But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:21-24
My life changed when God opened my eyes to see His heart. I can remember sitting in a church hearing Louie Giglio teach on the story of the Prodigal Son. And I remember being blown away at the depth of mercy and love in the father’s heart in that story, and finally made the connection that it was Father God’s heart for me...for all.
No matter what I thought about Him before - for whatever reasons - I realized a foundational truth listening to the message of that parable. He is a merciful, loving Father. He longs to embrace us and offer us all He has. There is mercy for the worst sinner. There is mercy and grace that reaches deep, deep down into our pits of despair to pull us up and out into freedom.
There is a Savior, Jesus, Who took our sins to the cross with Him and rid us of them forever. What should have been our punishment, became His. What should have been our demise, He converted to triumph instead. He took our place and died for us so that we would be restored to a relationship with the Father.
It says in Romans 3, “He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be.” Since the beginning, in the garden, He has desired relationship with us. He has longed to be a Father to us. While we have run far and wide, making poor choices, wasting our gifts, starving for a life worth living, and making a scandalous name for ourselves, Father God has been planning our return to His family. He has been preparing the celebration made possible by the gift of His salvation in Jesus. This precious gift. This precious, pure, heart-gift. How much mercy is reflected in the gift of Jesus! How much love in the Father’s eyes!
Thank You, God, for setting things right. Thank You for the mercy You bestow on us. You didn't have to show us mercy. You could have chosen to leave us, as our sins and our unholiness earned. No, You chose to send a Savior. You chose mercy. You are so beautiful, Lord. My words will always fail to describe what my heart feels. Deep, deep wonder and a love like I've never known stirs within...
Author: Kerri Barfield