Worn and New
Have you ever noticed that everything in your life wears out?
The jacket you loved so much at the mall is now beaten up, with stains and smudges and frayed ends. The brand new car you drove off the lot doesn't shine like it used to, and now is just a normal old ride with scratches and squeaks like everyone else.
Your smartphone and tablet don't run as flawlessly as they did the first day you turned it on. Your recently delivered furniture, your freshly painted walls, your newly installed carpet, your still-boxed kitchen appliances - they all wear out with time.
This is discouraging to consider, but even you and I wear out. Our bodies grow old, weak, and tired. We can't run, jump, or lift like we used to. We are, in essence, decaying.
But there's something that never wears out. In fact, it's the only thing in life that has the capacity to be completely fresh and brand new day after day after day.
What is it? God's mercies. Lamentations 3:22-23 reads: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning." (ESV)
I'm sure that most of you are familiar with this famous Scripture verse, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of three mercies that are new and given to you each morning.
First: the mercy of forgiveness. Today, in some capacity, you will fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Chances are, you already did! We need to be forgiven, and God provides his most significant mercy on the Cross of Christ (Romans 3:24-25).
This new morning mercy means that when we stumble, we don't need to run, hide, or shift the blame. God has already taken care of it. Instead of rising to our own defense, we can admit weaknesses and rest in the shed blood of Christ.
Second: the mercy of provision. Every day you will face things that are bigger than your wisdom and deeper than your spiritual maturity. Not only do you need daily forgiveness; you need daily assistance.
God has "given us everything we need for a godly life" (2 Peter 1:3, NIV), so when we feel like we're at the end of our rope, we can carry on. We can face life once more, with new courage and new hope, not because we're able, but because our God has provided mercies that are form-fit for each experience in a fallen world.
And finally, though there are many more than these three: the mercy of transformation. God isn't content to leave you as simply forgiven; no, "he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6, ESV)
God is intent on removing the remaining imperfections from your heart. This may be an uncomfortable or even painful process, but it's all done in love. Today, you will experience the loving hand of God through the process of personal heart transformation. Will you embrace it, or will you reject it?
1. How have you fallen short of the glory of God already? Do you daily confess your need for his forgiveness?
2. What did you face yesterday that was too big for your wisdom and strength? How does God's mercy provide in those moments?
3. How have you experienced the uncomfortable mercy of transformation recently? How did you respond?
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