Summary: I preached this sermon at the close of a missions convention at our church.
What does God Require?
Sunday Sermon / Missions month conclusion
November 4th, 2007
Intro: we have had a wonderful month of missions. I was nervous stepping aside from the pulpit this month. I wondered if you wound not continue to come. I trust that you have been blessed in hearing and visiting with a few of the missionaries support through KVAG. I want to give another big thanks to Sherree for all her work in presenting to us.
Vision – just how important is it that we take an active role in spreading the gospel? Its life and death. Isn’t it? When a church ceases to care primarily about the Great Commission that church has lost is way.
Our vision statement is presented to you on everything. We exist as a church to, ‘Connect people to the life changing power of God.’
So I ask, what do those ‘people’ look like? They are every shade of skin imaginable.
Where do those ‘people’ live? They live in every country and on every continent.
What lifeless god do they now worship? Allah, Nature or materialism. Or possibly they worship God, but aren’t truly connected to Him, because they haven’t yet accepted Jesus.
God’s Prophet, Micah was called to bring God’s people back around to God and His heart. They had lost their way. They became distracted and as a result of there wandering away, they were completely missing God. So, Micah preached and called to people to return.
How many would agree,
I. God gets in your face until He gets your heart
a. These people truly needed God to get into their faces.
b. They had allowed greed to creep into their hearts and it began to consume their lives. These things start off small, a little bit of compromise, a little here and a little there.
c. They mixed worship of Jehovah with worship for Baal.
Baal was considered the fertility god. They worshipped Baal, so that they would prosper. So, the crops and animals would multiply. They compromised their worship of God so they could have easier lives.
d. Furthermore, their hearts hardened towards each other and they started stealing and swindling each other out of their land. The rich Lorded over the poor
I had a conversation with Pastor Babu Friday night on the way home from a Church service. I asked him, what do people in India think about America? Because many people in the world truly despise us. So I asked him. He said, “People in India think America is heaven on the Earth.” Wow, what an indictment, I thought. They look at us and see all that we have, all our security, all our wealth. If this is heaven, I’m a more than a little disappointed. The poorest of our citizens is still in the top 10% wealthiest people in the world. They look at us and think I want to be an American. Babu, then told me about a Indian missionary who wrote, “I’d rather be in Hell with Jesus, than Heaven without Jesus.”
e. If this is heaven, its heaven without Jesus.
f. And why are we lacking Jesus in America? We see no real need for Him. If Jesus can make me more happy then sure, I’ll be a Christian.
II. The Cure
In our insatiable pursuit for acquisition more things, we forget to ask the question that once answered will cure our hearts and satisfy our souls.
What does the Lord Require of me?
Micah 6:6-8 "With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 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.
God’s goodness is the fundamental standard for what God desires, and we are pleasing to him only inasmuch as we resemble the goodness he has “showed”
a. God will always point us back to our hearts
• Our heart is paramount in our response to God.
• Sacrifices are only as valuable as the heart change they must represent
For Micah, justice, mercy and humility would have been understood in a financial and economic context, especially in light of the fact that the antithesis of these virtues was the economic sins which he condemned…Thus, when Micah describes what God wants, he is describing obedience that must be understood in the context of stewardship, generosity, and financial faithfulness.
• From our heart, we are called to hunger and thirst for Righteousness.