WALK THE WALK: A Series About Following Jesus, Based on the Words of Micah 6:6-8 Pastor Greg is spending the month of August unpacking the full meaning of God’s words to us in Micah 6:6-8.
With what shall I come to the Lord and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:6-8
Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. ~ 1 Samuel 15:22
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. ~ Hosea 6:6
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8
I thank God every single day that I don’t always get what’s coming to me. ~ Pastor G
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. ~ Psalm 103:8
Chesed ~ חֵסֵד ~ (HEBREW)
Goodness or kindness or mercy.
Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Mercy is giving people what they DON’T deserve. ~ Pastor G
Hurting people ~ hurt people. ~ Pastor G
Now don’t forget. Don’t ever forget you promised to become a new man. Jean Val Jean my brother, you no longer belong to evil. With this silver, I have bought your soul. I ransomed you from fear and hatred. And now I give you back to God. ~ The Bishop From Les Miserables
Poimen” ~ ποιμήν ~ (GREEK)
Pastor, it literally refers to a shepherd of sheep.
What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. ~ Matthew 18:12-14
This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. ~ Zechariah 7:9
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:32
The sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
Splagchnizomai ~ σπλαγχνίζομαι ~ (GREEK)
Compassion; a striving from the bowels from the depths of our being — it is a yearning of our innermost nature filled with pity, mercy and desire to alleviate the suffering of another.
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” ~ Matthew 9:36-38
Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that He loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that He loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be…. Because none of us are as we should be.” ~ Brennan Manning
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9
Jesus intends for His church to be a community of people who present living proof of a loving God to a watching world! ~ Pastor G
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” ~ Brennan Manning
GO DEEPER DISCUSSION QUESTIONS & PERSONAL STUDY
READ: 1 Samuel 15:22, Hosea 6:6 and Micah 6:8
1) Put all three of these Scriptures into “one big idea” using your own words. What is God trying to tell us? Is it significant that this same basic message is repeated so frequently in Scripture?
READ: Psalm 103:8
1) Many people tend to think of God as an “angry” or “vengeful” God. Is this your experience or have you experienced God as “slow to anger” and “abounding in loving kindness?”
2) If this is the example our perfect, holy Creator God exhibits toward us even when we act sinfully, with disrespect and anger toward Him, how much easier should it be for us to treat each other with a “slow to anger” and “loving kindness” approach?
3) Why do you think it is so hard for us to follow His example? Why do we tend to choose reactions of anger and indignation so quickly toward one another?
1) Pastor Greg said “Mercy is giving people what they DON’T deserve.” and “Hurting people ~ hurt people.” Do you agree or disagree? Why? When someone hurts you, is your first thought that they may be hurting themselves and not realize that what they said or did felt hurtful to you? Do you consider that they may be worried or stressed or overwhelmed or dealing with tragedy rather than intentionally setting out to be hurtful or mean to you? Or do you move more quickly to vengeance and anger mode? Why?
READ: The Bishop’s Quote From The Notes Above
1) How is the Bishop’s reaction toward a man who literally struck him and stole from him after being shown incredible kindness and patience an example to all of us? When someone hurts our feelings or lets us down are we able to show the same kind of mercy to them that the Bishop showed to Jean Val Jean? Why or why not?
READ: Matthew 18:12-14, Zechariah 7:9 and Ephesians 4:32
1) Do you think God is calling and expecting ALL Christians to have this kind of “shepherds heart” toward all people or is this only something that should be expected of professional “clergy?” Does God call all of us to “love mercy” on the same level or do we hold others to a higher level, a higher standard? Why or why not?
READ: Matthew 9:36-38
1)Have you ever felt the level of splagchnizomai compassion exhibited by Jesus as He looked on the people of Israel?
2) When you encounter someone who is obviously “dispirited” or “distressed” what is your immediate instinct in how to interact with them?
3) When someone doesn’t react as kindly to you as you hope, is your first thought that they are a “heartless jerk” or is your first reaction that they may be “dispirited and distressed?” Why?
4) As you pray FOR them, do you feel compelled to treat them like you are their shepherd and engage with a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it?” Why or why not?
READ: 1 Peter 3:8-9 and the two Brennan Manning Quotes Above
1) Think of someone you are angry with, or someone you, admittedly, have no respect for. With that in mind, read 1 Peter 3:8-9. Do you think this command is conditional? Are we allowed to pick and choose which people we will treat this way or does God expect us to be utterly consistent with how we treat everyone we come into contact with?
2) Read the two Brennan Manning quotes in the notes above. Pastor Greg frequently refers to the older friends and mentors in his life, people like Don Joy, John Maxwell, and Brennan Manning, all 30+ years his senior, and the powerful respect he has for them and the gentle compassion and guidance they always showed him, modeling the characteristics of God. How can you be that kind of compassionate, mercy-filled mentor to those who are much younger than you?
3) How can you be a guide who encourages and shows loving kindness, mercy and compassion to those with less life experience than you? When people speak of you do they consider you a person who “loves mercy?” Why or why not?
1) Pastor Greg concluded his message by saying “Jesus intends for His church to be a community of people who present living proof of a loving God to a watching world!” Do you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.