Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Relationship Requirements

I love friends who are honest and who don't keep you guessing where you stand with them.  You know. They communicate.  They nurture.  They endure. They are for real.

My fun, prayerful, gracious and loyal friend, Tammie, is that kind of person.  Tammie is fervent in pursuing her relationship with the Lord.  She wears her beautiful heart on her sleeve and is a treasured "iron sharpens iron" gal. She's honest about her own struggles and will challenge you with God's truth with yours.  Tammie and I define loyalty the same way:  love each other with endurance in God's grace and His truth.  I just love her.

Pull up a chair to the table today as my friend Tammie serves up some truth from Micah 6:8 about Relationship Requirements.   

Joshua, Bob, Tammie, Daniel
and Olivia (on mommy's lap)
The Dowd Family

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. 
And what does the Lord requires of you?  
But to do justly, to love mercy
and to walk humbly before your God."
Micah 6:8

(By Tammie Dowd)

I love how God gives us verses that stir our heart. Verses that challenge our walk with Him and leads us to a place where we are on our knees. Micah 6:8 has stirred my heart over the last few weeks.

What does the lord require of me in my relationship with Him and with others?

My heart really wants to understand God's requirements.  I want to be obedient to what He is asking of me. In my quiet time, I am in search of what the Lord means when He says these words through Micah.

One commentary said:  "God asks this of us:  To be just and merciful to our fellowman and to live in humble obedience to God. What does that look like in our life?  If we were to take inventory of these requirements, how are we stacking up?  He speaks to our hearts about issues of our heart. He is only asking us to give to others the same as He gives to us.  The same love, the same mercy." 

I read another commentary that said, "To do justice for others means to stand up for those considered by others as less than." How often do I stand up for others? I stand up for my children, my husband. But others?

"If someone says 'I love God' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
1 John 4:20-21

As I read these words I thought of the verse in Micah.  To love your brother or sister you have to be just and merciful. You have to be obedient to the Lord. That means whatever rights you think you have, well they just went out the window! It’s easy for our hearts to harden when we justify why we feel the way we do.  But our feelings should match up to what scripture says. 

Forgiving others who have offended us is our responsibility and God's commandment to us.  It might be easy for some to forgive more than others. If the offense is great and the pain is deep, sometimes we wonder how we can forgive. But God calls us to forgive. He doesn’t say there is a scale with which you measure the sin of someone else.  The best part of forgiveness is God allows your heart to heal. 

Forgiveness doesn’t always mean restored relationship. But it allows our hardened hearts to be opened, for God to use us for His purpose. Whether my husband hurts my feelings or if a friend lets me down, whatever the offense, I choose to give it to the Lord.

Is it always easy? No!  God wants us to restore our relationship with Him so that He can commune with us, bless us and use us for His glory.

When we are being obedient to His word, we can do justly, love being merciful, and we can walk humbly with our God. We can love the way God requires us to love.  

I am so thankful for His word, that He daily teaches me how to live for Him.   

Dear Lord, there are so many times when the offense seems too great to forgive. Help my unbelief, help me let go of my rights and allow You to shine through me, in me so the world sees You.  Thank You for being a just God and a God of second chances. Amen

"The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."
Isaiah 50:4

1 comment:

maria reyes said...

What a great morning devotion, preparing me to show mercy and love to everyone that crosses my path today. The same mercy and love that He shows me unconditionally. Thanks for sharing!