“… as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life … ”. 1 Peter 3:7
Recently, I was listening to the song, Once Again by Matt Redman. It’s a song we have often sung on a Sunday morning.
Every day, and especially on Sundays if we attend a church service, we have the opportunity to marvel again at God’s gracious gifts to us. As we consider do we ever think with a sense of deep gratitude, “I can’t believe that God would be that good to me.” Are we ever staggered at the magnitude of his sacrifice? Are we ever overwhelmed by the love of God?
The song goes on to speak about mercy. God’s severe mercy has a habit of humbling us in a way punishments and reprimands never do. Punishments often seem to be an ineffective way of changing behaviour. So many criminals re-offend, often it’s the same children in trouble at school, parents repeat the same reprimands to their children. But when we fully realize that we are recipients of the most undeserved mercy and grace, we are humbled and the attitudes of our heart are changed.
When David experienced God’s forgiveness he wanted to be different, “Create in me, a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). That’s the effect mercy is supposed to have on us. Yet when we read the history of God’s people in the Old Testament we find that they took God’s mercy for granted, with little thought to its enormity or value.
Let’s not take God for granted but live with heartfelt gratefulness.