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“He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.” (Psalm 106:46 NIV)

Mercy starts with God.

Captivity to sin is a daily struggle.  Our battles look different from the Israelites, but they still exist.  Worldly captives include unhealthy relationships, monetary debt, uncontrolled lifestyles which lead to physical ailments. Tendrils of sin weave in and out of our lives, ensnaring us in their trap.  Only through God’s promises can we find freedom, praise leads the way.

Worship willfully.

Each morning, start with worship.  When we begin our conversation with God using praise, we’re acknowledging our limitations.  Thanking Him for getting you out of bed recognizes He is the one who gives life, and takes it away.  Even Job, in his darkest hour after losing everything, understood God’s sovereignty:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;  may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21 NIV)

Understanding God’s ways is something no human can do.  The quest to try and accomplish this feat is never ending by people.  Their efforts are futile.  No one knows why God does what He does:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

The grace God extends to me always humbles.  As I think of the mercy people have shown me in my life, I’m in awe.  My mother when she paid off my car in college.  Four brother’s, who have helped me countless times in my life get back on track.  Friends who have forgiven me when I have wronged them some way.  All are gifts from God worthy of praise.  All are merciful moments that He orchestrated.  

God gives mercy through people.  His grace becomes reality when others forgive us.  Learning to accept this gift is challenging.  Each of us knows our dark secrets.  If we were to have an honest conversation, we could tell the reasons we don’t think we deserve God’s grace.  But here’s the truth, God knows everything about you and loves you.  Every mistake you made He knows.  You’re not hiding anything from Him, don’t waste time trying.  Instead, praise Him for the gift.  Then share what He has done for you with others. 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

Start with praise.  Lay your sins at the His feet.  Receive His mercy. Then share His gift with others.

Question of the Day:

Who can you give the gift of mercy to today?

Further Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-19:14 NIV, Hebrews 9:1-10 NIV, Psalm 106:32-48 NIV, Proverbs 27:10 NIV

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