Thursday, April 05, 2012

the mercy project

Source: deepbreath-bigsmile.tumblr.com via Mandy on Pinterest

It’s been so strange to walk through 3 of my 12 character projects this year. I’m shocked at how they always change me in ways I never expected. God had a plan for this list and I never saw it coming back in January.

The first month was the gentleness project- I never realized until this month just how sharply I spoke to my little ones. The second month tore me completely apart and had me on my knees. It was the complaining experiment.

Last month I worked on the sweetness experiment. And it was a perfect way to walk through finding joy in motherhood again. I’m starting to think God meant it to be a recovery before April.

This month’s project is mercy.

This is going to be hard. {again}

What is mercy?

Generally, it’s not getting what we deserve.

And the {world’s} definition says even more:

1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence:

2. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing:

3. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.

4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor:

5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: 

source

Followers of Jesus are commanded to be merciful. Jesus said in Luke 6:36: “Be merciful,  just as your Father is merciful.”

How exactly was our Father merciful to us?

Psalm 103:8-13

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

And how did he remove our sins? He sacrificed His son and raised Him up so that we might have life!

Ephesians 2: 4-7 tells us:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Does that kill you?

Oh, it does me. I can’t even go on past that today.

My heart aches and the tears won’t stop because I don’t deserve that mercy. I am a horrible, wretched sinner. My heart is ugly and my tongue won’t shut up and I’m angry and awful.

But He saved me. He died on the cross for my sins.

He suffered so that I could be free from sin and death.

He rescued me.

He redeemed me.

He is MERCY. And I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve Him.

Oh, thank you Lord Jesus. You are the only one who can saved awful sinners, and we are so unworthy of your love.

My heart cries out for mercy. And You bring it.

For now, all I can do is worship.

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