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
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
- Galatians 5:16-26
“At times, moms feel that they should record themselves saying things like, ’Wash your hands before you eat, buckle your seatbelt, don’t hit your brother!’ since they have to repeat it so many times. Sometimes they may feel that they’re not getting through.
“In the Micah Scripture above, the prophet reminds Israel what God has told them many times before. Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God. How do you do justice? Do what’s fair and right, and see that wrong doings are punished. ‘When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers’ (Proverbs 21:15).
“What’s a person like when they love kindness? They enjoy treating people with respect and consideration. Paul writes of an example, ‘The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold’ (Acts 28:2).
“And what are some practical ways to walk humbly with your God? Yield to the Lord’s will. ‘But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves’ (James 1:22). Worship Him. ‘But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him’ (John 4:23).
“You may be reading your Bible, going to church and praying. Yet, are you doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with your God? Pray that God will reveal practical ways for you to practice what pleases Him. Also pray that the people of the United States, regardless of political affiliation, will learn to practice these principles as well.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
Sometimes, you just don’t seem to get through. I remember when we had the big conversion van. We each had our own captain’s chair. There was no reason to ever touch each other. Our oldest was a young teen, and his little brother grew from pre- to tween, to teen (three years younger) before the van developed too many unresolvable issues and we traded it in.
The older brother kept whining that his younger brother was pestering him, hitting him, etc. Down deep inside, my wife and I knew that the older brother had done the same thing, deserving all the abuse his younger brother dished out. We would lecture both of them. The proof that we were right is that our younger son is very strict with his oldest of three children. His oldest seems to be an angel while his younger two siblings have to be separated – often, but that is said from the eyes of his grandparents. From the eyes of his father, his oldest is “sneaky.” Ah, yes, the one that starts the fight, but never gets caught. It takes the victim in one generation to see it in the next generation.
Yet, the Scriptures are not just talking about parenting skills here. These Scriptures are telling us that we cannot do this without the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit is the one giving us the tools needed.
I think the devotion fell short. Yes, we need to be reminded to ‘play nice,’ but without listening to the Holy Spirit that indwells each believer, we do not have the strength, skills, or even the motivation (in some cases) to ‘play nice’ on our own. We do have the strength to be ‘sneaky,’ and it seems we listen to that voice far too often.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.