NOT Getting what we deserve...
Sometimes mercy is defined in contrast to grace, but most of the time mercy and grace go together. Some might say it like this: If grace is like "getting a gift we don't deserve," then mercy is "not getting what we do deserve"—that is, punishment for our sins.
By taking on our punishment for sin, Jesus displayed an act of great mercy, Jesus died on our behalf.
Because of Jesus, we did not get the punishment we deserved—that's mercy. Instead, we get the gift of eternal life that's grace.
Question of the Day:
How are you called to love mercy, to show mercy to others around you? Showing mercy to your sibling after they mess up? Showing mercy to a neighbor? Whatever the situation and whomever the person, how do you show mercy?
Sometimes people get attacked online for no reason at all. Those attacks are simply hateful. But sometimes people get attacked online because someone feels wronged by them and is looking for justice.
People might start hashtags, declare campaigns, or rally their friends to go after someone online because they believe they've done something wrong and must be punished.
There are countless stories of people who have received so much negative online backlash because of their bad behavior that they've lost their jobs or even had to change their names.
Now, justice (the subject of our current series) is about making wrong things right.
Usually, making wrong things right requires someone to be punished or held accountable for their actions. But can our desire to punish someone who has done wrong ever go too far? Is there another way? When we look at the internet and how it’s easy to attack or write people off, do we have mercy? Do we understand what mercy is?
We have to start this conversation by reminding ourselves that you, and I, and the people sitting beside us, the people we see on TV who we agree with or disagree with, we are all people made in the image of God. We are all God's masterpieces.
God uses us, not because we need good works, but because we are God’s creation! As part of God’s mission, we are commanded, over and over again, to fight to make wrong things right in the world. That's what we mean when we say "justice," making wrong things right!
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. God has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things God planned for us long ago.
One of the most well-known passages of Scripture on this subject is in the Old Testament book called Micah. Micah was a prophet of God who God sent to call out the unjust rulers of his day, fight for the victims of injustice, and rally God's people to fight for change.
6 What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Do something for those who are God’s Masterpiece, that means everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, or their nationality, or their income. We are called to do something for everyone!
Question of the day: How are you doing what’s right, loving mercy and walking humbly?
A new summer series on justice...
Our world is not as it should be. There is pain, evil, and injustice all around us. In the age of social media, it is easier than ever to stay informed about all sorts of injustices, but is sending a tweet, posting a selfie, or sharing a video about an inspiring cause really all it takes to make a difference in the world?
Or is it possible that justice is about something much more than a hashtag? In this series, we'll challenge ourselves to not just post about the injustices around us, but to actually do something about them by loving mercy, acting justly, and walking humbly.
What God Requires
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Maybe you heard me say, "Do something!" at the end of yesterday’s video, but instead of feeling inspired or motivated, you feel helpless or unsure of where to start. If that's you, here are two things I hope will encourage you:
The first is this: God is the miracle-worker—not us.
God is calling you and I to join God on God’s mission of making wrong things right in the world, but it is ultimately God’s mission. God is the miracle-worker!
God wants us to join God on God’s mission so God can use us in amazing ways. We join God when we choose to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
When we live that kind of faith, God can use us to do incredible things in the world. God can use us to make a difference if we're willing.
And here’s the second thing: You don't have to do everything—just do something.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by all that's wrong in the world, but God isn't calling you to do or change everything that needs to be changed. That's way too much for one person!
Question of the Day: What is one thing you’re going to “do” this week to right the wrongs in our community? Let us know in the comments what ideas you have and maybe we can work together to make it happen in the coming weeks!
What is this?
Weekly posts pertaining to the Confirmation Lessons for the week. A great way for families to have conversations of faith at home, on the road, or around a meal.