Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor

Ephesians 2:1-9
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 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 – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

Now I’m alive to tell the story
How I’ve overcome
It’s His goodness and mercy
And the power of His blood
I’m so glad that my freedom
Wasn’t based on what I’ve done
But the goodness and mercy
And the power of the blood

Mercy is a peculiar thing. It’s not the natural way that the world responds to people. Mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Mercy is something that we show too little of today. Many years ago, I went to lead worship for a multi-church, student ministry fall retreat. While at this retreat, one of the highschool guys and I were working on some of his wrestling moves (I know…bad decision) and I slipped and fell on this kid’s chest. Full body, full speed…full panic. I thought I’d killed him. He couldn’t catch his breath and then he coughed up blood. We got him loaded up into a van and took him to a hospital. When his dad got there, I was sure he was going to give it to me with both barrels. I deserved it. I had made a really poor decision and now here we are, his son is hurt and in the hospital. When that dad came out to the ER waiting room to see me, he threw his arms around me and gave me the biggest bear hug any man has ever given me in my life. Instead of berating me, he loved me. He showed me mercy when I had hurt his son. At that moment, I understood what mercy looked like. 

An imperfect dad here on earth showed me what my Heavenly Father did for me with Jesus. Each and every day we mess up. We sin in some way, shape, form, or fashion. We are imperfect creatures made by a perfect Creator and we  are in need of His mercy every single day. Every wrong thing that I think, say, or do are the very reasons that Jesus went to the cross. All of my mistakes and short-comings probably sound like hammers striking nails into the hands and feet of Jesus. 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. He showed us mercy when we deserved punishment and then He saved us by His grace. So today, let’s be a people of mercy. When we have the opportunity to give compassion or forgiveness to someone that needs it, let’s just do it. Let’s be people that love like Jesus and show grace and mercy.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your Son and His willingness to take the punishment for me that I so deserved. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness when I could have never earned it or deserved it. Lord, teach us to be merciful people. Teach us to show compassion and forgiveness to those that have done us wrong. Lord, we love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Colossians 3:15
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.