FOCUS OF THE WEEK: FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS
God promises to give us Mercy and Grace.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and forth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7
ALL PROMISES ARE FULFILLED IN CHRIST.
Please read Matthew 9:10-12 before reading this post.
Mercy and grace are often spoken of in the same sentence. In this new testament passage, Jesus was deliberately having dinner with “tax-gatherers and sinners”. Why was He associating with people that stole from others? As we read in Luke 19:10 Jesus’s purpose was to come to seek and save the lost and He was doing exactly that. Even though we walk the earth thousands of years after these people we know one thing for certain we all have in common: we are ALL sinners in need of Jesus’s mercy and grace.
Several weeks ago in our study we learned this simple but direct definition: Mercy— is that which we don't get but we do deserve (God’s wrath) and Grace—is that which we do get but don't deserve (because of our sins).Think about it: if God were not merciful we would receive the full measure of His wrath upon our sinful selves. Instead, God was not merciful to Jesus on the cross because the entire wrath of God was poured out on Him for what should have been ours. God wants to give mercy and grace to us freely but it’s always been our choice to receive it. Furthermore He gives it over and over- there is no ending to how much He has to give out! This gift He gives through Jesus Christ is life changing - literally! It changed tax collector Matthew’s life and it changes us.
What great news this is for all of us. Is there someone in your life who has the impression Jesus is only interested and accessible to “the perfect church people”? Direct them to this passage and read further to see what Jesus says in response to the Pharisees. Our merciful and gracious Jesus is here for sinners, anytime and anyplace . That may be the good news someone you know is waiting to hear today.
For further reading: Ephesians 2:4-8; Luke19:10; 2 John 1:3; Titus 3:3-6.
Heavenly Father, How can we begin to wrap our minds around how much you love us? The amount of freely given grace and mercy is simply too much to comprehend. Oh, how grateful we are for this. Without it, we would be completely sunk. Instead, we have abundant life on earth as well as in eternity with You. Help others that don't know You see the light You freely offer. Use us to spread this good news. Thank You that the promises You make always come true. In this convoluted world we live in, help us to see the clarity and truth that comes only from You. Amen