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Walk This Way

January 9, 2017

Taken from a message given by John Thomas, pastor of King of Kings Baptist Church in Cape Town, South Africa, and Reach Beyond board member.

 

As Reach Beyond steps into not only a new year, but also a new chapter in ministry, a few good questions to ask ourselves might be: “What does God want us to do? How does he want us to live? What does He require of us as a ministry?” One answer to these questions can be found in the simple and profound words of the prophet Micah.

 

“This is what the Lord requires of you:

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8

 

In many ways this verse is the apex statement of all that God requires of us. It is a message that stands on its own, and in many ways sums up the mandate of the Christian life. It is not stated as a mere suggestion or consideration, but a requirement! Much like a smart phone needing the battery to stay charged to work well, or the right amount of money needing to be presented in order to purchase a cup of Jo from your favorite coffee shop. It’s how life works in God’s kingdom.

 

So just what does it mean to ‘act justly’ and ‘love mercy’ and ‘walk humbly with our God’? What does that look like? Here is some definition to the meaning behind the words:

1.    Act Justly

“Acting justly means you have the quality of being fair and kind to everyone.” The word ‘mishpat’, which is used for ‘justly’, means ‘fair judgment’. This word is always used in reference to the widow, fatherless, orphan, poor, hungry, needy, weak, refugee, and the oppressed. Consider this to also mean the homeless, the single parent, the rebellious teen, and more.

 

Jesus himself declared that he was sent “…to preach the gospel to the poor; … heal the brokenhearted, … proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and … to set at liberty those who are oppressed;” (Luke 4:18)

 

He calls us to do the same. To reach out to the unreached, to advocate for those under the “yoke of injustice”, to empower the impoverished through economic and community development, to extend our hands to the ‘least of these’ throughout the world. Acting justly or demonstrating justice is compassion in action.

2.   Love Mercy

“Mercy is pointing all, regardless of their state, to the Grace of God as demonstrated in Jesus’ death. It is simply doing all we can to bring others to personal faith in Christ.”

Do we love mercy? Do we somehow think that we can be too merciful in reaching the lost with the gospel? Have we become so desensitized to what’s politically or socially correct that we have become numb to the lostness of the world?

 

In Jude 22-23, the author gives this compelling exhortation: “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy …”

 

Lest we become “evangelism-fatigued”, let us “go ballistic in reaching people for Christ.”! Let us go all out, be all in, and dedicate ourselves to loving mercy and loving others into the kingdom of God.

3.   Walk humbly with your God

“Walking humbly means to live your life submissively under God’s guidance.”

The Hebrew meaning of the phrase ‘walk humbly with your God’ means ‘to allow yourself to be advised’ by God. Or said another way, it means ‘pay attention to what God is saying and doing’.

 

Our individual walk with God is of vital importance. The way we walk speaks volumes.
2 Corinthians 3:3 states: “And you show that you are a letter from Christ …, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

 

Whether or not we like it, others are watching our walk. Many are watching and waiting -- to catch glimpses of the God we say we believe and follow. To walk humbly is not to walk perfectly, but dependently on the One who leads us. It takes humility to follow. As Paul said to the disciples, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

 

So we are called to live out our faith -- by acting justly (compassion in action), loving mercy (boldly sharing our faith), and walking humbly with our God (paying attention to and following God). We can walk out this mandate only through the help and power of the Holy Spirit. We can be the voice and hands and heart of Jesus today, to the unreached and lost throughout the world. Let us commit ourselves to go. Together.

 

 Do you want to live your life boldy?  We have the tools to help you. 

 

 

BOLD curriculum