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I CHOOSE MERCY

Mercy

My daughter Meredith has always had a very tender heart.  When she was little, she could cry the largest tears I have ever seen.  When she was 5 years old, she asked me if she could go outside and play in our back yard.  I gave her specific orders not to play in a certain area because we had discovered some fire ants.  When I glanced out the back window, guess where she was?  Immediately, I told her to come inside and asked her why she had disobeyed. The one gallon size tears began to flow. 

As we discussed her disobedience to my direct orders, I asked her what she thought I should do and if she thought she deserved a spanking.  She caught me off guard when she said, “Yes, but I choose mercy!”  Wow, that was the title of my last message, and I have to tell you that I hate it when people use my messages against me, especially my 5 year old daughter.  It was out of that encounter I was reminded of Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

There are three words I think we need to always remember:

#1.  Judgment – This is getting what we deserve.  I have heard people say, “Just give me what I deserve,” but I do not want what I deserve. The scriptures are clear that the payment for our sin is death, eternal separation from God.  Romans 5:18 says, “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”  Meredith deserved to be disciplined because she had disobeyed!

#2.  Mercy – This is where you do not get what you deserve.  2 Corinthians 4:1 says, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;”  Paul was saying that the teaching of the gospel was what sustained him and kept him from fainting.  God shows mercy on us by withholding judgment on the unrepentant to give them the opportunity to receive Christ and he withholds it permanently from the redeemed.  Oh, I didn’t spank Meredith that day because I choose mercy too!

#3.  Grace – This is where you receive far more than you could ever deserve, earn, or gain.  Grace is the unmerited favor of God!  Romans 5:17 says, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”  Grace is God doing something for you that you could never do yourself.  Oh, by the way, not only did I not spank Meredith, we went and got an ice cream!

Recently, I ran across a new word, “Gracenomics,” and I was intrigued to find more out about it.  I have heard about autonomics, bionomics, economics, ergonomics, psychonomics, and one of my favorites, reaganomics, but I was unfamiliar with this one.  Upon looking further into this word, I found out that there was even a book entitled Gracenomics by Mike Foster with the theme of, “Unleashing the Power of the Second Chance.”  The idea is to give grace to everyone around us as God has given us grace.

During this Easter season, and every day of the year, may grace abound in our lives toward others.  My prayer is that we will live by the principles of grace as taught by the greatest grace giver of all times, Jesus Christ.  I know some do not like it when I have shared new ways of saying old truths.  Personally, I feel that it stimulates a greater awareness of whether or not we are practicing what we have said we believe.  Maybe a new way of expressing God’s truth could catch the ear or eye, hopefully the heart, of those seeking the truth.

The greatest way to teach grace is to practice it regularly.  We must never forget that we only have eternal life because of the mercy and grace of God in sending His son to earth in order to one day pay the price for our redemption.  Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

I agree with my daughter, “I choose Mercy!!!”