Lamentations 3:22-26 (NIV)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
As a woman, it is my profound privilege to carry a purse. From the youngest age, little girls are fascinated with handbags. After all, one must be prepared. Each one is displayed as a full expression of the owner’s personality and tendencies. Some favor designer bags with fancy names and expensive price tags while others a variety of shapes and sizes with fake names and more economical pricing. A woman will become a bit protective and possessive of her tote especially if someone begins to fumble through it. There are many things personal, private and of course, the not-so-personal-and-private. Over the years, the handbags in my life has changed as much as I have. At some point, I consolidated the diaper bag and purse into a great big tote that carried my wallet, diapers, wipes, snacks, change of clothes, more snacks and hopefully a pen and tube of lipstick. More hands rumble through it than the sale bin at Wal-Mart looking for just what they needed and fully expecting to find it seldom disappointed. The children are getting older and require less maintenance along the way. The girls carry their own bags now with those things deemed essential to them. I recently purchased a small carry-all just big enough to allow for my ID, debit card, and basics. There is a compartment for my phone and a couple other small items. I can carry it on my wrist or adjust the strap as a cross body bag. Oh the freedom.
Each morning I decide what I will fill my purse with to carry with me throughout the day. Men – you are not immune as you do the same within your pants pockets. Before leaving the house, we begin to accumulate everything necessary to make it until we return. Our family packs lunches for school and work so it is an added bag to carry. What will you carry with you today? This morning when I woke up, it was with the thought of God’s Mercy that was there for me. As if Jesus was offering it to me to use throughout the day, which of course I need beyond measure. What if we allowed the Lord to fill our hearts as we do our pockets with the good things He has for us to carry us through this day beginning with His Mercy and Compassion? It is because of His Great Love that we are not consumed. We can do all that we can to prepare for the day ahead, but truthfully no one really knows what they will face. Will it be just an ordinary day? Will it be an extraordinary experience? Or will it end in broken devastation? We just don’t know. One thing we can be sure of is that the Lord’s Compassion for us will never fail. No matter what meets us in this day, we can be prepared before leaving the house.
The Lord is my portion. I will wait for Him. Since January of 2009, I made the commitment to meet with the Lord each morning. First setting my alarm just for 30 minutes, I felt it might be a stretch and hoped that He would keep me entertained for at least a half an hour. Well, as usual, the Lord did not disappoint as now I get up about two hours earlier to be with Him. This in no way is a reflection of my great obedience or personal discipline but rather the confession of a Jesus-Junkie who cannot make it through a single day without Him anymore. When I meet Him – He fills me with His Love, Compassion and Mercy. Things I need to make it through each day. As I repent and turn my day over to Jesus, He satisfies my heart. He speaks through His Word and His Spirit preparing me body, mind and spirit even when I have no idea what’s coming. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the Salvation of the Lord.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
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.
We make long lists and keep detailed schedules. We have goals and agendas to be followed each day. What are we after? Society works to separate these things like work and school from our faith in God. Religions makes it harder than it really is. What does the Lord require of you today of faithful follower? It is really quite simple and plainly stated. “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” We are God’s Chosen people who have been allowed to fall back into step with God through the grace given to us by Jesus Christ. It is our privilege. Each day until Jesus comes and we are finally freed once and for all of sin and darkness, we require God’s Mercy which is given to those who choose to live in full repentance and purposeful obedience. Mercy is a choice. We make the choice if we will accept God’s Mercy and use it to make it through another day of living as foreigners in this world or if we will leave it behind in pursuing lesser things. We are to love mercy. Do you love mercy today? Do you take full advantage of the compassion of God for your soul? Some days I do, while other days it is a struggle to continue to follow Jesus. Each morning is a new opportunity to empty our heart and mind of the junk and accept His New Mercy.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
There are some days when I have to clean out my purse and throw away some things hidden inside. My kids were notorious for confusing it with the wastebasket. It becomes a collection of all things they did not wish to carry so they burdened me with it. I have found crazy stuff in the bottom of my purse. I have also found hidden treasure. In view of God’s Mercy, His Love, His Compassion and His Kindness that His Faithfulness is intent on giving us, we offer our life as the vessel of such. To choose to empty our life of anything that might take the place of Him and offer it back to Him is the sacrifice He wants. It is what He should have. In exchange, we are given the opportunity of righteousness, holiness and obedience which affords us His Good, Pleasing and Perfect Will that by faith leads us to hope which never leaves us disappointed. To empty our life before the Lord allowing Him to put it back together every day allows us to be filled with all of His Mercy and Compassion all over again. Never again will think that God doesn’t love us or is not present in our life.
2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NIV)
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
God’s Mercy is our ministry. People don’t need us to tell them everything they are doing wrong or how to make it right. What they need is for someone to be the example of Christ’s Love, Mercy and Compassion to them. They are longing for hope that does not disappoint and someone to love them completely. We know God. We have accepted Jesus Christ. His Spirit lives in us. Each day we are filled with new mercy that not only covers us in the Love of God but allows us to shower it to others freely and unconditionally.
Jude 1:20-25 (NIV)
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Capital One, a credit card company, asks people, “What’s in your wallet?” I think Jesus is asking us today what is in our heart. One will always struggle in convincing others the validity of something that they have not experienced for themselves. Before we can love justice, we must know what the Truth is. It requires reading and studying God’s Word and allowing His Spirit to help us understand by careful meditation and thoughtfulness. That’s how we learn. To love mercy, one must know what it is. This is only possible by allowing Jesus to fill the void of sin in our life with His Compassion, Kindness and Love. There is no void if there is not an absence. Repentance is emptying the “pockets” of our life before the Lord allowing Him to fill them with His Mercy each and every day. Humility before God means to give Him our life. To surrender all of us, to experience all of Him. This will introduce us to hope that never disappoints. You know people will come to me and ask for something they need based solely on the size of my purse. I tend to carry a large tote. If they need a Band-Aid, I usually have one. There is a few extra pens floating around in there. Most of the time, there are snacks hidden inside, too. I travel well stocked you might say. We can travel through our spiritual life the same way. We can live full of compassion, kindness, love and grace that overflows from the new mercy that is given to us each morning – if we choose to carry it in each day. Just a thought…what’s in you today? Lord, reveal to me the contents of my heart.
I Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
I Peter 1:3-5(NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Jude 1:2 (NIV) Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.