May 26, 2010
Grace and Mercy Today
“The LORD is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.”
Psalm 145:8, Page 998
I know a man who dug up his yard looking for buried treasure. He lived in a quiet and unremarkable residential neighborhood. He shoveled and shoveled, piling dirt around those holes. He really believed that treasure had been buried there. But he never found any treasure and only ended up with thousands of dollars in landscaping and new sod costs. People often dig for treasure, even in some unlikely spots. Have you been treasure hunting in your life lately?
Jesus Christ is the greatest treasure you will ever discover. His grace and mercy overwhelm me every day. Wonderfully, He is slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. In the Bible, grace means that I get something I do not deserve. For example, as I sinner I deserve punishment, but instead Jesus saved me from that punishment by being punished in my place on that cross. He died for me (Romans 5:8, page 1764). Jesus paid the entire penalty for all my sins. I believe every day that He has forgiven my sin because He has taken care of God’s requirement that someone die for my sin (Romans 6:23, page 1766). In the cross of Christ, I also see God’s mercy. Mercy means that I do not get something I deserve. I deserved to die on that cross for all of my sins. I deserve to die and suffer forever because I have sinned. Instead, Jesus withheld the punishment I deserve, and that act shows mercy. Everyday I become aware of how sinful I am.
Jesus does not get angry quickly, but instead shows great lovingkindness. You can see above how God’s grace and mercy often go together. By grace God gives me something I do not deserve, and at the same time, withholds something I do deserve. Often, God’s decision to be slow to anger fits right in with His desire to show His lovingkindness.
I have been digging holes in my life. I tend to dig deep in places that have no treasure. God could roast me with fire from heaven for even thinking about digging unproductive holes looking for earthly treasure. Instead, God does not get angry with me, but shows me lovingkindness. He told me that all the condemnation I deserve has been completely and forever taken away by my faith in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1, page 1768). Instead, I should be seeing the treasure of Jesus Christ within me.
In Psalm 145:8, Jesus wants me to know that I should meditate upon His wonderful works, and speak of His power and greatness. Jesus also reminds me that I should focus upon His great qualities. He loves to forgive sins, to make life abundant, to provide joy that lasts, to send peace like no other, and to answer our prayers. If you are looking for treasure, Jesus has it right now and loves to share.
Application for Today
Today I am going to see Jesus display His grace and mercy in my life, and in the lives of people all around me. I am going to be watching carefully so that I can praise the Lord Jesus Christ. I am going to see that Jesus does not get angry quickly, but loves to show me His perfect lovingkindness. I will see Him help the poor, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Today, I will see the real treasure already in my life, the presence of Jesus Christ. Tired of digging those same holes looking for earthly treasure? Look at Jesus and watch Him display His grace and mercy. Watch Him be slow to anger, and great in lovingkindness.