December 21 | Daily Devotion

December 21 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~Micah 6:8

The people settled in the land of milk and honey are enjoying the sweetness of the land while milking their neighbors for more gain. “Am I still to forget, O wicked house, your ill-gotten treasures and the short ephah [about a bushel], which is accursed?” (Mic. 6:10). God’s people are cheats; they contrived a clever way of packing their shipping crates so that they shorted orders and thus made more money! God is not amused. “Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?” (Mic. 6:11). Their religion had become a mask for evil deeds.

There is a scene near the end of The Godfather where Michael Corleone stands up at the baptism of his godchild while his thugs carry out unspeakable orders. That’s what God’s people are doing—making an appearance in the temple while plotting how to gain more money. It is little wonder that God is weary of their ways. He calls on them to repent.

If there were such a thing as an ancient life verse, God’s succinct list of requirements for godly living would have been a good one: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8). This verse is so beautiful in its simplicity! God wants us to be fair in how we treat our fellow man, how we do business, how we pay our employees, and even in how we help victims of abuse and oppression. We should always endeavor to do what is right to the best of our ability and to be on the side of those who have been wronged.

God also calls us to show mercy, which prevents us from taking justice too far. There are times to let things go, to forgive people who have wronged us or have failed in ways they now regret. (My rule of thumb is to show mercy when a person is truly sorry for what has been done and when showing mercy will not bring injustice.)

Finally, God calls us to walk humbly with Him. I love the word “walk” to describe our relationship with God. It is truly a constant, progressive thing, not a once-a-week event. He wants to experience a relationship with us all day and through the week so that He can share our joys (praise) and our burdens (needs). He wants us to enjoy Him now and forever for this brings Him glory and delight, and it brings us joy.

Act justly. Love mercy. Walk with God. That’s all that the Lord requires of us.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.