I cannot tell you how many times I hear this phrase around my house.

“Ok, honey, are you hurt?” (no) “Is everything ok?” (yes) “Then what do you need me to do…”

“Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).”

Well, my children have the seeking justice down. It’s like part of their DNA. They… we… we all want justice for those who sin against us.

Love mercy though… well, we all love mercy when we are on the receiving end of mercy. But do we really love mercy for other people? We should. But does that mean we do?

The song “It Starts Right Here”  by Casting Crowns has seriously been my banner this last month.

Every single time I pray that God will fix someone or something, He points it back on me. For example:

“Love keeps no record of right and wrong.”

“Guard your heart.”

“Seek mercy.”

“Pray for those who persecute you.”

“Be still.”

These are just a few examples of how my prayers for others get answered. God uses his word as a mirror and helps me grow closer to Him, while I let Him do what only He can do. My prayers always seem to be answered by changing my heart.

Well, this song was that mirror for me. I was looking at the world around me, asking God to change it. Asking God to do something. Then I heard this song- It starts right here. It starts with me. If you want the world to change, be the change.

The second verse of this song says:

 I’m like the brother of the prodigal
Who turned his nose and puffed his chest
He didn’t run off like his brother
But his soul was just as dead

Casting Crowns “It Starts Right Here”

Now I have heard the story of the Prodigal Son more time that I think I could count. I was a Prodigal. However, this made me go- wait what!

There are two brothers in this story. The second brother stayed and worked for his father. He was angry when he heard his father threw a party for his brother who had returned. Here he was working, doing exactly what he thought he was supposed to do, and now his brother gets the reward??? “Look, these years I have served you, and I never disobey your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends (Luke 15:29).”

He is bitter. He has been serving and obeying, yet the father lavished the son who followed his own path and lost everything.

Am I like that brother? Do I serve God, expecting His blessings? Do I cry/complain when God gives blessings to someone who I think is undeserving?

Do I see other people’s sin (like the sin of the prodigal) as worse than my sin (pride or dead works)?

Do I want mercy for those who have gone astray? Or am I hoping to be the one to receive all the blessing?

When I see a need in my community, do I desire to fill it? Or do I just assume someone else will do it?

Do I want to take the love of Jesus and share it, or keep it to myself?

I can’t tell you how many times in the last month I have wondered how can the church make a difference. How can we get the body to be the body? How can we reach the lost and hurting?

Well, it starts right here.

But be doers of the word, and not hearer only, deceiving yourself. For if anyone is a hearer of the words and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he looks like.

James 1:22-25

We must be doers of the word. We are the church. Each and every one of us. We must do our part. Grow in His word. Abide in His word. Share His love with all.

Seek Justice.

Love Mercy.

Walk Humbly with our God.