When my children were toddlers and they wanted something, they were taught to say: “Please.” When they really wanted something, they would look at me with their smiling eyes, and say: “Pretty please.”
I was reminded of my kid’s pretty please this morning while I was reading in I John 3:22-23: “Whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him. Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment.”
After reading this verse, I was left with two questions:
- What is it that is pleasing to God?
- Do I do carefully and consistently do what is pleasing to God?
Micah 6:8 is the answer to the first question, but it leads to a series of other questions: What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
- Do I act justly and live a life of sincerity?
- John admonished his readers to “not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth (NKJV).”
- Another translation of this verse says: “We must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words (GWT).”
- Do I love mercy?
- Jesus said to, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).”
- Mercy is equated with God’s loyal love for His people, and it is one of several attributes that define God.
- Psalm 89:14: “Equity and justice are the foundation of your throne. Loyal love and faithfulness characterize your rule.”
- Do I walk humbly?
- What is the attitude of my heart towards God and my fellow man? Is it arrogance or humility?
- James says that, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (4:6, 10).”
- Paul said in Ephesians 4 that we should, “Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love (The Voice).”
After thinking about all of this, I’m still left with one question: Do I act justly, or do I just act? How about you?