Whether it is a Report Card at school or college or an Appraisal at work, a lot of us are used to being assessed. I have had quite a few of both kinds of assessment over the years. I vividly remember the look on my parents faces (both were teachers!) when the Report Card was "could do better" or sometimes worse. More recently, I haven't particularly looked forward to work appraisals either!
So what if we received a Report Card on our relationship with our Creator God, or indeed on our dealings with others? I was thinking about this after reading a particular verse in the Bible, one which I hadn't taken much notice of before. This is the verse…
He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (emphasis mine)
To be truthful, after thinking through the three actions in this verse, I am very much in the 'could do better' camp! Anyway, I just wanted to jot down those things which I had thought about as I pondered on this verse:
1. Act justly
Justice still seems to be sadly lacking in many parts of the world today. But on a personal level, how have I conducted myself with others recently? Have I been upright in all my dealings? Have I filled in those tax forms honestly? Do I take a stand when I see injustice going on around me?
2. Love mercy
Have I been reaching out to others in real need? Have I visited that neighbour who is now housebound and in real need of some company? Do I pray fervently for those who presently do not know the Lord Jesus? Did I ever get around to filling in that bank direct debit to financially help a Christian charity? Indeed, has my giving been appropriate to how the Lord has provided for me and my family? As I write this, I notice that the 'Horn of Africa' is in the grip of a major famine. The rains have failed again and millions are now at risk of starvation.
3. Walk humbly with your God
God hates pride and unfortunately we all succumb to pride in our lives. (To read an earlier Thought, "Proud of our Pride?" just go here). I have known very few truly humble servants of the Lord. I'm guessing it is one of those traits that takes a long time, and perhaps a few hard knocks, before you even get close to be able to say that you are 'walking humbly with your God'.
So how did you get on then? Would your Report Card be a glowing report or more akin to mine? If like me, you are in the 'could do better' bracket, all is not lost! God accepts us, not on some points system of what we have done (or will do) for Him, but purely on the basis of His perfect Son. Jesus died to pay the price for our failings (the Bible calls it 'sin'). We can never meet the standard that a holy God requires. But Jesus did meet that sinless standard and He freely offered Himself as a sacrifice to pay for our sins.
So for the Christian, it's really not about us at all! But as thankful sons and daughters, let us allow His Spirit to direct our lives in a way which is pleasing to Him. We will still falter and fail often but He is well aware of all our weaknesses and imperfections. Not only that, but He will love us till the end of time, and then for eternity!
And He (Jesus) said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." Matt 22:37
I'll leave you with a praise song from Andy Bromley, "Love Mercy". Just click on the video, turn on your sound and tune in to the lyrics.
Until next month then (DV)…
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!