Thursday, March 29, 2012

Psalms: God's Mercy

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”
Psalm 103:8, 11-14 NKJV*

We may choose sin, but when we also choose repentance, God chooses mercy. He is compassionate towards us even in our failings. He pities us as a father who has compassion for his children who make mistakes as they grow up. God understands that just as a child who is learning to walk will stumble, we will stumble as we learn to walk in His ways. But when we stumble, His mercy is abundant and His forgiveness complete. He removes our sins far from us. He may not always remove sin’s consequences, but He will give us the strength and grace to help us return home to Him and to get back on His path for our lives.

Hebrews Chapters 9 and 10 also bring us much-needed freedom and relief. Because Jesus died for our sin, we can “enter” God’s presence freely. “Having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus … and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19,21-22 NKJV). Jesus is active in our lives, standing before God as our Advocate and cleansing us from sin. Because of Him, we can move past being focused on our failings to drawing close to God and embracing Him and His ways for our lives.

Sin and guilt don’t have to keep us from enjoying life with God and serving Him. In Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). The freedom we have in Christ is not an excuse to pursue sin as much as we want, but a motivation to love the One who forgives us and graciously draws us close to His heart. When we see ourselves, God, and His mercy from His perspective and take that to heart, guilt no longer reigns over us, but gratitude. Thank You, Father, for Your mercy!

*Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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