But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. —Ephesians 2:4-5
12 Apr, 2022
Love and mercy go hand in hand. The apostle Paul tells us that our salvation is a result of God’s great love and His rich mercy extended towards us.
Because of God’s tender heart, His unconditional love and His great mercy, He did not punish us as our sin deserved. Instead, He “made us alive in Christ” through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross.
God extended mercy towards us while we were still “dead in our transgressions”—we had made no attempt at reconciliation, nor had we turned away from our sins. We did nothing to earn it, nothing to deserve it, nothing to warrant His love and mercy.
Our restored eternal life is simply a work of God’s grace. Because of Jesus' work on the cross, we can live in certain hope of an eternity with our heavenly Father.
Jean Claude in Rwanda came to know this hope at his local Compassion child development centre. In the wake of the Rwandan genocide, Jean Claude was confronted by the reality of God's call to forgiveness. Children from Tutsi and Hutu families, opposing Rwandan ethnic groups, sat side-by-side in local Compassion centres. Jean Claude recalls his initial discomfort in interacting with families possibly associated with the tragic death of his parents. However, as he attended the Compassion program, he was taught about God’s love and forgiveness by the local church staff. They not only taught forgiveness but also modelled it. As a result, Jean Claude began to trust in Jesus and through God's grace, he was able to forgive those who took his family away from him.
In 2004, Jean Claude started a non-profit organisation to help children, most of whom were Hutu and from families who committed the genocide. He not only extended mercy and forgave the people that killed his family, but through his organisation started to help the child of one of the men involved in his parents’ death. Through his foundation, the child has been supported since high school and is now attending college.
Love and mercy go hand in hand.
God extended mercy to us while we had done nothing to deserve His compassion because of His great love for us. Through experiencing Jesus’ love and forgiveness, Jean Claude was able to extend mercy to those who had hurt him. Unwarranted, undeserved and unmerited—a work of God’s grace and a response to the mercy we have all received from God.
What are some barriers that keep you from extending compassion and mercy to others?
Lord, I thank You that You extended mercy to me when I didn’t deserve it or even ask for it. Thank You that You saw me in my sinful state and, because of Your great love for me, You showed me mercy and compassion. Please help me to extend this same grace to others, even in situations that are hard and challenging. Amen.
As you reflect on God’s mercy extended towards you, how can you in turn extend it to the people in your own life? Perhaps there is a phone call you need to make or a text you need to type to reconcile a broken relationship.
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