My last devotion/journal entry included the concept of grace. Today’s entry pairs grace with mercy. Mercy is the act by which God withholds what we deserve. Why? The answer is Christ and the cross.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree (cross), that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed.” I Peter 2:24
Grace is God’s free gift given once for all. Mercy is given new every morning.
“His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
I like to think of my morning quiet times as drops of mercy. God showers me lavishly, refreshes me and fills me up for the day.
Drops of mercy:
Ephesians 1: 1-6 (NIV)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Did you catch the part that says, “Blessed us with every spiritual blessing?”
I don’t know about you but most days I live short of this truth. Life speeds by and in the busyness, the stress—the daily-ness I sometimes hear a dominating whisper telling me lies. This voice begins every lie with, “I.”
“I am not…”
“I will never…”
“I will always…”
Um hmm, this voice is Satan’s voice and he hopes I will repeat and believe every word he says.
I am learning not to listen and to never again repeat the lies. I am replacing them with God’s truth. I am speaking God’s truth out loud over my life.
I want the spiritual blessings. We have many blessings and provisions found in scripture. Here are five:
I am forgiven. I John 2:12 (TLB) “I am writing these things to all of you, my little children, because your sins have been forgiven in the name of Jesus our Savior.”
I am loved. I John 4:10 (NIV) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
I am cleansed. I John 1:9 (NLT) “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
I am chosen. Ephesians 1:4 (NIV) “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
I am a princess; the daughter of the King of the universe. II Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) “And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
I am a princess daughter. You too are, or can be, a princess daughter, or a prince son, of the Most High God; Creator and King of the Universe.
Below is one of my favorite Psalms; it is rich in truth. Pray it out loud thanking God for who He is. He knows you intimately and He loves you. Better yet, if you have accepted His One and Only Son, Jesus, as your Lord and Savior then He forgives you and cleanses you.
If you are not sure about who Jesus is or if He truly exists; call on His name and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He is not hiding—He wants to be found! In the right margin you will find a section titled, “Jesus”.
Psalm 103 (NIV)
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
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.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.