He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
God is the best judge of our religion. In the Old Testament book of Amos, the prophet described the people as being very religious and described all their religious actions. Yet God said about it all: "I hate, I despise your religious feasts." (Amos 5:21) Why? Because their religion was a sham. The people were just one-day-a-week worshippers and the rest of the week they forgot all about God, they trampled the poor and were thoroughly ungodly. It's not that they didn't know how God wanted them to live — as Micah tells us in the verse above. God had shown them the kind of worshippers he wanted them to be. The New Testament gives us the same message: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27, NIV) "If we are true servants of Jesus Christ, we will keep our eyes open (as he did) to human need, and our ears cocked to pick up cries of anguish." (John Stott) A true test of our Christianity is a real everyday love for our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and an open heart towards the needs of other people, whether they are near us or far away. We cannot claim to love God if we have no love for our neighbour and no desire for justice and righteousness to flourish in the world.
Gracious God, give me a heart to love and serve you well. Amen.