"WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES OF YOU"
Intro. As soon as I become rational and acknowledge that there must be a God, for things as marvelous as the universe with the wide variety of life forms demand a designer, a first cause. I must ask, "What does God require of me?"
I. IN OUR TEXT MOSES ANSWERS THAT QUESTION OF WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES OF YOU.
A. To fear the Lord your God.
1. The fear of the Lord means to stand in awe of Him.
a. The Psalmist said, "When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, that you have ordained, what is man, that you are mindful of him?"
b. I had the privilege of going to the space center at Cape Canaveral this past week and being escorted through the facility by one of the scientists that was sitting in the space center when that manned rocket was launched to the moon.
c. I saw the pictures of the earth taken from the moon, that luminous ball hanging out there in space.
d. Our earth, just a miniscule part of the solar system, which is such a miniscule part of our Milky Way galaxy, which is such an infinitesimally small part of our Universe.
e. When you realize the vastness of the Universe that God has created, you suddenly begin to sense how insignificant you are.
f. That feeling that you get at that moment that you realize how great God must be, and just how small you are. That feeling is the fear of the Lord.
2. David said, "Come my children, I will teach you the fear of the Lord."
a. The fear of the Lord will cause you to keep your tongue from speaking evil.
b. And will keep your lips from speaking deceitfully.
c. It will cause you to depart from evil.
d. It will cause you to do good.
e. It will cause you to pursue after peace.
f. David is saying that if you use foul language, or you tell a lie, or engage in evil, it is because you do not have the fear of the Lord.
3. Listen to what Solomon says about the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge:
They that hate knowledge, do not choose the fear of the LORD:
The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way.
a. These things are the trademark of the world.
b. The Bible says, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world for he that loves the world has not the love of the Father.
c. That means that if your love for worldly things exceeds your love for God, you have not the fear of the Lord.
B. To walk in all His ways.
1. David said, "He leadeth me in the path of righteousness."
2. To walk in the ways of the Lord means to obey His commands.
a. Last week we studied the great command, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and might."
b. In the next chapter Moses will tell them:
For if you will diligently keep all these commandments which I command you to do to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then you will have victory over all your enemies. 3. That is to walk in His way in contrast to walking in your own ways.
C. To love and serve the Lord will all your heart and soul. 1. How do you measure up to this requirement? 2. Can you truthfully say that you love and serve Him with all your heart? 3. If we loved and served the Lord with the same fervency that people love and serve the world, we could win the world for Christ in a short time.
D. So this is what the Lord requires of you. 1. To fear Him. 2. To walk in His ways. 3. To love and serve him with all your heart and soul. 4. How many of you can honestly say that you have fulfilled all of His requirements?
II. THE PROPHET MICAH SAID: "HE HAS SHOWN YOU O MAN WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU?
A. To do justly.
1. God wants us to be fair and honest in all our dealings. Solomon said:
A false balance is an abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
B. To love mercy.
1. Some show mercy but do not love it but resent it.
2. Paul commanded that we should show mercy with cheerfulness.
C. Walk humbly with our God.
1. How God hates pride.
2. On two different occasions Jesus said that he that exalts himself shall be abased, but he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
3. James wrote:
But he gives more grace. Wherefore he said, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
4. Peter wrote:
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
D. This is what God requires of you, do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.
1. How many of you have done that?
2. Note it does not say that this is what God requests of you, but requires of you.
3. If these are the requirements to get into heaven, how many of us will make it?
III. ONE DAY THE PEOPLE ASKED JESUS, "WHAT SHALL WE DO TO DO THE WORKS OF GOD?"
A. The answer of Jesus was very interesting. "This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent."
B. Their question basically was, "What does God require of us?"
1. The answer of Jesus is, "Believe on Me."
2. As I read the requirements in the Old Testament, my heart fails for fear, for surely I have not kept God's ideal requirements.
