Today is Thursday of Holy Week. Have you felt God stirring in your heart? I have. I am filled with a swelling of anticipation for what we will celebrate on Sunday, otherwise known as Resurrection Day! Why does this day excite me? I am a sinner saved by grace. I have done nothing to earn my salvation; rather I received the gift of eternal life freely by believing who Jesus is and what He did for me – and for everyone.
Christ chose to make Himself the final blood sacrifice and stood in the place for each of us. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude. God, in His infinite wisdom, holiness, and righteousness, spared His wrath from us because He allowed His Son to bear it instead. This awesome thought draws us to today’s focus…mercy.
God is mercy. He created it and defines it.
How tender His heart must be! He looks upon the earth and, despite its condition, still feels mercy toward it. His children call Him by name, and He cannot forget them. When we accepted Christ, He made a covenant with us, and since God is holy and sinless, He cannot go back on His covenant – even if/when we do.
I recall times over the years when each of my children have come to me crying over something they had done. With sobs and crocodile tears, they fell into my arms with regret and seeking forgiveness. I, too clearly, remember times as a child (and as an adult) when I have been the one upset to tears over bad choices.
As a child, I wanted forgiveness from my mom more than anything. I absolutely needed to have it to sleep, to have peace and to have a re-do with her. As a parent, my heart melts when one of my children earnestly come seeking resolution through confession and a sincere heart. I am moved and cannot withhold my forgiveness – nor can I hold a grudge. I look at them (discipline aside) and think, They have so much to learn. May they learn from this and let it be a strength for them to make a better decision the next time they are in this situation. I think God looks at us much the same way.
We are made in His image. We, His children, are part of His family. He wants us. He wants things to be right between Him and us. He defines compassion, and pours it over our souls like a warm bath. His mercy is the big hug a parent gives, the hand that wipes away the tears, and the words that say, I forgive you.
God is holy. Accountability is a must if we want to grow in Christ. But, we are spared the eternal penalty for our sins because Jesus paid our debt on the cross. God’s mercy allows us to approach His throne room, seek His face, talk with Him, and be with Him forever – never to be eternally separated again.
We don’t deserve His mercy, but in His love and holiness He bestows it on us anyhow because He forgives, forgets, and doesn’t hold a grudge. What a good and mighty God we serve.
Scriptures to meditate on…
* Lamentations 3:23, Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
* Psalm 103:14,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
* Deuteronomy 4:31, For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.
* Nehemiah 9:30-31, For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
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