Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

Happy Boxing Day!  Traditionally, the day after Christmas was when the lord of the manor  let his staff have the day off, and  gave them year-end presents to share with their families as a thank you for the year of service to his family.  Today, Christmas Day is reserved for immediate family, but Boxing Day is a day for gifting to friends, co-workers, employees, and neighbors. It’s a time of sharing and saying thank you.

Here in the U.S., we think of it more as Return Day.  Gather what you got for Christmas and can’t wear, don’t like or would never use, and box it up to go back to the store. If you are lucky, you can get what you really wanted on sale and have a few dollars left over.

December 26th is also St. Stephen’s Day – the day named after the first Christian martyr. He was brought into the band of believers to replace Judas, and was stoned to death for proclaiming the Gospel. You might say he gave the ultimate gift, and in giving it away, received an even greater one.   While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)

What do you do with the gift of mercy and grace that Jesus gives? Do you use it, shelf it, or re-gift it? Do you return it unopened, or share it with others?  Do you hold it tightly to your heart, or share it to someone who needs it?

Because His mercies are new every morning, each day is Boxing Day for the believer. And the cool thing is this: the more you give it away the more you receive to give.

What will you do with the gift of Life today?

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solitaireI downloaded a solitaire card game onto my computer. Each day it has a “win-able” hand you can choose to play. But often times, there are multiple choices. Move the card to the wrong stack or the wrong stack to a blank space and you might get stuck. Then a message pops up. “This is a winning hand. Do you want to replay or be shown how to win?” Most times, I choose replay. I want to figure it out for myself. A few times, I have ended up exasperated enough that I let the computer show me how to win.

Describes my life. A few wrong choices and I get stuck. I want a replay button. A “Do-over.”  I might even try to backtrack and correct some of the moves that got me where I am.  However, we live in a linear existence. It is very hard to go back.

That is about the time I give up, fall to my knees and ask the Master Game Designer to show me how.  I whisper what David wrote.  Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4 And He is faithful to do so.

The wonderful thing? Like my computer game, there is a new hand every morning. I can try to solve it on my own, or turn to Him and let my Lord show me how to proceed. Now, I admit, there are times He tells me to pray about it, then choose the next play myself. He understands humans want to be “hands-on.” He gave us free will. And, truth be told, we learn from our mistakes. However, every game has rules. In playing this game called life, we need to know those rules. The Bible provides that, step by step.

Even more wonderful? Because I claim Jesus as my Savior, I can hit replay. It is called forgiveness and grace. He will replayovercome evil with good (Romans 12:21). His mercy is newly provided every morning. (Lamentations 3:23) He will restore my life. (Psalm 17:20).

All I have to do is ask.  And yet…I can slip back into thinking my life is a game of solitaire. Lord, teach me anew, every morning, that I never walk alone. Show me your ways.


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