What God Wants from Us
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What God Wants from Us
By Dr. Carol J Miller
Have three paper circles for each child. One should have “act justly” written on it; one should have “Love Kindness”, and the third should say “Walk Humbly with God.” There should be one set for each child. See directions at the end of the sermon.
A man named “Micah” lived a long time ago; hundreds of years even before Jesus was born. Micah was one of the great prophets of Israel. A prophet is a person who loves God and sees clearly the times when the people do not follow God. Sometimes a prophet has to warn the people to stop what they are doing.
Micah was a prophet. Sometimes prophets helped the people understand God. That is what Micah is doing today. He is helping the people understand what God wants them to do. In those ancient times, God’s people would bring certain things to the priests of Israel as gifts or “offerings” to God. Sometimes they brought wheat or barley or some other grain as a thank you to God for all the good things God had given them. Sometimes they brought sheep or bulls when the people wanted to tell God that they were sorry for something they had done.
In today’s reading, the people are asking Micah how much is enough. If one basket of barley is good, would bringing two be better? Micah tells the people what God has said. God says that he doesn’t want any grain or sheep or bulls or anything like that. After all, God owns the whole world. God doesn’t need anything.
Well, now the people were confused. What did God want from them? Micah gives the people God’s word. First, God wants them to be just; to act justly. Does anyone know what being just means? [Accept all answers.]
Being just means being fair to everyone; using the same rules for everyone. At one time in our own country, there were places where some grown ups only had to sign their names and then they could vote for new leaders. But other people whose skin was a different color, had to read a lot of pages and take a test before they could vote. That was not just. They were using different rules for different people.
How would you feel if you went to a friend’s house to play a game, but your friend made a rule that he would win if he got 10 points, but you couldn’t win unless you got 100 points? [Accept all answers].
You would be angry because something deep inside you is telling you that it’s not fair. It is not just. The first thing God wants from us is to treat every person fairly. Is that a good demand from God? I think so, too.
The second thing God wants from us is for us to “love mercy”. Who can tell me what mercy is? [Thank the children for their answers].
When was a time you were merciful to some one? How about when someone was merciful to you. [Accept their answers].
God wants us to always be looking for the kind thing we can do––not just when someone is watching us but always. God wants us to love doing kind things.
The third thing is to stay close to God. Remember every morning that God is with you, loving you.
Remember that you belong to God. AND says God, remember also that you are not God. You and I don’t get to make the rules. We follow God’s rules. We don’t get to judge whom God loves or doesn’t love. That’s not our job. We don’t get to decide who deserves help and who doesn’t. God wants everyone to be treated kindly.
The word “humble” means remembering that we are not God and we are no better than anyone else.
That’s what God wants and everyone in this room should memorize these things: Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God. Let’s have everyone say these words after me, grown ups and teens, too. [Congregation repeats after each phrase]: “Act justly” …… “Love mercy”…….”Walk humbly with God”……
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan