Micah 6:8 Do Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly With Your God

Since becoming a pastor I have become aware of the struggle to bring together righteousness and truth with mercy and love.

  1. When I am dealing with righteousness and truth I tend to become less merciful and loving.

  2. When I am trying to be loving and merciful it seems as though the temptation is to neglect being clear in regards to righteousness and truth.

  3. Honestly, I struggle to merge these two things together. When I am strong in one area I struggle in the other.

I consider myself a merciful person but there are many situations when my reaction is NOT always patient, loving and merciful. For this reason, I am so glad that the Scriptures give me permission, and even responsible, to respond with both righteousness and in mercy.

Consider just a few examples,

1 Timothy 3:3 when Paul lists some of the qualifications for an elder he says an elder must not be...”violent but gentle, not quarrelsome…”.

1 Timothy 6:11, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.”

2 Timothy 2:22-25, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

When there is a doctrinal or relational problem in the church it is so easy to handle it in the wrong way. I could quickly become impatient, agitated, argumentative, combative. It would be all too easy for me to think to myself,”Good riddance! The church will be better off without you.”

Therefore, I need God’s Word to remind me that:

  • God has given me the command to defend truth and to be merciful to even my enemies.

  • He has given me permission to be a defender of truth and to display loving kindness simultaneously.

  • He has made me responsible to uphold righteousness and truth and to express mercy and grace.

  • He has given me the grace to love righteousness and the grace to be merciful to opponents.

  • He has also given me examples in scripture of how I can be a lover of righteousness and also merciful to all.

  1. You too have been given this command from the Lord.

  2. You too have been given permission concerning such things.

  3. You too have been given the grace to display these things in the church, in your home and in your sphere of living.

  4. These things are not just the responsibility of the elders; but of every Christian.

  5. A Christian goes to the Word of God to see examples and receive grace to do this well

Micah 6:8 clearly teaches us this, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

This sermon will seek to address two primary things today.

  1. First, we will try to show how a Christians duty to do righteousness and love mercy is fundamentally different than an unbelievers who speaks of such things.

  2. Secondly, we will take a moment to see how Jesus models these virtues when He interacted with sinful men. He is our greatest example! It is possible to love truth and righteousness and to be merciful and kind.

The other night I watched the democratic debate. If you watched it, you will recall that there were many times when you heard these politicians make an impassioned plea for America to display justice and mercy. Let me give you one example.

When discussing the problem of mass shootings Senator Cory Booker made a plea for America to be a nation who is characterized by empathy. He made the argument that none of us should only feel empathy when tragedy hits us close to home. He asked that we become a people who cries for all injustice no matter how far away it occurs.

I think that Mr. Booker verbalized what we all have felt. How close do we have to be to a tragedy before we will shed a tear, or display empathy for others, or to respond in an appropriate way?

You and I don’t have to look far to find injustice, violence, abuse, and crime. All of us see some form of injustice and suffering that needs to be righted. People are asking for laws to be written, for justice to be done and for a strategy to be implemented.

But something vitally important is being left out of the conversation.