Running on Dunkin

Dunkin

Keep Calm and Read Psalm 136:

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:

To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.

To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
For His mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from among them,
For His mercy endures forever;
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His mercy endures forever;
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,

For His mercy endures forever;
But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who struck down great kings,
For His mercy endures forever;
And slew famous kings,
For His mercy endures forever—
Sihon king of the Amorites,
For His mercy endures forever;
And Og king of Bashan,
For His mercy endures forever—
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His mercy endures forever;
A heritage to Israel His servant,
For His mercy endures forever.

Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.”

Anyone having a problem with motivation this morning? On a Monday morning, I suppose that’s tantamount to asking, “Is anyone alive this morning?”

Beep-beep-beep! As soon as that evil alarm goes off, you flail like a beached whale to get to your alarm clock…and nearly topple off the side of the bed. With all the gusto of a dying cow, you move one leg off the bed…then another. And then, like a character from the Walking Dead, you rise out of the sheets and smash the snooze as hard as possible (just to show it who’s boss). Then…you fall back asleep. And the cycle repeats until you’re three hours late to work and running out the door with your sweater on backwards. Oh wait! You forgot the one thing that keeps you going: America runs on…well, any type of coffee. If a coffee-exporting country ever stopped shipping the liquid gold to us, I have no doubt that we’d declare war on them immediately. It’s our opium. And for most mornings, it seems to be our only motivation. Our only reason to keep going. Brethren, these things ought not be!

The Bible presents us with a different source of motivation. And just in case it’s a Monday morning, it repeats it twenty-six times in one Psalm. Do you get the picture? This phrase, “For his mercy endures forever,” is pretty important to the Psalmist!

The word mercy here is the Hebrew word chesed, a very familiar word to the Psalmist, but one that’s hard to translate into English without losing its power. Think of it as the ultimate combo of grace, mercy, love, and loyalty. “Covenant loyalty,” you could say. And according to the Psalmist, it endures forever, unlike the caffeine in your coffee cup. And it provides the motivation needed for every Monday morning.

Romans 12:1 uses a similar word in Greek: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” On what basis does Paul present this challenge to give our all to God? BY THE MERCIES OF GOD. That is the motivation to live the Christian life. That is the motivation to do as the Psalmist says: “Oh give thanks to the God of heaven!” Why? “Because His mercy endures forever!”

Forever? Yes, even “while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8). Even during our “wretched man” moments (Rom. 7:24). Even when we “groan” (Rom. 8:23). Even when we are accounted as “sheep for the slaughter” (Rom. 8:36). During our trials and temptations, wins and losses, pick-ups and falls, God’s mercy remains unchanged. He is loyal in His love for us. Love for rotten sinners. And it is because of that great mercy shown to us that we can find motivation to live our lives giving Him thanks. Living our lives surrendered on His altar.

Are you having a hard time waking up and getting going this morning? Are you feeling like giving up on the Christian life? Do you feel uninspired to read your Bible or pray or serve Christ? Don’t look to a coffee cup. Look to a Christ Who died for you! And in those nail-scarred Hands, find abundant mercy that motivates you to wake up and worship Him.

America may run on Dunkin. But Christians run on God’s mercy.

-Matthew W., SC

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