Summary: If we are to glorify God, then we should practice justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. In so doing, we can be a manifestation of grace, in Christ Jesus.
A Manifestation of Grace
Scripture Text: Micah 6:8 (Read)
Introduction: Do we sometimes take advantage of the things that mean the most to us? Are we honest about what is right, and true? Do we sometimes fail to treat others as we would be treated? Do we make an honest effort to move beyond ourselves and lift up others? Do we think of ourselves as greater than we are and monopolize our status and direction before God? You see, Micah revealed an indictment of the Jewish people because they had forgotten about these kinds of things. Their belief in ‘here’ (heart) was not manifesting a saving faith ‘out here’ (exercise of the body). If you remember, I mentioned last time that the word ‘goodness’ in many languages does not mean anything without action. The words of Micah sound so beautiful to us don’t they….? But, the real issue that we need to concern ourselves with today is: “do they mean anything to you?”
Propositional Statement: If we are to glorify God, then we should practice justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. In so doing, we can be a manifestation of grace, in Christ Jesus. In the beginning of Micah 6:8; it says that doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God are “good” and “required.”
a. How many are ready to accept goodness? Goodness is found in the very nature of God! Some agree with it, some argue against it, but all are subjected to it! God is a ‘good’ God! And despite any argument against God’s goodness, it can lead to your welfare and prosperity in Christ Jesus.
b. How about requirements, how do you feel when you consider that God requires justice, kindness, and humility? (Let me explain why the word ‘require’ is here.) When God was worshipped in ceremonial worship, he required that a sacrifice come in a particular manner. In Micah 6:7; the people were not offering God what was required. Instead, they began to offer a human sacrifice in the form of a child. This practice was continued throughout the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These people were so spiritually ignorant, they would offer their children in sacrifice; in some kind of appeasement to God and then continue in their sin.
This just goes to show you what can happen when God’s goodness and requirements are twisted. Men continue to deny God’s goodness, and shun his requirements because of injustice, hate, and pride.
I. DO JUSTICE.
How many of you have argued for some wrong done to you, but have forgotten the wrongs you have done to others? I know I do that! When justice works against others, that’s OK….but when it works against me…then it just is not right!
ILLUS. A judge once told someone “I know that you are guilty and you know it, and I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and wiser Judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law.” Source Unknown
You see, God’s justice is not partial. What are we doing as a people to promote justice in this world? President Lincoln said, “To sin by silence when one should speak makes cowards of men.” There is no place for injustice, inequity or unfairness in our lives. Our faith must lead us to ethical behavior. Knowledge without responsible action is sin. We should ask ourselves: What can I do to preserve human rights? How can I uphold the sanctity of life? How should I respond to injustice?
Transition: I quoted Boice in the New American Commentary; who said: “To act justly is most important, for it does not mean merely to talk about justice or to get other people to act justly. It means to do the just thing yourself.” Justice is important in glorifying God, but so is kindness.
II. LOVE KINDNESS.
A. I have been thinking all week about the ways that I can show kindness to another person. In addition, do I know how others have shown kindness to me? Seems only fair, huh? (SMILE)
Has anyone held the door for you or your family? Has someone offered you help when you’ve needed it? You know, sometimes the smallest things can show the greatest amount of kindness. In fact, ….
“a story is told about an elderly lady named Mamie; who always went to a branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were friendly. She went there to buy stamps just before Christmas one year and the lines were particularly long. Someone pointed out that there was no need to wait in line because there was a stamp machine in the lobby. "I know," said Mamie, ’but the machine won’t ask me about my arthritis." Bits and Pieces, December, 1989, p. 2.