4 Things We Simply Must Get Right
Let me ask you a question – Is gravity hidden? Well, it depends on whether you are flying or falling.
Some folks are aware of the laws of gravity and use them to their advantage. They design things like airplanes, rocket ships, and satellites. They study gravity and other laws of physics and use them to accomplish great things.
So to those who are flying, gravity is not hidden at all. To the contrary, it is embraced, loved, and obeyed. But there are others who are not so aware. One who thinks a thirty-foot ladder leaning up against his house needs no side support is not really thinking of gravity very clearly.
It is not that they are opposed to the law of gravity; they are just not very mindful of it. Then, irrationally, they curse the ground when gravity does what gravity does and they fall. Is the law of gravity hidden to these people, unable to be discovered? Not at all.
Neither are the “ways” of doing life hidden from those who fail to practice them. They could have learned them somewhere, and might even have heard of them at times. But instead they broke themselves on the laws by not paying attention to how they work in day-to-day reality. Gravity is just reality. It is. Obey it and it will help you do great things. Even fly. Ignore it and you will fall and hurt yourself.
So, what are a few of those laws that we need to embrace and live with? Well, let’s start with the 4 that we SIMPLY MUST get right!
It’s pretty obvious that we need a different way of life. Ours isn’t turning out so well…so what if we were to go back to Jesus’ time here on this earth and see what He said – In Matthew 22: 35-40 SLIDE 3 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
I know it…you don’t even have to say it. Chuck, I’ve heard it all my life, but I love God and I love others. Okay, then take the handout today and measure yourself on this scale…Remembering that Jesus said in John’s Gospel,
If you love Me, you’ll obey Me.
Ouch – this measuring stick isn’t compared to somebody else. If we are to truly find a better way of life, we SIMPLY MUST get the LOVE GOD part right…and when we do…the LOVE OTHERS comes so much easier.
Classic example – If we love God with all our heart, will we display a critical spirit? Will we find pettiness and rigidity a natural part of our life? Will we allow hatred and racism to remain in our spheres of influence? Will we find fault with anything that isn’t all about us and live a self-serving life? OR…
Will we determine to encourage and love and listen to those that we once were critical of? Extend grace and mercy, flexibility and forgiveness in our daily lives? Will we see and serve others as opposed to looking past them with disinterest or bigotry? Will we offer love and a spirit of gratitude as opposed to making everything about us?
This is what it looks like when we GET GOD RIGHT – we’ll get our relationship right with Jesus, which allows us to display Him through us as opposed to revealing the opposite of HIM – US. Take a second and investigate your heart and souls and mind – on these scales in your handout – How are you REALLY doing in the LOVE GOD continuum and the LOVE OTHERS continuum.
NOW – Would those that know you best agree or post a different number based on their inside view of your life. I mean if they could see your calendar, your checkbook, your gps tracked path this past week?
This is personal – God says in Micah 6:8 – what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
So, let me state the obvious here – God says I require you to do these three things – which by the way – they are each impossible to accomplish without the presence and power of Jesus at work in our lives. DO JUSTICE? Notice, He doesn’t say to give or pray or hire others to DO JUSTICE – He says to each of us individually – DO JUSTICE. Okie Dokie Chuck – so how do I do that?
Thanks for asking – The clear meaning of “justice” is “what is right” — the way things are supposed to be. Justice can also mean “deliverance,” “victory,” or “vindication,” — but for all, not just a few. Justice is part of God’s purpose in redemption.
One of the clearest words for justice is the Hebrew word shalom, which means both “justice” and “peace.” So justice, most simply, means putting things right again — ﬁxing, repairing, and restoring broken relationships. And doing justice restores our relationship with God and makes our worship of God authentic.
That should be our justice lens for viewing any society — looking at what’s wrong and ﬁguring out how to make it right in love. Justice is as basic as that. For justice shows that we love and worship the God of the Bible, who is a God of justice. Justice requires action on our part…not silent apathy. It requires love on our part, no indignation and self righteousness.
