March 30

Written by Bill Grandi on March 30th, 2023

What does God require of us? That is the question I posed to my  “66” class last night. (I am teaching a class on the 66 books of the Bible).

I can hear it now. “Pastor Bill is going to click off a list of Do’s and Don’t’s related to his interpretation of Scripture and tell me that “God says you can do this-or-that, but you can’t do this-or-that.” Most often when some makes this kind of list (particularly a pastor or religious teacher) the list of what you cannot do far outnumbers the list of what you can do.  And sadly, the list includes things which are outward. “You don’t wear this or that.” “You don’t cut your hair.” “You don’t wear pants.” (It always seems to be tougher on women-know what I mean?)

Even “religious” things are involved. Regular church attendance. Tithing (cheerfully of course). Read the Bible on a daily basis. Clean language. Sing (old hymns only) with gusto. Read the KJV only. Now…I’m not saying those are bad things in, and of themselves (although I might balk at the hymns and KJV only idea 🙂 ), but even those are duties.

You see…all of those, as well as others, can be done by anyone, even if that person’s heart is not right with God. They are all centered on the outward and reveal nothing of the heart.

Micah, the Old Testament prophet, has a different take on what is required. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness (mercy), and to walk humbly with God?” (ESV)  Three things: 1) do justice; 2) love mercy; 3) walk humbly with God.

The qualifier is that last one. It takes the other two and tells us why we should do them and how. To walk humbly with God infiltrates all we do. Every act of justice, every act of mercy, flows from a heart walking with God. The so-called “justice movement” we witnessed in the summer of 2020, and even now, was not justice. It was anarchy.  It was not rooted at all in Biblical truth or in walking humbly with God.

If you want to see an example of justice in action, stop right now and read James (a book in the Bible) 2:1-9,14-20.

Three things are required: do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Talk about a game-changer! Hmmm not a stitch of clothing or hair mentioned. 🙂


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Legalism is a faith killer. It is interesting how Jesus’ only real confrontations occurred with the religious leaders of Israel. Why do we think that is? It is because Jesus wanted to turn the established norm in regards to what most expected as being spiritual on its head. Jesus expects proper behavior, but he expects it to come out of first knowing who He is… A relationship. By having a relationship with Christ, we ultimately WANT to do what is expected, not just checking the boxes of do’s and avoiding the boxes of doughnuts (do not’s)

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are so right Ryan. Legalism is a faith killer. And the fact Jesus wanted to turn what they thought was spiritual on its head is proof he wasn’t too thrilled about it at all.

  2. That is my life verse, Bill. May I live it out faithfully.

  3. gail says:

    We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus in God’s Kingdom. Teaching the world how we are set apart, by the way our lives reflect Jesus in us. Follow the ways to live as Jesus taught us while he served while on earth. If we do that, our walk will be one of justice,love, mercy, and humility.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You were in that class last night Gail and I know you know how I feel. You express it well. May our walk, indeed, by one of justice, mercy and humility.

  4. Kari Scare says:

    Imagine the Bible if everything that could be on the list was on the list. My point is that there’s enough on the list to help us understand the point of living justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. As Ryan said, a relationship with God is key. That’s how we know what our unique lists are.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That Bible would be as thick as a family Bible they used to make, maybe even thicker. I much prefer to live in freedom.