3. I consent to the requirements of God. I admit that they are the right things to do.
4. I might even try to keep the requirements of God, but I find that though my spirit may be willing, my flesh is weak.
C. I have failed and come short of fulfilling the requirements of God, is there any hope for me?
D. Yes, the actual requirement of God for you today is: Believe in Jesus Christ who He sent into this world.
E. And what happens when you believe on His Son, Jesus Christ?
1. He accepts your faith in Jesus as your having fulfilled all the requirements.
2. My heart sings for joy for it is now within my grasp, this is something I can do, I can believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for my sins and rose again the third day.
3. As I believe, God no longer looks at my feeble works, but at the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
a. No wonder Paul wrote, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
b. Jesus paid the price for my redemption He did for me, what I could not do for myself. He fulfilled all the requirements to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. For nothing good have I, whereby thy grace to claim, I will wash my garments white, in the blood of Calvary's Lamb. And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat.
IV. DOES THAT MEAN THAT GOD THEN HAS GIVEN UP ON THE IDEAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ME?
A. Does that mean that I need not fear the Lord, and walk in His paths, and love and serve Him with all my heart and soul?
B. Does that mean that I need not be concerned about doing justly and loving mercy and walking humbly with my God?
C. Not at all, or as Paul would say, "God forbid."
D. What happens when I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and receive Him as my Lord?
1. His righteousness is imputed to me.
2. He gives me the gift of the Holy Spirit.
3. The purpose of the gift of the Holy Spirit is to give me the power or ability to keep the requirements of God.
E. There are many similarities between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, basically they both taught that the life of the spirit was far superior to the life of the flesh. That the attempt to fulfill the lusts of our flesh was the source of all evil. It is what causes wars, worry, anxieties, stealing, rape and murder, and ever other evil.
1. Buddha taught that if you could just become free from all desire, you would enter a state of Nirvana. So the goal of the Buddhist today is to somehow become free of all desire, even the desire for food.
a. But this is where it ends.
b. Buddha pointed to the goal and then left his followers to try to a attain that goal.
c. It was like saying that Nirvana is at the peak of Mount Everest, if you can climb to the peak, you will find it. But then give you no gear to make the summit. No ice picks, no scaling ropes, no oxygen. I am left standing at the base, or somewhere along the side of the mountain looking up to the peak wishing somehow that I could get there.
d. One of the stories to come out of that culture was of a king who had a son who was always sad. He hired many wise men to come and to counsel him or to make his son happy, all their counsel failed. Finally one of the sages said, if he would wear the shirt of a truly happy man, he will find happiness, so a search was made through the kingdom for a truly happy man. One day in a remote village, they finally found that man, but alas, he was so poor, he had no shirt.
2. The Bible also teaches that the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and the pride of life are the marks of the world, and are at the root of all evil. That true joy comes when these things no longer rule over your life. Again it is like saying that to find true fulfillment you must scale Mount Everest. But with one big difference there is the acknowledgement that you can't do that on your own, but Jesus says to you, "I have scaled it, I know the way and I will come and dwell within you, and will provide for you all the means necessary to make the summit.
a. You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me, throughout the world.
b. And you with open face, as you behold the glory of the Lord will be changed from glory to glory by His Spirit that is dwelling in you.
c. Many people have seen the ideal of the Christian teaching and have been attracted to it, and have tried to live the Christian life in their own ability, only to discover that they could not conquer the desires of their flesh. They have subsequently given up in despair.
d. All of your best efforts cannot bring you to the place that God wants you. But the Holy Spirit can do for you, what you can't do for yourself.
e. You ask, "Are you telling us that you have arrived at the summit?" No, not by a long shot, but I am on my way and daily I am getting closer to the summit, but the beautiful thing is that as God is looking at me, He accounts me to have arrived at the summit, for He knows that as I continue on the path with Him, that He will continue to strengthen me until I make it.
f. Paul wrote to the Philippians,
Being confident of this very thing, that He that has begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:
g. David said,
The LORD will perfect [that which] concerns me: thy mercy, Oh LORD, is forever: forsake not the works of Your own hands.