Then – Love KINDNESS, or in many of your translations – Love MERCY – this one word is a life-altering word for me. I’m at times aloof, self-centered, terminally certain and often just plain selfish. Then Micah 6:8 became a very real life-verse for me. I have zero MERCY when I am assessed with spiritual gifts – those things that God handed out when we trusted Jesus with our life.
MERCY? come on, God! Really! Me? Mercy? That word screams at me sometimes, when I don’t instigate that in my actions, reactions and attitudes. I’m guessing I’m not the only one in this room that struggles with this. If you really want a prescription for allowing you to LOVE MERCY – read this verse out loud for 30 straight days. Then write one way you will adjust your attitude to allow God to use you as a bucket filled with MERCY, overflowing with mercy for others.
Oh – And when we act justly, and we embrace mercy, it will come pretty easy to walk humbly. When you see me act and display self-centered and self-serving attitudes – I’ll guarantee you it’s because I am not addressing justice and extending mercy.
So, how would you define Justice in your life right now – what will you act justly toward this week?
What about Mercy – Who are you to extend MERCY towards this week? Think on this…mercy costs you nothing if you extend it to someone that earns it…but what about that person that you find it hard to extend MERCY to?
Then Humility – Is there a secret or hidden place in your soul that is still thinking I want mine? I’m gonna get mine! Or this life, this family, these friends, this church is ALL ABOUT ME? SLIDE 8 If so, what one action will you commit to as an attitude and humility adjustment in your life this week?
So, Love God & Others – Check Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly – Check
Luke 6:31 drops a bible verse hangreade on us with these words… Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
WHAT? Yep…treat others – without qualification of the who they are, what they are, what color their skin is, their family, faith system or heritage.
No regard for their income level, intelligence or difference. Treat Others the way you want others to treat you. Pretty straight up right?
We get all turnt up when we find a cause to scream at and let’s face it, the world already knows what we are threatened by or opposed to. I do not think the world has a clue about what we are FOR!
I think the number one reason folks don’t attend church is that tried it already…and they saw everything wrong with them as opposed to seeing all God built them to be…and we get to play a small part of it!
So, why not get up every morning with a determined attitude of I WILL treat folks with respect and dignity and here it comes – KINDNESS! I really think we need to define that word – KINDNESS.
What if the kindness we extend to others included taking the high road, assuming the best of people, seeing how to serve them, encourage them, and love them…without requisites of the what or who they are?
Why not be that person, that family, that church! Anybody can point out sin or fault of problems. We MUST GET THIS RIGHT! How we treat people. The attitude we display with people is the picture they will have of God – You!
Let’s stop and in a quiet moment list four attributes that you really see evidenced in a true and loyal friend – GO AHEAD – NOW, place a checkmark next to the ones that you know you display regularly, and circle those that you can make positive adjustments to today.
How do these line up with your relationships right now?
Go Ahead and BE GREAT! but to do so, we have a requirement to be great and Jesus makes no exceptions. He says in Matthew 20:26 But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.
Now Chuck – You’ve gone too far! I’m pretty great here in my world. Again, where it really matters is not against your office or golf or coffee buddies. It not against other people…this servanthood thing is measured against the Greatest of all – JESUS, who said that He didn’t come into this world to be served, but to serve.
I really believe there are 2 significant ways to live a GREAT LIFE:
1. CHOOSE TO SERVE OTHERS
2. CHOOSE TO SERVE OTHERS WITHOUT RECOGNITION
When we Love God and Love Others
When we Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly
When we Treat Others the Way We Want to be Treated and
Serve people in need by serving them as Jesus came to serve us
Well, we have the 4 essential attributes to go into this world and KILL IT!
Listen, Business Person, Attorney, Realtor, Salesperson, Stay at Hom Mom or Dad, Student – God didn’t make this unattainable. He actually made this pretty simple.
When we choose to walk, talk and live with a heart soul and mind surrendered to God, by allowing His Son, Jesus to forgive us, give us new life and a clean slate…we will abide in and live daily in sync with Him.
The short lesson is this – YOU CAN DO THIS!
This isn’t for the super-spiritual or churched up folks. Jesus made this available for all of us – and you can choose to SIMPLY GET THESE 4 THINGS RIGHT in your life today!