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Youth Sunday

Sermon - 11/13/11
Ryan Powell and Rayne Viles
First Christian Church, Eugene, Oregon

What it Means to be a Christian

Ryan Powell:

Today’s first passage comes from the prophet Micah, chapter six, verse 8.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And does the lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Now, there are a lot of things in the Bible that discusses what it means to be a Christian. It ranges from the Ten Commandments to The Sermon on the Mount. But I like this one the most because it’s three simple things rather than a list of 10 things, or even 3 chapters worth of things. Not to say those aren’t important, no

Before I go on, I looked up Micah to learn some more about the guy and I found out that the name Micah means “one who is like God”. Go figure that this is the one who preaches what the Lord requires of you.

Now, the first part of this verse is “act justly”, or as I more easily remember it as, “do justice”. It’s a pretty simple concept. Do justice, do good. It’s easy to say, but it’s pretty hard in practice, actually. How often do you stop to help pick up something that someone dropped? I know I don’t do it very often, but I still do it every now and again. And you know that person is going to appreciate your kindness. I just happened to read a story about a new game that came out recently. A 13 year old boy bought the new game, and some jerk just up and stole it from him. No one went to try and catch him, but one man saw it happen and talked to boy. He said to hold his spot in line. The man went and talked to other people about the boy’s situation and he was able to get a couple bucks from everyone. He got enough money to buy the boy another copy. The boy was ecstatic and he asked the man if he needed anything in return. The man answered “Young man… I just hope one day you’ll do something equally nice for someone”. Now if that’s not doing justice, I don’t know what is. You’re not looking for a reward or anything. You’re just doing what’s right. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously there’s more to it than just picking something up for someone or buying a game for a kid, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Now on to the second part of Micah’s preaching. He says to “love mercy”. Let’s simplify it again and say “have mercy” or “be merciful”. . . Why can’t we do this more often? Simplifying the Bible is so nice. Anyways, back to being merciful. It’s another hard one. Are you sensing a theme here? Good. I group this part with other things like “love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek”. Because if you have mercy, you’re obviously going to be loving your enemy. So you’ve just happened to happened to come across some juicy information about someone you just really loathe. But, you decide to say “whatever” to it and just toss it out of your brain instead of spreading it around. It’s just not worth it. Or another example of showing mercy, if you will: The Ducks beating the Cardinals, but not too badly.  

And now for the final part: Walking humbly with God. Hm, not much I can do with that to make things easier. This one is definitely a doosey. Actually, no it’s not. I’m pretty sure if you do the things I’ve already discussed, this one will come very easy to you. Walking with God just means being a servant, and doing those things is exactly what you need to do. So how about I give an example of not walking with God. Before we began planning for Youth Sunday, we watched a video about a guy who went out and tried to preach on the street about how we’re all going to Hell and all that fun stuff. We all know that guy, right? He had the pamphlets and megaphone and everything. Yeah, don’t be that guy. And as we were watching, I was thinking: “Wow, those guys really annoy me. No one wants to hear about Hell and stuff, man, come on. This isn’t the Puritan age anymore. We’re better than that.” That man is certainly not walking humbly with God. In fact, I’d say it’s sprinting full speed towards a wall with God. Except God is off to the side watching and God is just saying “Dude, what are you doing?”

And it’s not to say these are the only things you need to follow to be a quality Christian. No no, like I mentioned, there are tons of things. Like the Ten Commandments. You know, “thou shalt not steal”, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”, “thou shalt have no other gods before me”, and for all the youth, “honor thy mother and father”, and so on. And there’s the Sermon on the Mount, with the Beatitudes and such. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, “blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy”, and “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” It’s not quite saying “be this”, but you get the point. And that point? Doing justice, having mercy, and walking humbly with your God.


Rayna Viles -- coming soon!



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