Mercy: A cornerstone theme of Christianity. We hear it nonstop. It’s mentioned in nearly every sermon preached. We sing songs about it. But do we truly understand it? Do you walk around with the guilt and shame of your past? Or do you fall on the opposite end of the spectrum where you might abuse God’s mercy because it’s readily available?
Every Christian worth their salt has felt guilt at some point since becoming saved. It’s easy to do when we remember how wretched we were, and still are, if we’re being honest. But we need to focus on the word were or was. If we are truly consecrated to Christ, we are not who we used to be. The moment we turned our lives over to Him, we became a new creation. Our past is not forever held against us. In Hebrews 10, it talks of continual personal sacrifices and how they only serve to bring up sins that which are already forgiven. But look at verses 15-18; “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” We must trust Him in His ultimate sacrifice on the cross! Christ didn’t die on Calvary only for us to be tied to our past transgressions. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” There is ultimate freedom in Jesus.
However, in that freedom, we can become complacent and, at times, a bit arrogant in His mercy. It’s easy to revert back to a childlike state of when we’d knowingly disobey our parents because we could ask for forgiveness later and all would be well. We must never abuse God’s love and mercy towards us. Upon becoming washed in His blood, we are immediately called for more. We are set apart and held to a higher standard. That is not to say that we won’t have personal struggles and still sin; but when we do, we must acknowledge and grieve over them and take them to Him. 1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Jesus became our advocate the minute He fulfilled His calling by dying on the cross and creating our path to eternal life! We must never take advantage of the Lord and His goodness.
I believe, as children of God, His mercy should always be in the forefront of our mind. We can be cognizant of His goodness without holding onto our past. Recognizing the magnitude of that which He rescued us from is vital to maintaining right standing with Him. I’ve had this new song on repeat lately, simply titled, Mercy, by Maverick City Music and Elevation Worship. The entire song is excellent and I encourage you to look up the lyrics (YouTube link posted below), but there is one line that just slays me every time. ‘And I’m so glad that my freedom wasn’t based on what I’ve done, but His goodness and mercy and the power of the blood.’ It’s such a sobering thought because we’ve all done terrible things. Our natural state gravitates towards our sin nature because of the fall of man in the garden. But as Ephesians 2:4-5 reminds us, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Hallelujah!
Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” As his love and mercies for us are new everyday, we must be steadfast in our daily dedication to Him. He deserves nothing less than our entire lives for what He has done and what He will most certainly do in the future.
Until next time,