“Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:3-5).
I love God! And that is just putting it lightly. God is literally everything to me. Sometimes I think I’m crazy because sometimes I think my mortal mind can’t handle the fact that a magnanimous God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth LOVES me! Like, what?!
God has so many qualities. The one that I’ve been most recently exposed to is His mercy. I have had a very hard time understanding God’s mercy because it doesn’t make sense. The way the world works is that if you do something wrong, you have to face the consequences. But the way God works is that He sent Jesus to die for the consequences of my wrongdoings and Jesus’ death, His finished work on the cross, is still availing me today. That’s my understanding of God’s mercy towards me.
With this mercy comes certain privileges like confessing my sins and knowing the blood of Jesus has covered it, that I don’t have to pay for it. You see, sin is deadly.
Paul rightly says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death…” (NIV). I think about that and I know that I’m supposed to be dead. But mercy says no; God says no. Instead He remembers Jesus and the blood He shed for my sake. He cleanses my unrighteousness, gives me a new page, gives me life, and I continue in His strength, grace, and love.
Earlier this morning I had an encounter with sin– it’s something I’m quite ashamed of. But right after I experienced a heaviness in my soul, perhaps the the godly sorrow Paul talked about in 2nd Corinthians 7:10. I knew I grieved the Holy Spirit and I felt so sad and bad for what I had done. The prayer that I kept praying was “God, please don’t let me die like this. I don’t want to die without having repented. I don’t want others to reap the death I had sowed.” I kept pleading for mercy. But God kept me and I woke up still crying for mercy and forgiveness. What God reminded me is that I have been forgiven! Praise Jesus! There is a joy and relief that comes with that. I found myself in the position of the woman caught in adultery when Jesus told her, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). I was given mercy and grace that I didn’t deserve! Praise God for His love towards me.
I’m in no way trying to say that I don’t appreciate the mercy of God or that at the back of my mind I’m thinking that I can sin and get away with it because Jesus died for me. Please don’t misunderstand me. It is very important for us to confess and repent; we must live free of sin because sin cannot stand in the presence of God. What makes us different from others is that we have the hope and the assurance that the blood of Jesus washes us clean! The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is God’s gift to us! We are free from the burden of our own sinful nature and we have life abundant, but only through Jesus Christ.
You see, I don’t want to sin. I don’t want to die either because that means that I won’t have God in my life. And I need God in every area of my life. As much as the wages of sin is death “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23.NIV).
So, I praise God for His mercy. Perhaps I will probably never fully understand it; at least not in this lifetime. Nevertheless, I thank Him for not letting me die in my sin but giving me another chance to repent and tell Him, “Thank you, Father. I can do all things because You give me the strength.” I am so very grateful. God is the reason why I’m still here, able to write about His mercy.
At the end of it all God’s mercy and grace go hand in hand. And “it is by grace [I] have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5, NIV).
Check out this song “Street Called Mercy” by Hillsong. It really speaks to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWbUxAvdoo4