Monday, August 04, 2014

We all need mercy

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Romans 9:19-33

TO CHEW ON: "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'
There they shall be called sons of the living God." - Romans 9:26

A few years ago, musician Brian Doerksen released a CD and video project called Level Ground. One of the themes that recurs within the songs is that we're all in the same place of need before God. Doerksen says about the project:

"The reality of grace and the leveling it speaks of, continues to elude most of us in our cultures of competition. We love elevating ‘stars’ and shaming ‘sinners.’ God’s heart as Father longs to embrace us all and place us on level ground!

....God made a way for that to happen! It’s the ‘Jesus Way.’ Among all the religions and philosophies on earth – He is the ‘Only God of Grace!’ Through Him, we can all experience grace that transforms.

I have experienced this many times when I volunteer in one of our local prisons....
On a recent visit in, I was struck by what one of the men said; 'I’m so grateful for what God is doing. When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.' What a miracle! Someone who is being set free from shame and guilt by the power of grace! And as I fellowship with these men, I realize that I too am lost – and we all need God’s grace" - quote from
Our common need for God's mercy and grace is also the theme of Romans 9:19-33. Being a Jew and keeping the law can't earn God's grace. Being a Gentile doesn't mean automatic exclusion from it. Rather God, in mercy, extends the grace of salvation as a gift to all who will accept it by faith.

Faith in what? Not one's own works but in the work of the "stumbling block" - Jesus. For "...whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame" - Romans 9:33

We are all, finally, from the most sanctimonious saint to the most heinous sinner, the same before God in the department of earning our salvation: we can't. We need God's mercy.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for mercy, on display in the death of Jesus who died to pay the penalty my sin deserved. May I, in turn, be quick to extend mercy and grace to everyone I interact with today. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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