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?
Dallas, you are in my heart and on my mind. I am praying for the people who reside within the boundaries of this great city, and those who live in the suburbs. I’m also praying for those who do their best to serve and protect the citizens of this ever growing metropolitan area; my heart bleeds blue for the slain officers.
Early reports this morning say these officers were shot by a black man who was frustrated by the recent shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Just as the actions of this man do not represent the majority of the people who marched last night in a Black Lives Matters protest, the questionable actions of a few cops do not represent law enforcement officers as a whole.
Vengeful acts of rage that are perpetrated on the innocent as retaliation against a perceived injustice are the illogical acts of malcontents who are a boiling pot of rage. The tragic events of last night are evidence that a mind that seethes with anger is a mind that is primed to explode.
Please join me in praying for the people of Dallas and the LEOs and first responders across this nation who enter harm’s way to serve and protect us.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. ~I Timothy 2:1-6
In Colossians 3:11, Paul used just 6 words to convey a massive amount of truth: “Christ is all and in all.” When I read this succinct statement about the indescribable Christ, I remembered a brief description of the Bible.
The Bible in 50 Words, uses statements consisting of 2 words to describe the 66 books of the Bible:
Along this same theme of profound brevity, I suggest there is one verse in the New Testament that summarizes the life of Christ better than any other:
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh,vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ~I Timothy 3:16
I will close with this question: What are the 50 words that define you?