It all begins with mercy

Thoughts on Luke 6:36-38

Jesus invites me to a life that resembles his Father’s character. It begins with God’s mercy; to the degree that I’ve received it, I am told to give it. When I pause and think about how much mercy has been shown to me, count the ways God forgives and restores, remember how God’s patience extends beyond my failings, how can I not offer the same forgiveness and patience to my world today.

Jesus knows his audience, his teaching shows how well he understands the human heart. He knows we are stained by sin, that selfishness is in our dna, so he appeals to our natural, survivor instinct. “You want mercy? then be merciful. Want to avoid judgement and condemnation? then don’t judge and condemn; Forgiveness? then forgive; to receive in abundance? then give abundantly.”

Thank you God for training me in righteousness like I trained Ellie to go outside to pee, reinforcing her good behavior with a treat and a hearty good girl. Now she has

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Me and my good girl, Ellie

learned the proper place to go to the bathroom. So you teach me, a reward for living holy until holy living is my norm.

Thank you also, that I can’t out-give you. I give my little and you give me to overflowing. Like brown sugar, you pack in the blessings.

It all begins with your mercy, it is new every morning. Thank you.

 

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The great exchange: despair for confidence!

It’s crazy, I know. But maybe you, like me, are living on the edge of despair.

God certainly got my attention this morning in my daily lectio divina reading. “I will hear what the Lord has to say.” Ps 85:8-13 Ok, Lord, what have you got to say? (from my prayer journal)

“Peace.” Peace because we belong to you. Thank you. Peace because we are your friends. Thank you. Peace because we turn to you in our hearts. Thank you. Your help is near; Glory, come dwell with us here at 246 Willow Tree Road.

Mercy and Faithfulness have joined arms; justice and peace are best friends. This property, this home at 246 Willow Tree Road will produce God’s faithfulness and God will be God in his judging of our lives. Look down, Oh God, and see your own faithfulness growing in our lives and in our land. Go ahead of us, Lord, we will follow you; where you tread, favor blossoms, fruit blooms. Your justice goes ahead of you and peace and I follow in your steps.

And God continues: Isaiah 12:2. You are my savior, I can be confident and unafraid. You are my strength and courage, you have always been my savior. Dan 10:19. Fear not, beloved, you are safe; take courage and be strong.” 2Cor 4:1 since we have this ministry through the mercy show us, we are not discouraged.

I must admit, though, I read these words and my gut reaction is fear. What is going to happen today that will require me to have such confidence and courage? I fall on your mercy and ask your forgiveness for my doubt and healing of my wounded soul that assumes the worst.

Join me, if you can, in taking God at his word and exchanging your despair for confidence whatever this day holds.

sin and God’s Sponge

We’ve been caught in our sin, all we can do is count on God’s tender mercy to clean up our mess. A good word.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/107815901″>MM 10/2/14 sin and God’s womb</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/debbybellingham”>Debby Bellingham</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

What drives you to Jesus?

He begged for more than alms, he begged for mercy.

In both yesterday and today’s Gospel reading Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Yesterday’s request by James and John was born of ignorance mixed with pride, today’s of hope for restoration and maybe a little anger.

As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ …Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ …So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go your faith has made you well.’ Mark 10:46ff

Bartimaeus wasn’t always blind. Something transpired in his life that robbed him of his sight. His blindness physically reduced him to the role of an insignificant beggar, yet his spirit retained the memory and the experience of being a person of consequence. In Jesus, he hoped for more than alms because of who he was, a blind beggar. He hoped for mercy.

Mercy, the quality that looks beyond the present reality to the original and intended plan of God. Mercy, originating in the caring heart of the beholder, not in the pitiable state of the one seen. Bartimaeus begs Jesus “Please don’t see me as I am now, a blind beggar in need of alms, see the real me, the me I am meant to be, a person returned to wholeness.”

Yesterday, James and John were bold in their request of Jesus because of their intimate relationship with him. Today, Bartimaeus’ boldness is energized by desperation. Both motivations for approaching Jesus are equally welcomed by him. Jesus will use your intimacy with him to take you deeper into his love. And your desperation to lead you into greater wholeness. “Let nothing separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” [Romans 8] Run to him with your heart’s desires. You are welcome in his presence. He longs to ask you, “What do you want me to do for you?”

For more thoughts about your desires leading you to a deeper walk with the Lord read  “What do you really want?” and “Choose Life.

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