“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?” (Micah 6:8)
As I have sat in quiet, grieving, pensive reflection over the events of the last few weeks that have our nation in turmoil, I can’t help feel the grief that must grip the heart of God. We have seen fear ravage the world and isolate us from one another. We have seen racism divide our hearts from one another. We have seen the threat of war divide us from within. And we now see the culmination of all of the division escalating once again into violence upon ourselves. And I can’t help but weep for the heart of God above it all.
If we ever hope to see peace in this world, we must all repent.
If we ever want to see hope in this world, we must all repent.
If we ever want to experience grace in this world, we must all repent.
We must “bear the fruit of repentance”, not the acts of religion.
We must “bear the fruit of repentance”, not the acts of government.
We must get to the heart of the matter, because all that really matters is the heart of mankind.
Until the heart of mankind repents and learns to live in a spirit of mercy, grace, faith, hope, and love, division and strife will always stand between us. Until the heart of mankind repents and learns to hold one another accountable to God’s Word, evil will always strike. Until the heart of mankind repents and seeks restoration and reconciliation, evil will always be revisited upon evil.
It’s a vicious cycle that is unending and continuously churning in the same direction towards our ultimate destruction. Unless we turn around and repent, this same path will forever dominate our human destiny.
If My people who are called by My name
(the Church is His bride, not our social club)
(abandon the sin of pride and self-centered aggrandizement),
(confess your individual and collective sinfulness)
and seek My face
(look to the God of Creation for your guidance)
and turn from their wicked ways
then I will hear from heaven
(our cries for mercy will reach His ears and pierce His heart)
and will forgive their sin
(forgiveness is predicated upon sincere confession characterized by repentance)
and heal their land.
(Your division will be restored and reconciled.)
What is the heart of repentance? Is it religion? Is it charitable giving? Is it works of service? No. It is a heart that is turned to the heart of God and abandoned to the desires of His heart.
“To do justice” – actively pursue justice in a manner befitting of the integrity and honor that would demand justice in return. It is not enough to simply “want justice”. Justice and vengeance are two very different beasts. Justice seeks restoration; vengeance seeks destruction. Do not repay evil with evil, but let kindness and grace have its perfect result. And justice will ultimately prevail. Be Just!
“To love kindness” – actively pursue kindness to your family, your neighbors, your friends, your enemies, the stranger across town, the person that wears funny clothes, the foreigner, the ethnically different. Put simply: Be Kind!
“To walk humbly with your God” – actively pursue God and His wisdom, knowing that you don’t have all the answers, but He does. Walk daily in obedience to Him and His word and seek His heart. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind into the Christlike person He always intended for you to be. Be Humble!
This is the heart of repentance. This is the heart we are called to pursue. This is the only heart that has the ability to change our world.