Welcome back! If you are just joining us, we are using the YouVersion Bible App to follow a devotional together. Read THIS POST to get all the information you need to join in and then you can read THIS MORNING'S POST to see the promises we are focusing on this week.
I turned these promises over and over in my head to find one that really spoke to me. They are all great verses but I think this is the first week I've ever really struggled to connect. I think we are all having an off week, no matter what. Ultimately, the verse I chose is...
Your salvation has always been My plan and I alone have done it. 2 Timothy 1:9
As parents we try to match consequences with the bad behavior. Wouldn't pick up your toys? Now they are gone for a period of time. Slam your bedroom door in anger? Now your door is gone. Color on the walls? Now you get to scrub it off.
But have you ever had a chance to show your child real mercy or grace? To spare them a harsher punishment than what the actions call for? It's hard for me, at least, to show my children mercy or grace when they disobey or break a rule that they have known for some time. They should know better, right? They know better than to hit their siblings or scream in defiance. How will they learn if they don't experience consequences?
But can you imagine if God punished us in the way we deserve? We may still experience natural consequences but the punishments for some of our choices should often be far greater than what we get. Not to mention that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) so that would be our consequence, our punishment, for all our failures.
But we serve a merciful and loving God! He loves us so dearly that he sent his son to pay the price for our sins. He calls us to lie a holy life, a life with purpose for him. And he does this for his own purpose, not because of anything we've done or can ever do.
It's hard to comprehend that even before time began, way back before even Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and brought sin into the world that God had already planned our need for Jesus. He knew we would fall short because he didn't want robots. He wanted people to choose to love him by their own free will. He knew this would mean we would make bad choices and ignore good choices. And he planned his outpouring of grace and mercy even then. Simply amazing.
Father God, what a loving and merciful father you are! Thank you for setting us aside and saving us when we haven't done anything to deserve such treatment. Thank you that you've called us to a holy life and I pray that we would be obedient to that calling. Let us live as examples of who you truly are, a loving father. I ask that we would never forget the grace you have shown us and that we would extend that grace to everyone we meet. In Jesus holy name, Amen.
What verse did you focus on this week? How do you show mercy to your children when they've disobeyed? What can you do this week to act as one of God's holy people?