For a big part of my life, I have allowed what others thought of what I say or do, to have too much of an influence upon who I was and what I did. It is almost impossible to relax and enjoy life when you are trying to look and live a certain way for the purpose of being accepted or loved by others.
It is only by coming to the end of yourself that you realize that this life lived for the opinions of others actually robs you of the life that your Creator intended for you to have and experience.
I do not deserve to have God in my life. In fact, I deserve to have God against my life, because of my almost continual attraction and submission to sin. But God loves me and not because I deserve to be loved, but because He is love.
God created me for a love relationship with Him. A relationship that provides joy, happiness, purpose and fulfillment that flow through His presence with and in me. I deserve to be eternally separated from God, His love and blessing. I deserve to be unhappy, unfulfilled and miserable. But God does not give me what I deserve, instead He gives me what I don’t and could never deserve.
We learned in yesterday’s blog that grace is getting what you don’t deserve. Today, we want to focus on another amazing gift that God has blessed us with – the gift of mercy. Mercy is being spared from judgment, harm or retribution for our unlawful, wrong, bad and sinful behavior.
Titus 3:4-7 puts it this way: “4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
While grace is getting what we don’t deserve – an amazing relationship with God that last for all eternity, mercy is not getting what we do deserve – eternal separation from God, His love, protection and blessing.
William Shakespeare said: “The quality of mercy is not strained; it dropeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed – It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”
My faith is not in myself or what I can do to try to live a life that is pleasing to others. My faith is in the grace and mercy that flows out of the love of my God. It enables me every moment of every day to experience the miraculous and unexplainable. It enables me to entertain the real pleasure of living with myself in God and God in me.
Thank You God for life and the luxury of real and right relationship with You. Not relationship that is earned or deserved, but relationship that flows out of your love through grace and mercy and allows my ordinary life to bring You extraordinary glory.