Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God

Bishop’s Message

He has shown you, O mortal, 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.
~ Micah 6:8 (NIV)

God’s commission in Micah 6:8 is especially relevant in at least two ways this month.

Firstly, Singapore celebrates her National Day, and the call in Micah 6:8 is addressed, not only to “Christians”, and not only to “men”, but to all human beings. The rendering “O mortal” in NIV’s 2011 edition helps to clarify the Hebrew word used here for “humanity” (in contrast to many English translations which use “O man”). The call to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly goes out from God to all human beings in every nation, and not least to our nation also.

Secondly, we are “a people called Methodists”, and Micah 6:8 emphasises what Methodism’s founder John Wesley also stressed. In a sermon On Zeal, Wesley said that Christian disciples ought to be zealous in doing both “works of piety” and “works of mercy”. By “works of piety”, Wesley meant the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, fasting and Christian worship. “Works of mercy” referred to acts of charity and compassion for the distressed in society.

Such “works of mercy” or social concerns are in line with Micah’s call to act justly and love mercy as part of a disciple’s walk with God. John Wesley regarded “works of mercy” as the most important mark or characteristic of true godliness. Whilst “works of piety” were important, Wesley said that godly persons should be “more zealous for works of mercy”. And, should there be occasion where “one interferes with the other, works of mercy are to be preferred. Even reading, hearing, prayer are to be omitted, or to be postponed, at charity’s almighty call; when we are called to relieve the distress of our neighbour, whether in body or soul.”1

May all human beings and Methodists in Singapore be zealous to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.


Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.