If you could describe God in three words (I know that’s impossible, just do your best!) what would they be? For me, they would be loving, just, and merciful. Especially merciful. Why do I say that? Well, let’s switch things up a bit.
How would we describe ourselves, the human race, in three simple words? There is actually only one word in particular that comes to my mind: sinful. As much as I hate being a Debbie-downer, I need to overcome my tendency to optimism and just say it straight out: We are sinful human beings who don’t deserve to spend an eternity with God, but rather an eternity in hell.
Ouch. Just let that reality sink in. It stings, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s the unavoidable truth . . . or is it?
Let’s go back to God for a minute. Do you remember when I said that He was especially merciful? I hope so, because it’s about to become really important. How do we know right now that despite our sinful human nature we are not doomed to an eternity in hell? Is there any way we that we can be sure? The answer to that can be found in Ephesians 2:4-7–
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)
Or how about John 3:16, which says,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)
I know that this verse can come across as totally clichéd, especially if you are a believer, but doesn’t it hold so much truth? God is so loving and merciful that He literally sent Jesus, His only Son, down to this sin-ridden earth from heaven to die in our place for our sins. If that’s not a radical act of mercy than I don’t know what is!
Look back at Ephesians. Despite being dead in our trespasses, God made us alive in Him. Despite our tendency to fall to temptation, God has already sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins. That kind of merciful act can only be out of genuine love. As we get caught up in the distractions of life, let us never forget God’s unfailing mercy towards us.