Wednesday, January 21, 2009

SALT Challenge - Mercy

"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God,
who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
Ephesians 2:1-7

If it were not for God's mercy, shown to those who are actively engaged in living a life void of obedience to His commands, there would be no hope for any of us. If it were not for God's mercy none of us could stand before Him on judgement day. If it were not for His mercy, we would be hard pressed to survive the trials of each and every day. If it were not for His mercy, we would not have Christ's sacrifice, nor the ability to have the heavy burden of our sins lifted from our shoulders. God's glory, goodness, lovingkindess, and mercy is magnified when the hearts of the sinful are turned toward Him.

My favorite part of the scripture referenced above is "but God." But God...that is so powerful. I was dead in my trespasses. I loved my Godless lifestyle, I had no desire to read the Bible, to go to church, or to worry about whether or not I was living up to any one's standards, other than my own shallow idea of what it meant to be "good"...I lived to please myself. "But God" in spite of that lifestyle He chose to show me mercy. Not because of anything I did or who I was but simply because of His great love and mercy.

And what a humbling reminder from Paul to show mercy to those around us for although we now trust in Christ, there was a time when we didn't and if it were not for God's mercy, we would remain unchanged. In and of ourselves, there is no difference between those that trust Christ and those who don't for we are certainly no better and, at times, can even behave much worse. The only difference is mercy. The only difference is the light-filled grace of God that has shined into our darkened hearts, transforming our minds and conduct.

I would encourage you to take a look at the other beautiful work created by the SALT design team and please join with us by using your God-given talents to submit your own work of art based on this week's theme.

Have a blessed week and may the mercy of God continue to shine upon you!


Hazel said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and such a beautiful card, Kim. Certainly one of the super 'but's in scripture ... I love so many of the 'but ...' x

esther said...

your words are always so challenging Kim! Thank you so much for expanding on, and explaining the theme in depth. A beautifl and implistic piece of work that portrays the theme. Gorgeous.