PRAYER: Please pray tonight.
DEVOTION: Smith starts out chapter 5 by talking about Paul’s conversion and baptism. He notes that Saul was probably the greatest persecutor the early church had. He was on his way to Damascus to destroy the church there. The dude had it in for the church.
How did God deal with such a person? We, as humans, would have dealt with him in judgement. God dealt with him in mercy. He loved the believers in Damascus and the way that He preserved them was through the salvation of the man who intended to scatter and destroy them. Our God delights to be merciful, and His grace is granted daily to both sinners and saints. He shows mercy to all. If we would just realize that we are alive today only through the grace of God.
Mercy. This incredible gift of God to us here. Isn’t it just incredible. I wanted to take just a minute and sidetrack just a little to talk about mercy.
James 2:13 – For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
As Smith points out, we as humans, would have dealt judgement on Saul. Judgement against all that he was trying to do. We deal in judgement every day. Rarely do we first look at a situation and call on mercy. Our first instinct is judgement. This is something that I need to work on. Patience, understanding of a situation first and then bring mercy into the equation.
How about you? Is mercy the first thought?
I think as we dive deeper into the idea of the Spirit living in us. The traits and ideas of the Father will continue to grow in us and will then in turn be shown through our actions.
Today. Long for mercy. Long for grace. Long for patience. We all need this more.