It’s funny how instances during the holidays stick with you. I was in Walgreens and witnessed an adorable four-year old with curly brown hair fully engaged in an intense conversation with her mother.
“Darling,” the mother instructed, “you can only have one present in this store. Which one do you want THE MOST?” With heart-melting blue eyes she looked up and replied, “Mommy, I want THREE MOSTS.” I chuckled. Of course she wanted three mosts. She was surrounded by chocolate Santas, Disney stuffed animals, and Playdoh cookie cutters.
It reminded me of the “three mosts” God wants from me for the New Year. Micah 6:8 has always been one of my favorites. Actually, it’s not a matter of what God wants most but what He requires most. To understand what God requires might demand a tweak or a complete change in the way we do things.
So, Lord, what do you require or want the most in 2014? Like the little girl in Walgreens, our Father has “three mosts” spelled out in Micah 6:8: “To act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly before Him.” So what do each of these look like in the days ahead?
- “To act justly” means to exhibit a hearty desire to do good to others. It requires an inventory of what lies in our hearts: Do I consider other people’s interests more important than my own? Is there a smidgen of bitterness I’m nursing in my thoughts? Do I control my emotions or do they control me? To do justly boils down to a choice: doing what is right simply because our Father asks us to do so, not because we feel like it.
- “To love kindness” means to foster a constant love for God and man, one that reveals itself in how we treat those around us: Am I a kind person? Does my tone of voice give a blessing to those who hear? Do I allow myself to be a channel of Christ’s mercy to my family, coworkers, and neighbors? Do I offer grace and forgiveness to those who don’t deserve it?” Even though we might not be fond of someone doesn’t mean we can’t exhibit kindness.
- “To walk humbly” means to walk carefully before God. It’s the opposite of being arrogant, demanding and prideful: Do I get all bent out of shape when things don’t go my way? Is offering Christ praise and worship the first priority of my morning? Does my desire to please Jesus override my desire to please myself? As a spirited stallion must be broken to be useful, so we must be broken before God in order to be useful for His service.
So there we have it – God’s “three mosts.” It’s an easy ABC reminder to carry with us all year:
A – Always do what’s right
B – Be compassionate with others
C – Commit your way to the Lord
Take personal inventory. Which one of the three will be your greatest challenge in 2014? Do you think God’s favor is extended to those who blow off or disobey His requirement list? Start the year afresh with the Father by giving your “ABC’s” to Him.
Hugs to you for a Christ-focused year,