AMPLIFY: God's Mercy
Lesson 14: A Merciful God
Lesson 15, Devotion 1
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. for we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:8-10
Read Ephesians 2:8-10. We accepted salvation through the gift of God's mercy. It is the best gift we can ever receive. The best part about this gift is that it's not our birthday or anniversary - it's merely because of His love for us. We get it backward when we think that good works can earn us favor with God, instead of realizing that we are motivated by the gift of salvation to good works.
We are the benefactors of this incredible gift, not because of anything we've done, but because of who we are. God tells us that we are His workmanship. We are His special creation. You are someone that He has a deep interest in, someone that has value to Him. It's easy to get down on yourself. We can feel so small and unimportant in comparison to God that we can forget that He sees us as important. So important, in fact, that He was willing to give His own Son for us.
Think about this:
- What's the difference between attempting to do good works to earn salvation vs. being motivated to do good works because of salvation?
- How does it make you feel to know that God finds value in you as His special creation?
Lesson 15, Devotion 2
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing." - Galatians 2:20-21
The Hunger Games were books and movies based on the story of Katniss Everdeen who finds herself in a messed up future world where teenagers are chosen from different area districts to complete for their lives in a widely televised event called The Hunger Games. If you recall, in these games only one person can survive. And he or she must do everything they can to be that one.
Read Galatians 2:20-21. While we (hopefully) don't find ourselves fighting for our lives on LIVE television, we are engaged in a battle every day. Here's a truth that will set you free as a Christion - the Christion life isn't difficult to do alone, it's impossible. That's why Christ lives and died on our behalf. And the Spirit lives within us, strengthening us to live godly lives. Here Paul says that He has been crucified with Christ, which is in effect saying that he is willing to lay down his preferences, desires, passions, and plans to let Christ be all of those things for Him.
Falling on God's mercy means embracing the fact that what Christ has done on the cross is enough. We know we will win in our battle because it's Christ on our side. John Paul by being willing to surrender yourself to let Christ live through you and for you.
Think about this:
- List some "battlegrounds" that you find yourself in on a daily basis.
- What do you need to 'crucify' in your life and let God take control ofr?
- How would your life look different if Christ lived through you?
Lesson 1, Devotion 3
"Justice is getting what you deserve; mercy is not getting what you deserve." - Stuart Briscoe
We get uneasy about receiving something we didn't earn and that we can't possibly justify. We don't like anyone having something on us. We don't like owing anyone.
But we will never, ever, EVER, be able to show God that His mercy was well spent on us. There will always be a deficit. Mercy will always be just that: God's kindness showing to us in the most remarkable way possible.
What is the right response? Praise. Worship. Obedience. Love. Joy. Thankfulness. All of these are right responses to grace. But the truth is that only you know. Because the best response to God's mercy is a life given over to Him. And only you can judge how much of you is His.
Why don't you consider that question today and tomorrow? Why don't you try and come up with what you think are some right responses to God's showering you with His mercy?