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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”—Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV)
As a father of five kids, I’ve had the opportunity on more occasions then I’d like to admit to demonstrate how unlike Christ I am. Hebrews 8:12 refers to how God purposely puts out of His mind the sinful deeds we commit on a daily basis. As a parent, this type of divine ability could come in handy on so many levels. Let’s be truthful here, there are a lot of things we’d love to erase from our minds.
When my kids make irrational or absurd decisions that cause them to step outside the boundaries we’ve set in place for them, my typical response isn’t always merciful. As a matter of fact, my response is often quick judgment and heavy punishment. Then, for the next several days, I scratch my head wondering what in the world my child was thinking.
On the other hand, God chooses to extend the very thing we don’t deserve during moments when He may very well be scratching His head regarding our foolish behavior. He extends to us one of His most astonishing attributes: mercy. You see, mercy is simply letting someone off the hook from a punishment or judgment they actually deserve. Then God takes this mercy a step further as to give Himself “amnesia” regarding the sinful mistakes we’ve committed that actually deserved His judgement! (See Isaiah 43:25.) Shucks, as a parent, I can only wish to forget some of the boneheaded things my kids do. Yet, we have a good, good Father who literally blots out our sins and demonstrates mercy toward us daily (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Two thousand years ago Christ demonstrated His mercy toward us when He went to the cross to take the judgment that was meant for all humanity! It’s because of His mercy that He effectively lets us off the hook from the much deserved death sentence we’ve earned ourselves, and in its place, He offers us salvation and eternal life. Now that’s grace and mercy at its best! His mercy says, “I’ll pardon you from the punishment you deserve,” and His grace says, “I’ll give you what you can’t earn!” Don’t we serve a good, good Father?
DIG: Be sure to circle back and read Lamentations 3:22-23 along with Isaiah 43:25.
DISCOVER: Think about times when you deserved judgment or punishment for your sinful actions. Now ask yourself, “How often has Christ bailed me out?”
DISPLAY: Be willing to demonstrate that same mercy toward others even if they don’t deserve it