Friday, July 15, 2016

New Every Morning

Summer series "Friday's Summer Fruits" with Donna Oswalt
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good..." Psalm 34:8

The Broadway musical "Rent" has a catchy song, "525,600 Minutes" that gives us pause to wonder just how do we measure a year.
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
This month on Wednesday nights we are studying Mark Batterson's book IF. In discussing God's mercy, we read Lamentations 3:22-23, "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." The question was asked, "How many mornings since your birth have you had opportunities to experience God's mercies?" I found a calendar that helped me figure this out and as of today, I have had 22,375 days of God's mercies. That's a whole lot of minutes! That's an enormous amount of mercy!!

Webster defines mercies as "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender" and "a blessing, an act of divine favor." As we look at Jeremiah's words in Lamentations, we recognize that he is in place of suffering; yet, he still acknowledges God's sovereignty. God's "steadfast love" refers to His promise of faithfulness. The ESV Study Bible notes that this compassion (or mercy) replaces "judgment with restoration". God's sovereign purposes exceed our ability to comprehend. We can, however, be certain of His enduring love and constant mercies despite times of suffering and difficult times of earthly uncertainty. Never-ending mercies conceived by God's faithfulness allow even our grief to give birth to hope.

"We define ourselves by what we have done rather than by what God has done for us." Mark Batterson

Batterson says too often we focus on the "if only" and "what if" moments in our lives, leaving us frequently stuck inside thoughts and behaviors that do not lead to productive lives for God. No matter the number of days of God's mercies, no matter that we are undeserving, still each day God loves us, offers love to the offenders! St. Augustine called mercy, "ever ancient, ever new". God, called in Scripture the Ancient of Days is both eternal (or forever) and new to us each day. Blackaby writes that we should, "watch daily to see how God uniquely demonstrates His love and compassion for us." This week, let's consider the moments, the minutes, each day and watch with anticipation how God's love reveals itself to us. Tomorrow...22,376 days and still counting!! ~dho

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