Disciples of Christ are characterized by straightforwardness and integrity and honesty. There is nothing underhanded, sly, deceitful, or hidden in Christ. Everything is direct and straightforward, with no beating around the bush. Those who are His disciples are trained to be the same when they follow in His footsteps.
What does the Lord require of you?
In the book of Micah it is clearly written how simple this is. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8. Those who take these words to heart, will be these straightforward servants of the Lord. And if we aren’t that way, we can work on becoming like that! A genuine, godly love for others will compel us to take this verse to heart. Then there will be no messing around with people, politicking here, trying to advance a bit there, being underhanded, manipulative, self-seeking. No, only justice, mercy, and humility. Straightforwardness, fairness, honesty, and integrity follow that pattern.
This verse shows what God requires. Other than this, He doesn’t require anything; it is very simple. But this verse encompasses a great deal. His desire is that His children should be like Him, have the same mind, the same thoughts, and the same life, and the same godly sorrow over unrighteousness in our hearts. The same honesty and straightforwardness, when it concerns both themselves, and when it concerns others.
For example, to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge the things that are wrong. Maybe, as an example, lying for our own gain. Or having a grudging, or complaining attitude. These things are to be overcome in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that something new and eternal can be born. And that is God’s desire; He requires that of us. That is what is just and right and humble.
To do justly
To do justly is an important matter. In Proverbs 12:3 it is written: “A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved.” Perhaps some people try to accomplish things and advance through anger and lying. But here it says that that isn’t possible! It is the root of the righteous which cannot be moved. And if we believe these words, and strive to be righteous ourselves, then we enter into a rich life. Then we enter into the ministry of righteousness. Then we will get firm roots, something that cannot be moved in the storms of life.
Jesus spoke about the two houses, the house that was built on the sand and the one built on the rock. The house on the rock was not shaken when the storm beat against it. Everybody encounters the storms of life, the elements of life, both the righteous and the ungodly. But the house of the righteous is built on a rock; it is built on righteousness and it stands firmly.
So, what does the Lord require of you? To choose righteousness and goodness in all your ways! To try and gain something for yourself in an ungodly way never pays. There is no blessing in that. You can read in Proverbs chapters 10-12 about righteousness, and how glorious it is. There are incredible promises for your life when you live a righteous, good, just, merciful, humble life. Believe in this and you will really experience that the Lord is good.
This article is based on a message by Kaare J. Smith on 5th December 2018.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.