Good morning, beloved,
Hey, did you know how much you are loved today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Always? Pause and calmly think on that. God just loves the socks off you. As you race for the phone today so as not to miss the call, know that the Lord waits to talk to you with the same urgency…always.
Last night, my hackles were up. I have no idea why. I had such a great day of God sightings through my whole day. Willow Creek is going through a whole season of a Celebration of Hope. My heart was arguing with the songs. I don’t know why. So I began to pray and confess my reasoning. And God lead me to the verses that the song was based on. Micah 6:8.
8He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
When I sing friends, the Lord (I think I’ve chatted about this, but I’ll say it again) has convicted me to think about what I sing. I am not always good about this, but I am working on it. This verse gets taken out of context so much…yet I did, as my Noah would say, “rabbit trail”, just this verse and found great benefit.
He has showed you, O man… So I sing this, yet what does Micah mean? He is telling the Israelites to recall what was revealed to Moses in Deuteronomy 30:15See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil. Whoa…I’m singing about that? I get chills. I don’t even realize it. God does tho..do you see what I mean?What is good…So, what does the Lord think is good? Glad you asked. Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being, but to do justly…Now, I look up the Hebrew here, and it is exactly as stated: justice,justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man) , but when I found the corresponding verses, I got excited. Isaiah 56:1 THUS SAYS the Lord: Keep justice, do and use righteousness (conformity to the will of God which brings salvation), for My salvation is soon to come and My righteousness (My rightness and justice) to be revealed. (He’s talking about Messiah Jesus! His Son! Woohoo!!) Jeremiah 22:3 3Thus says the Lord: Execute justice and righteousness, and deliver out of the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong; do no violence to the stranger or temporary resident, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.
to love kindness…checed-goodness, kindness, faithfulness Hosea 6:6 For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings.
walk humbly with your God…Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and lofty One–He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin]. Amen! And…Isaiah 66:2 For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.
So, now, I can sing the song. Well, except the whole service is over. Ahem.
Some other things to note to you, Bill Hybels has the author of Half the Sky , Nicholas D. Kristof coming to Willow Creek next weekend. During each of the services this weekend (today now) you can purchase the book for 10 bucks. Now, here’s the wrecking part for me. I was not happy when I heard the name. I was like, (that was for you Dad), dude..an interview? I had forgotten that I had started reading this book for a book club and then couldn’t finish it in time. The book was a wrecking experience. (seeing a theme here?) On my part, I will say Bill did just say his name…and I looked and Joshua and grimaced. I don’t know why. And then he said the name of the book and cried out. The audience all stared at me. I didn’t care. God was speaking to me. I was listening.
I bought the book. 2 chapters per day will get me there on Saturday. Anyone want to come with us? Check it out of the library. Buy it on a kindle. Buy it on a nook. Go to a bookstore. Come hear this guy. It will rock your world.
Another thing…don’t miss how God blesses those who help the poor. Any wonder on that? Check out Isaiah 58. More on that…tomorrow.
Another thing…as soon as I finish Esther. I’m starting Daniel. I really am. God has all but sent a telegram….so you have been warned.