LENT: MERCY

Mercy is God’s goodness to pardon the judgment our sins deserve. In other words, it is God’s act of forgiveness. According to Scripture, we all deserve the death penalty for our sin (Rom. 6:23) and condemnation for eternity (Rev. 20:12-15). When we gaze at what we deserve…mercy takes on a whole new meaning.

WHAT WE DESERVE

The truth is that God doesn’t owe us anything. By our nature, we deserve to die. And because God is a just God, He has every right to enact punishment on every one of us. Wrath is God’s righteous response to enact justice and yet, even then, He is “slow to anger”. What we fail to understand it that every day we live is an act of God’s amazing mercy.

Jesus is the mercy of God in human flesh. He didn’t just teach us to be merciful, but more so, He embodied it. Mercy removes the barrier between you and God so that you can enjoy the freedom of relationship with God Himself. God wants you to know Him. He already knows you. God wants you to delight in Him. He already delights in you. God wants you to experience Him. This is not about relieving your conscience so that you can escape hell. No, this is about something more. This is about you finding your complete and utter satisfaction in God and God alone.  

THINK ABOUT THIS….  

In Eph. 1:4we are told we were chosen before the foundations of the world. God set His affection on you as He was forming you together. He chose to set His love on you. It was His will to do so. There is nothing that you did to deserve His mercy and love. His love for you does not increase nor diminish based on what you do or who you are. There is nothing you can do to “earn His favor.” In other words, your salvation, my salvation, is not about me….it is all about Jesus and what He has done for you. Do you know how freeing that is? How amazing that is?   

Why does Jesus love you? I don’t’ know. Why did He choose me? I don’t know. I don’t deserve it. And when I start to let this truth sink in…that God determined to set His affection on me and lavish His love and mercy on me and give me every spiritual blessing the heavenly realm it results in humility and awe. 

HUMILITY & AWE

We have been blessed with mercy through redemption and forgiveness. We are redeemed and forgiven people. God has lavished His blessing on us. We have been granted a glorious grace. We have the forgiveness of our sins. Our yesterday sins, our today sins, and the ones we will commit tomorrow.  

1 Peter 3:18, for this reason: “Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” That’s why he died. He died to bring you into an enjoyment of God. 

It’s crazy! It’s amazing! Yet, if we are quite honest with ourselves, we don’t feel that way. Our heart affections have not been stirred. We are stuck in the lazy river. Unimpressed with God. Going through the motions. Punching in our time clock.  

A GLIMPSE OF GOD’S CHARACTER

When we peer deep into Scripture and peel apart who God is…we discover a God of mercy. A God who is capable and powerful…Yes. A God who is holy and cannot withstand sin…Yes. A God who will demonstrate His wrath to a wicked and rebellious world because He must remain true to Himself…Yes. To demonstrate the riches of His glory to His people, who are the vessels of His mercy…Yes and Yes and Yes.

God is omnipotent, sovereign and just while at the same time a God who is rich in mercy. At the very core of God, we will discover His unrelenting mercy for His people. What is holding you back from releasing your heart affections to serve God with your whole being? Who can you extend mercy and forgiveness to today?

Prayer: Dear God, please illuminate my heart and show me all the areas where I️ am failing to trust your providential mercy. Grow my mercy toward others. Amen