Saturday, August 2, 2014

Day 59: Lord, Be Merciful

Reading: Psalm 27:7-14

David faced so many downfalls and continually seemed to be staring up from the very bottom of life. His enemies pursued him hard, but he never lost faith in God rescuing him. We will absolutely face trials and fear in this life. Some will be huge, and others will be small, but each offers an opportunity to look up to God, and rely on Him to pull us through.
One of the reasons I've been away from this blog for so long is because of one of the greatest trials I've faced in this life yet. After giving birth to my gorgeous daughter, I had to have open-chest surgery for a 7-inch long pulmonary embolism. It was definitely a low in my life, as I spent a week in the icu, and two week from my newborn. But God granted me an immense sense of peace and comfort through the entire thing. The weeks after that were tough as well, as I had to learn to have patience to heal and trust others to take care of my baby, as I couldn't lift. It was probably tougher for me than the whole ordeal itself. There were many time between the 3am feedings and the painful days of getting by that I just wanted to shout "why?" at God.
He, however, grants us much mercy, as we stumble through life. He comforts us when we're down, and we are responsible for sharing His great love with those around us. My story has touched many, and continues to get around, but I offer no one the glory, except God for pulling me through those hard couple of months.
So when you are at the bottom of the pit of life, be sure to look no where but up, and give Him all the glory for your success.

What is something you are facing lately that seems impossible to conquer?

 Who do you tend to turn to when things go wrong?

Reading: Mark 10:13-31

Jesus displays mercy on the children, the poor, the rich and the persecuted. He calls us to do the same. Some societies can tend to look down on children, especially in the time and culture of Jesus. Others look down on the poor. Some look down on the rich, usually because of jealousy and the power money gives them. Many look down on Christians, which causes persecution. It can be easy to live in a country that allows freedom to worship as a Christian and that is one of the richest in the world, though many might not believe that. Jesus showed mercy to the kids that the disciples tried to turn away, but blessing them, and telling them to allow the children to come to Him. When we have faith like children, we are more open-minded and excited for what Jesus has to offer us. As adults, we tend to over-analyze and ask questions we don't need to know. We bicker over the small things in church, and refuse to worship until it's our way, rather than God's.
When we rely on money, as Jesus says it's hard for the rich to come to heaven, we put that first in our lives. We can know scripture, obey the commandments, and impress our pastors, but those things will never get us to heaven. Only true, child-like faith, and His grace alone will get us there.
Jesus loved the outcasts. We are to have mercy as He did.
As the song by Relient K goes, "Jesus loved the outcasts. He loved the ones the world just loved to hate."

Is there a group of people in particular that you tend to isolate? How can you apply these words to changing your love for them? Remember that loving them doesn't have to mean accepting their way of life.

What kind of faith do you have? The child-like faith that gets excited and open about what God has to offer you, or the kind that over-analyzes it?

Reading: Leviticus 4:1-5:13

As you can see from this reading alone, getting forgiveness was a messy, detailed process before Jesus died for our sins. To be made right with God before Jesus, the people had to follow all of these rules and processes to be atoned. Jesus, however, came to wipe out all of those rules. His mercy and love for us got rid of that barrier so that we may come to Him at anytime and any place. There is no need to be made right with God through all of the rules, when it is by His grace alone that we are saved and made right in Him.

What are some rules you find overly done? Why do you think they exist?

What about God's grace do you love the most?