I've been reading through the book of Kings this week, and I'm struck by the enormity of mercy that God has shown His people.
Remember Ahab? The king who married Jezebel. The king of who it is said in v. 25 of 1 Kings 25:
Never was there a man who sold himself to do what is wrong in the Lord's eyes as Ahab did, and all at the prompting of Jezebel his wife.Ahab was the worst of the worst. Yet when Ahab heard the word of the Lord from the prophet Elijah, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. What was the Lord's response?
"Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has thus humbled himself, I shall not bring disaster on his house in his own lifetime, but in that of his son."God poured out His mercy on Ahab, deferring His wrath to the next generation (which, incidentally, was no less guilty). In fact, you can read in 2 Kings 22-23 about King Josiah's reform and of all the shrines and idols that he tore down, dating back to the time of King Solomon. Israel's sin was great indeed.
Yet, time and again we read accounts of God's great mercy toward His people.
Christ's sacrifice didn't do away with our need for God's mercy. There are still consequences to our sin. God still pours out His mercy on His people. I can see the threads of His mercy in my own life, just as I'm sure you can see them in yours.
In today's world I think we are in danger of two things:
Believing that our sin is not that bad, (or worse, believing that we do not sin at all) or
believing that our sin is more than what God will forgive.
Both are lies of the enemy.
The standard we are to hold ourselves to is not our neighbor, or the miscreants we see on TV. The standard is Jesus Christ, Who knew no sin. None. Zero. Zilch.
On our best day we are in need of God's grace.
One person may be a relatively decent sinner and another may be a flagrant sinner, but both are sinners, and God’s law admits no degree of failure. ~ Bridges, Jerry. The Discipline of GraceOn our worst day we are in need of God's grace, and God's mercy.
And on both days we have it, when we repent, humble ourselves before God and accept the gift He has provided; the sacrifice of His Son.
To believe that our sin is more than God will forgive is flat unbelief. God says, "Ask and it will be given you." He doesn't qualify the asking. Take Him at His word.
For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God, which He gave to us in such large measure! (Eph 1:7-8)Do you look in the mirror and see the truth of your sinful state? Do you look in the mirror and see a soul worthy of God's love and adoration?
Both are required to receive His mercy and grace. Anything less is believing a lie.
May you receive the truth of the Gospel today.
For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him may not die
but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16)
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