This week's memory verse:
"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 walk humbly with your God." -- Micah 6:8
To act justly...what does that really mean? This week we have heard a lot about justice being served...someone evil got what he deserved. But I think what God means by acting justly basically means we are to do what is right...to live a life of integrity. How do we know how to do that? God gave us his commandments as a guide so we would KNOW how to live justly.
As a kid, I always thought of the 10 commandments as the "you shall not" list...a list of things I shouldn't do. But really look at the list that Moses brought down from God...put it in a different context...things you SHOULD do...or a list of I WILL...
1. I will honor only one God.
2. I will worship God only instead of idols I build up for myself.
3. I will only speak the name of God in worship and praise.
4. I will remember what the Sabbath is all about and honor it with worship and rest.
5. I will honor my mother and father.
6. I will honor life itself...my own life and the lives of others
7. I will honor my marriage vows and stay true to my mate
8. I will keep only what is mine
9. I will tell the truth
10. I will be content with what I have instead of wanting what others have.
Thinking of God's laws or commands in this way makes them easier for me to understand and do. It's like "living justly" is my mission statement for my life and these are the 10 action steps that will get me there.
As you know, I have been working on healthier living and being more responsible with my finances. I believe these two things fit right into those 10 action steps above.
1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.
When I eat too much, eat the wrong things, don't exercise and let my body get more and more out of shape, I am NOT giving glory to God. I am in a sense going against some of those action steps...making food an idol and NOT honoring my life! I am making my life more about me than about God. God wants us to make our lives about him...focused on him and living justly because he knows we will be healthier, happier and better off when we do! I wonder why that is so hard for us to accept?
God wants a close relationship with us and wants us to live in healthy ways...it's more than the diet plans, food trackers and weigh-ins. Anything you do, or fail to do, that hinders your relationship with God wages war with your soul and keeps you down. If I continue overeating, not exercising, overspend, get deeper in debt...the guilt of doing those things and the natural consequences of those things weigh me down, zap my strength and take my focus off God...the one who WANTS me free of those things!
Lord, I want to live a life of integrity so I can be closer to you. I want to be healthy and stable and able to focus on you instead of all my problems. Help me to live by those 10 action steps you gave me so I can work toward a life that honors you in ALL I do. Amen