Sermon Discussion + Prayer: "What Difference Can We Make?"
Considering the recent death of George Floyd and the increasing tension across the nation and in our own city, God’s Word must inform how we, as believers, are to feel and act in response to such events. For the original audience, Micah 6:8 addresses many injustices that were taking place in Israel at the time. CJ points out that the three commands in verse eight are evidences of salvation. They address how a Christian should behave at all times: do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. Two of the simplest ways to fulfill these commands is to pay attention to and to pray for others.
- How has Micah 6:8 refined your perspective of God’s heart for us today?
- Micah makes it clear that forgetting God’s gracious saving acts leads to prevalent injustice in the land. What aspects of God’s saving work in your life stir up a desire for justice?
- CJ addresses the command to “do justice” in two ways. First, we should seek to be just in daily conversations. When engaging with individuals who differ from you, what are specific ways that you can show the appropriate level of respect for fellow image bearers?
- (cont. from #2) Second, what does justice look like in our perspective of and interaction with law enforcement? How can you pray this week for those who serve us in law enforcement?
- CJ mentions that the next command – love kindness – begins with noticing those oppressed and over-looked. How aware are you of those individuals, and how can you show kindness to someone this week?
- The final command – to walk humbly with your God – should be evident in how we relate to others. How does understanding that “it is only by grace that you differ” affect the way you engage with others? How does this affect the way you share the gospel in a lost and dying world in the midst of suffering and injustice?
Praying the Passage:
Micah 6:8 "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 commandment is the evidence, not the grounds or basis of saving grace.
Father, please remind me of the basis of my justification, the gospel; and in light of your lavish and amazing grace, help me to display that love through justice, kindness, and humility.
To do justice means to do the just thing yourself.
Lord, please help me in my conversations with others to listen carefully, patiently, and with a desire to clearly understand before I speak. And when I do speak, help me to do so respectfully, fairly, and with integrity. Keep my heart and speech from unjust conclusions, judgments, and criticism.
To love kindness begins with noticing the weak, the overlooked...the “invisible”.
Holy Spirit, please open my eyes to those all around me that I have not noticed, not paid attention to, or perhaps not observed for who they actually are and what they are doing. Help me to be particularly attentive to public servants, law enforcement, and first responders. Please prompt me with ways to speak words of kindness, respect, gratitude, or appreciation.
To walk humbly with your God means to live all of life in light of the gospel. It means to remember that it is grace alone that has made you to differ. We have no righteousness of our own (Phil. 3:9).
Father, please remind me, and convict me, when I am quick to criticize, judge, accuse, and condemn...whether watching the news, immersed in social media, engaged in conversation, or sitting at a stop light. May humility prompt mercy toward those lost and without hope.
Micah 7:18 "Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."
Father, as we pray for us, for our city, for victims and perpetrators in Minneapolis, for those fearful, enraged, or confused...please extend mercy, and let the power of gospel declared and displayed, shine forth as the only hope of reconciliation, with you and with one another.
(Note: John Piper’s prayer for the city of Minneapolis)
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