(The daily devotional below appeared here today @ StreamingFaith.com. For the thousands of you visiting from StreamingFaith today…if you could read 2 just things on my blog I would love for you to go here or here and WE COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP HERE!)
Do you have Mercy Amnesia?
The more you remember that YOU NEED MERCY, the easier it is to freely GIVE IT OUT. I can smell a person with mercy amnesia from a mile away. They are judgmental. They spread gossip. They count people out. Having lost touch with how much God has forgiven them, they basically have to live a lie by pretending like they have it all together.
The problem is the more religious most of us get, the more we “go to church”, the more we listen to Christian radio, the more pastors we follow on Twitter – the less we remember how broken we’ve been and still are today.
This is dangerous!
It’s dangerous because the second we lose touch with how much we still need the new mercies of our God we begin to subconsciously pretend like we made it here all by ourselves. But you and I know that you aren’t smart enough, cute enough, wealthy enough, savvy enough, articulate enough, or connected enough to get where you are today or where you want to be tomorrow! You need God!
How many sins have you committed over the course of your life? You can’t even remember every sin you’ve committed. Let’s be real – it would take a scientific calculator to multiply out your sin per year ratio! How many times have you asked or even begged God for forgiveness? How many times have you found yourself in a bind in which you knew ONLY GOD could get you out? We’re talking about some pretty big numbers right?
Listen, I want you to have a healthy self-esteem. I want YOU to feel good about YOU, but if feeling good about YOU requires you to forget how much you need God…something’s wrong!
I’ve won awards and earned degrees. I’ve been on TV and all over the internet, but the bulk of my confidence comes not from myself, but from the fact that the same God that mercifully forgave Peter for denying him three times and then empowered him to lead the first movement of revolutionary Christians is the same God that forgives and empowers me today!
When you live with the mercy of God on your mind (and on your lips) here are at least 3 great things that happen:
1. You bring new people to the faith! By revealing your brokenness and reliance upon the mercy of God, you will gain trust even with strangers. Our contrived togetherness causes broken people to wonder what’s wrong with them instead of what’s right about our God.
2. You stay fresh! Your faith starts dying when you stop living like you need God. It’s great that you have a testimony of what God did for you in 1988, but people will want to know how God has been real for you in 2009. Trust me – a fresh faith rooted in the mercy of God can take you places.
3. You please God! At the end of the day, if you can please people and please God – this is great, but if you have to choose one – choose God! With arms wide open, God receives those with humble hearts that seek His mercy.