Links Daily Devotional

Merciful, Grace-Filled Words

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. (Ephesians 2:4-5, ESV)

If you’re in need of hope or encouragement, this is one of the best passages to turn to in all of Scripture (or all of Ephesians 2:1-10!). The reason I return here often is because it is the best reminder I can receive, especially when I am struggling or in times of need.

Stop wearing yourself out trying to earn God’s grace, favor, or love.God loves Rosson Anderson (enter your name here if you identify as a Christ-follower) so much that he would save me by his sheer grace—and nothing else. There was nothing I could do before I was saved to save myself. In spite of me being dead in my sins and trespasses, God showed mercy and grace to me and called me his beloved.

What is mercy? Mercy is the kind act of God not giving his children what they deserve. What do we deserve? “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a).

What is grace? Grace is the kind act of God giving his children something they don’t deserve. What do we not deserve that we get as believers? Eternal life through Jesus alone. “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).

Brothers and sisters, this is the scandalous yet beautiful news of the Gospel. It is scandalous in that God loves us and lavishes us with his grace, even though we don’t deserve it. It is beautiful in that he knows how sinful and depraved we are and still chooses to love and change our hearts through that.

You see, it took me a long time to come to the realization that there is absolutely nothing I can do to save myself from the punishment I deserve. The biggest reason is most likely due to living in a performance-driven society, starting with golf.

In order for me to play in tournaments in college, I would have to qualify for them, competing with my other teammates for the five spots on the traveling squad. Only the five best earned their way to travel.

Jesus says something totally different. He tells us that we have no capacity to earn our way on to his team. He picks us, through his beautiful mercy and grace, and calls us his beloved. In spite of what I have done, am doing, or will do in the future, Jesus loves me all the more.

Be encouraged today, brothers and sisters. Stop wearing yourself out trying to earn God’s grace, favor, or love. If you are in Christ, you are a child of God, loved perfectly by him. He can do this through his Son, who lived the perfect life we couldn’t live and died a death worthy enough to save us from our sin. He then rose to life three days later so that we can be “made alive together with Christ.”

This is our hope. This is the God we cherish. Let’s be encouraged today, brother and sisters, as God’s very own beloved children!

Rosson Anderson
May 3, 2016
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