If you are like me, ever so often you need to take inventory and make a list before a trip to the grocery store or when your insurance comes up for renewal, asking, do I have enough or too much.
Often I pause to take my ‘spiritual’ inventory.
Am I saying “no” to self and “yes” to Christ… am I remembering Galatians 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I recently finished reading Micah again and am reminded how God hates idolatry, unfairness, rebellion, and empty rituals.
I love this question from Micah 6:8 And what does the Lord require of you?
(I find this a good question for beginning my spiritual inventory).
Micah 6:8 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.
This scripture has a strong message and should not be taken lightly. It gives instruction on how we are to live every day. Not when we are trying to impress others, not in ritualistic actions or service. It is to be so ingrained in us that it becomes our nature.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Isaiah 1:16-17 Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Jeremiah 22:3 This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
Zechariah 7:9-10 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
For me, this next one covers all of the above, if I am loving God and my neighbor as stated below, I will be obeying the ones above. It’s all about loving God and loving others and expressing that love in the way I treat others. I know full well it’s not as easy as it sounds, because we all know how others can get on our last nerve at times. I also know that God doesn’t ask any thing of us that we can’t do.
Matthew 22:37-40 "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
It all comes down to our heart, God doesn’t want sacrifices, he wants our hearts to be in tune to others, loving Him, loving others and serving. Finding our talents and using them.
I am also reminded that our God is truly an awesome God…Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.