Pause

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. As you slowly inhale and exhale, breathe in the truth of God’s mercy. The radical notion that God extends favor and blessings to us when we don’t deserve them.

What kind of God is this?

A God that seeks your fellowship in this moment.

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Listen

When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better, it was like we had been dreaming. Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter; our tongues were filled with joyful shouts. It was even said, at that time, among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them!” Yes, the Lord has done great things for us, and we are overjoyed.

Psalm 126:1-3

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Think

Mercy is followed by something special: restoration. Our lives are often characterized by times when things are out of order. Our merciful God is all about restoration — getting things back into a right relationship with God and with others.

As a young man living far from home, I drifted from God. While I maintained a casual prayer life, I was going through the motions. I let things into my life that were inconsistent with my faith. One afternoon, a stranger stopped by my house and shared that God had urged him to come and see me. He talked a little about his faith and his strong feeling that God had good plans for me.

In hindsight, this awkward interaction was mercy-filled. God was welcoming me, undeserving, into a restored and right relationship. I remember feeling pretty joyful. What about you? Do you need to welcome restoration today? Joy awaits.

Bill Ogletree

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Pray

Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!

Psalm 51:10

Amen.

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Go

In 2013, Pope Francis shared that Jesus’ most powerful message for us is mercy.

In a “get even” world, where can you share the radical message of Christ’s mercy today? Can you extend mercy within a broken relationship at school or in the workplace?

It may not feel natural or be easy, but as the Apostle Paul reminds us, with God all things are possible.

Bill Ogletree

Bill Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University where he chairs the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His professional interests center on the communication needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. When not at work, Bill enjoys time with his wife and family, an assortment of pets, and a variety of stringed instruments.

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