How would you answer the following question? What is the greatest blessing in your life? Since beginning this ministry, I have asked that question during each retreat I conducted across the country. I have received a multitude of answers. People’s answers have included their spouse, children, parents, food, shelter, health, and even life itself. I believe there is only one answer to this question. To find out what it is, please read more.
Today is part three in our nine-part series leading up to the 500th 4th Day Letter. In part one of this series, we discovered that The Kingdom of God resides in the heart of man. We also learned that God created us to know, love and serve Him. We serve Him by helping to grow His Kingdom.
In part two of this series, we learned that everyone needs to be saved and that no one is better prepared to share the message of Jesus Christ with the world than another flawed and broken person who has had a life altering personal encounter with the mercy of Jesus Christ. I encouraged you to participate in the “purple paper exercise” by writing down your wounds and brokenness.
Now, today, in part three, we examine God’s greatest blessing. I submit to you that mercy is God’s greatest blessing. He expresses that mercy to us through the forgiveness of our sins. His mercy and forgiveness lead to our salvation and eternal life. Sure, all of the answers people offer up during the retreats are blessings, but they are fleeting blessings. Mercy on the other hand, is God’s eternal gift to us. Without God’s mercy, we would all suffer eternal damnation.
What does the Bible tell us about God’s mercy? In Isaiah 35:4-6 we find this prophecy, “Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.”
Matthew 11:4-6 makes clear that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled. We read, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
Acts 13:23 states, “From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior.”
God’s mercy is on full display in Romans 5:8 when we read, “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” We did nothing to deserve this mercy. God granted us mercy even though we are sinners. We were all lost but Jesus came in pursuit of us. Luke 19:10 states, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
Not only did Jesus come to save us but He rejoices when any one of us “lost sheep” are found. Matthew 18:12-13 tells us He rejoices more over finding one lost sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. Jesus knows we are weak sinful people, but His grace is all we need. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
We have a vitally important message to share with others who are hurting. Jesus loves us so much that He took our sins and shame to the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Even though we are sinful, Jesus came to save us, so that we can be with the Father in Heaven. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
Jesus is truly the lifesaving food that sustains us through our darkest hours. John 6:27 tells us, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” He also gives us this assurance, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”
My friends, Christ longs to shine the light of His love and mercy in our hearts and He longs to illuminate those sins that prevent us from drawing closer to Him. His mercy is greater than our greatest sins, and our darkest moments. It has been said, “Only he who has been touched and caressed by the tenderness of his mercy really knows the Lord.”
Last week I promised you that we would discover how God’s greatest blessing, when combined with our brokenness, forms the story line that we are called to share with others. We can shout from the mountain tops and proclaim to everyone the following message: We are broken and sinful people and yet our God is crazy in love with us, and He is always ready to forgive our sins. Can I hear a giant AMEN?
Heavenly Father words escape me. What can I say to possibly express my joy? Your mercy exceeds my human understanding, for without it, I would be eternally damned. I am forever in your in your debt. My faith is in your Son and my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
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There is still time to win your free book. Many of you have already submitted your suggestions. I am writing a yearly devotional book. I am in the process of selecting 52 of the past 4th Day Letters, one for each week of the year. Each one will be presented in the book with a series of questions to reflect on for a week. I am asking for your input. Please write to me and tell me what your favorite 4th Day Letters are. I will randomly draw the names of ten people who respond, and they will receive a FREE copy of the book as soon as it is published. Entries must be received no later than May 28, 2021. The ten winners will be announced on June 1, 2021.