The purpose of God’s goodness, and our response

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[God] 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.
— Micah 6:8

God, in this verse, is talking to Israel. He set them apart from all nations of the world and brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. He showed them His goodness. Much like Israel, we in America have been extremely blessed by God. We are the world’s most prosperous nation, and probably the only country who’s poor are fat. We have seen God’s goodness; therefore we need to ask the question “why?” In Micah 6:8 God tells us what was expected out of Israel for the goodness that was shown to them – to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

After we answer the question of “why does God show His goodness to us”, we should ask the question “how do we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God?” Acting “justly” not only has a negative application of “not acting unjustly”, but it also has a positive application to act in a way that is honorable and truthful showing impartiality to others. Showing mercy not only has the negative application of “not getting judgment deserved” but it also has a positive application of showing loving kindness to the needy. God tells us not only to “show mercy” but to “love mercy”. This gives us the picture that our acts of mercy should not be dry, joyless duties, but rather fulfilling, pleasurable privileges. Walking “humbly with your God” is simply walking with God while having a right perspective of who you are in alignment with Him.

In other words, the only way that we can naturally act justly and love mercy (not just “do mercy”) is by understanding God’s goodness to us in showing no partiality in his acts of loving kindness to us who are needy, in spite of our depravity, and praising Him for His goodness. When we understand God’s goodness in this way, the natural overflow would be to show the same justice and mercy to others.

Don’t exploit the goodness of God for selfish gain. Meditate on God’s goodness and ask Him to give you a right perspective of His relationship with you. Show the world God’s goodness through acts of justice, by loving mercy and by demonstrating the humility that comes through walking with Jesus.

Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me what is good. Forgive me for the times that I have consumed your goodness for myself with no care for others. Remind me continually of the purpose of your goodness to me. Help me get a right perspective of my relationship with you so that showing the world the same goodness you have shown me would be the natural overflow of my heart rather than joyless duty. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!

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