What is the Minimum Required of Me?
Have you ever wondered or heard it asked, “What is the minimum required of me by the Lord?” We could ask, “Why would someone ask such a question?” However, the Bible gives direct answers about this. Observe the answers from three Bible preachers:
When some wanted to paint the Lord as an overbearing God with unreachable expectations, Micah responded in 6:8, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
God expects His people to “do” what is just (cf. Jn. 7:24). He expects His people to “love” what is merciful (cf. Matt. 18:21ff). He expects His people to not only “walk” but to walk humbly or lowly with Him.
Luke 17:10, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’"
This means we must know what is just and merciful and know our place with God, that He is God and we are His people. James wrote in 4:6, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’” He then told disciples to submit to God and resist the devil (Jas. 4:7). He then commanded them to draw near to God, cleanse their hands, and purify their hearts so that they would not be double-minded (Jas. 4:8). Perhaps at the crux of our question is that of a double mind where one wants to continue to serve two masters. Jesus said that is an impossible position to be in (Matt. 6:24). Does the question resemble and reflect the traits of doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God? Perhaps the key to Micah’s teaching in 6:8 is “He has shown you.” More than any other time in history we can say that God has shown us what is required in the Christian dispensation. God has shown us and given us an example in His Son (1 Jn. 2:6; Jn. 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21).
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Rom. 6:22). Paul answers the question by addressing our duty to God as a slave. What slave would ask his master, “What is the minimum required of me?” In Romans, Paul taught that as good of a slave as we were to sin, we should be to God for righteousness. “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness” (Rom. 6:19, emp. mine). As you were to one master, so now present your members to your new master. How much more should we love to serve God, a compassionate and loving master over our former master of sin, a tyrant and death bringer?
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17, 18).
Since we became slaves of righteousness, we should be impressed with how much we can do, not how little.
Jesus was asked by a scribe what was the first or principal commandment of all in Mark 12:28. The Lord answered, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength’” (see Mk. 12:29, 30). After which, Jesus asserted, “This is the first commandment.” So the very first commandment that a disciple should know is to be wholeheartedly in love with God and fully committing every faculty to His will. Jesus was quoting from Moses’ writings in Deuteronomy 6:4, 5. Moses also wrote, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 10:12). What then is the minimal service that the Lord requires of me? The heart or seat of my affection should be wholly given to Him. My soul or life should be tied up in Him. My meditation should always be on Him. My strength should be given to Him. If I love the Lord with all my heart and soul (Deut. 6:5), I will serve the Lord with all my heart and soul (Deut. 10:12).
The questions of how much should I give and how often should I attend the services of the Lord become easy to determine when we humble ourselves before God, seek to serve Him like a slave, and love Him with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Jesus identified the second commandment in Mark 12:31, as: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
With that being said, a second reason exists for my faithful attendance in every service. Not only should I attend and participate because of my loving devotion to God, but also through my consideration of others. Hebrews 10:24, 25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (emp. mine).
Jesus didn’t come to earth to partially give Himself but wholly gave Himself to do His Father’s will and to save us from sin. What then should my duty be to Him?
--Steven J. Wallace