiped the tears from her eyes.” Captain’s Shaw’s wife thought of how these dangerous criminals had responded to her husband’s just and loving act for after all—Christ was our example and He came to set the captives free.
Illustrations Unlimited’ James Hewett EdItor
A fledgling accountant was guilty of misappropriating several hundred dollars from the firm he worked for. Once his crime was exposed, he was told to report to the office of the senior partner of the company.
As the young man walked down the corridor of the administrative offices he hung his head down in remorse. He was certain he would be terminated from his job and feared that criminal charges would be filed against him. His whole world had collapsed around him due to his foolish actions.
He entered the senior executive’s office and sat before him. When asked if the accusations were true, he answered truthfully and awaited for the inevitable outcome. There was a long silence and then the executive asked one more question, “If I keep you in your present position, can I trust you in the future?”
The stunned worker could not believe his ears! “Yes sir! I give you my word! I have learned my lesson!”
The executive responded, “I have decided to keep you and not press charges but I think you ought to know why I have made this decision. You are the second man to be caught stealing from this firm. I was the first to succumb to temptation and I was the first to be shown leniency. What you have done—I did. The mercy you are receiving—I have received. It is only the grace of God that can keep us both.
Crowded Detours by Don Mallough
A truly humble man is hard to find, yet God delights to honor such selfless people. Booker T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding example of this truth. Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman.
Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. The daughter of the woman recognized him and revealed his identity to her mother after he left.
Very embarrassed, the woman went to Mr. Washington’s office the next morning. She expressed her profuse apologies and asked for his forgiveness.
“It’s perfectly all right, Madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.” She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart.
Not long after she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy friends to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.
Our Daily Bread
The love that inspires us to do what is just, to act with mercy and walk in humility is sourced from the Father that sent His Son to die for our redemption and the Savior who gave His life so that we would not have to.