“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.”

– Psalm 103:8 (NKJV)

At some point in our lives we can all agree that we have messed up in some way or another. Some of the things we have done are even worthy of punishment depending on the severity of the situation.

But the worst thing that all of us have done is that we have sinned, and the punishment for this was death (Romans 6:22-23). We all deserve death because of the sin that has consumed our lives. But what if I told you that there was a person who took that punishment from you, erased it completely, and replaced it with a perfect record? This person’s real, and His name is Jesus. Jesus displayed the most beautiful act of mercy in history. He decided that instead of death, we get life.

“The Lord is merciful…” Mercy is not getting what you deserve. It changed the rules! We deserved death, but we didn’t get that punishment. Jesus, prompted by mercy, showered compassion on us and forgave us for even the worst sin you could ever imagine. He erased them all from His memory; so if He doesn’t remember them, why should we? The way He looks at it, it never even happened—you are a brand new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). You don’t need to carry around the memory of the past because He has given you a new life and gives you endless second chances. The person in the past isn’t who you are now. …All because of mercy.

His mercy toward us is unending, no matter what the circumstance. Many people have had it burned into them that they need to run when they do something wrong. We see it all the time. You break something that belongs to someone else and you try to be sneaky, finding a way to hide it so that they never know. My dear friend, Jesus knows everything you do. You can’t hide it from Him! And you know what He says? “Mercy!”

The times that I wanted to run and hide were the times that I should have looked up to see Jesus with His arms wide open, ready to scoop me up and tell me that everything is okay. Know this: He will never leave you, especially when you need help. He loves you more than you can imagine, and because He loves you He gave you mercy for all of your mistakes: past, present, and future. You are a spotless, brand new person—a person who looks like Jesus.

Knowing all of this, mercy is not an excuse for us to do whatever we want. It’s a gift! Look at it this way: undeserved kindness was showered on someone. How do you imagine that person responding? Should kindness like that be taken advantage of? Never! When Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, he said, “Go and sin no more.” The aftermath of this mercy is that she could live the life she had only dreamed of up to this point—life free from sin. We deserve punishment and yet we didn’t get it. This is not something to take lightly! Our response is to live life like Jesus.

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What’s one way to live life like Jesus? Jesus showed mercy to everyone no matter what they did or who they were. Everyone is equal in His eyes, and if anyone was against a person, Jesus was for him or her. My challenge to you is to take that example and make changes in your life to match the mercy Jesus showed you. This mercy cost nothing. “Freely you have received, so freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) Forgive someone that may have hurt you, be there for a person that may not deserve it, and show them Jesus and His beautiful mercy through your life.

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“Lord, I am so grateful for the gift of mercy that You have given me. I do not take it lightly! Thank You for erasing the mistakes of my past and always being there with open arms, waiting for me even when I mess up. Today, I decide that I will live a life worthy of this gift and I will choose to forgive. I will live my life as an example of the mercy of Jesus Christ. I love You, Lord. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.”

-Rebekah Hewitt

5FA Intern