The early Christians were so committed to caring for another’s needs that history records their practice of fasting to save food to give to others who were more in need. What would happen if the world today could see such a clear and consistent demonstration of God’s love?~ Wes Roberts.
It’s the month of love, when stores are flooded with Hallmark cards, hearts, roses and chocolates all displayed to help feed into the glorification of love. Yes, our society has cheapened love, misused love, misunderstood it, and romanticized it. But the truth is, love is a good thing – a God thing. God is love (I John 4:8). To unwrap the breath-taking beauty of that love would take an eternity.
Two of the most vivid characteristics of Jesus were love and mercy – and perhaps they are meant to go hand-in-hand, side-by-side. Micah 6:8 tells us exactly what God requires from us – to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Because February is a month devoted to love, and because at the core of Mercy Branch Inc. is the truth of the mercy of Jesus poured over us, we thought it fitting to spend this month delving into the love mercy part of God’s requirement. There is a danger to breaking this verse apart, these three concepts bleed into one another, and we cannot lose sight of that even as we focus on the one.
It is interesting that God did not say to love justice or to love humility. He specifically put love mercy together. Mercy is huge and encompassing and hard. Sometimes it would be so much easier to love justice and ignore the other side of the coin – mercy, but we are called to love mercy. Today we will focus on the aspect of loving mercy that realizes the power and position we have, and puts that power to use in alleviating someone’s suffering.
I think that first, perhaps to really love mercy, we have to set aside our emotions which are fleeting and unstable, and we have to be moved to action because of the example of Jesus. Jesus was the perfect model for us to follow in loving mercy. Everywhere Jesus went He shared the Good News – He was the Good News. When He walked through the cities, when he healed the lame, and bounced children on His knee, when He listened to women and affirmed their value, when He fed the poor, when He preached and taught, when He broke bread across from sinners, and when He was surrounded by crowds He was sharing the Good News.
God has lavished us with such love and sheer mercy in the gift of Jesus, and we are thankful for this intimate, personal mercy in such a way that we cannot be still. We are compelled to go out and share this mercy in a practical way by feeding starving children, discipling families to wholeness in Jesus, closing up brokenness, sharing in stories of redemption, all the while proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. We love mercy because He loved mercy and blanketed us with it when we were least deserving and outcasts.
For our family this works itself out in answering the call to go to Ethiopia and serve kids on the street who are broken and in need of Jesus and His rich mercy, to reunite families, and to share in the ministry of the local church in equipping parents to lead and parent well. Our devotion to Jesus pushes us across the ocean and allows us to use the power and position God blessed us with (mainly because of where we were born) to alleviate the physical suffering of others and share the Good News.
To love mercy takes intentional sacrifice. Our family is sacrificing – we sold our home, many of our belongings, we are moving our children away from their grandparents, we are leaving our community, we are leaving our country, but it is such a small sacrifice compared to the ultimate one, mercifully given to us by God. We are inviting you to love mercy with us, to be a fellow Kingdom builder with Mercy Branch, to be inked onto the pages of this story that He is writing, and when we invite you, we know that we are inviting you to sacrifice. We know that this is a big ask. We have been praying for you as you pray about whether this is something you can stand behind. We are compelled to love mercy by going, but we need the people that are compelled to love mercy by sending. Perhaps God has put you in a position to do this. This Love Mercy Project is for you.
We have been spending the past few weeks praying through this whole thing. We have spent the past few days fasting and praying that the Spirit of God would press on people to become Kingdom Partners with us. So here is what we have been praying and fasting toward:
- We are asking God to bring many prayer warriors to us! This is not just a token thing for us. We need your prayer, we want you to buy into what we are doing with your heart and seek the Father on our behalf. If you have not already, please sign up on our email list to get updates, like us on Facebook, and check in on our website to find out how God is working. We will keep you updated as you pray through this with us.
- We have asked God to use this month to help us reach huge milestones! We are asking God to move in 20 families’ hearts to sponsor Mercy Branch for $30.00 per month. As an incentive, every new $30.00/month (or more) sponsor will receive the T-shirt of their choice from our T-shirt fundraiser!
- We have been blessed with a $5,000. matching donation. During the month of February, your one-time donations can be doubled! We have prayed that God would bring in $5,000 from individuals this month. For every dollar you give, it is doubled by a matching donor!
To join hands in this project simply follow these steps: First, commit this to God. Second, spend time in prayer for Mercy Branch. Third, give what God is laying on your heart. We trust with everything we are that God is in this and that He will bring this to be. We will spend this month encouraging and communicating. But we know that it will be God, not our begging and pleading that will make this happen! If we reach the above goals, we will be more that 50% funded in all categories! May this month of love be a month where we all learn to Love Mercy!
“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live” (Psalms 116:1-2 NIV).