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Growing up, we all suffer our share of emotional bumps and bruises, and by the time we reach adulthood, the cumulative effect can leave us aching inside. Sometimes life can be so harsh, we develop a hard emotional shell to protect ourselves. Looking through the world’s lens, we see a lack of mercy that can be frightening. But looking at life through God’s lens reveals the mercy and grace He has for all of us.

One of the most dramatic examples of God’s mercy is found in John 8:3-11 when Jesus showed mercy to the woman caught in adultery. Back then, the Law of Moses that was in effect called for the death of such a woman. The Law was harsh, unyielding, and focused on punishment. Jesus, Who was Grace personified, showed His true nature when He refused to condemn her, instead giving her a second chance.

When Jesus released the woman and told her to change her ways and stop sinning, no doubt He made an impression on her that she would remember for the rest of her life. Many people today have a mistaken notion that God is angry and waiting for a reason to punish them, but that’s not His will. When we meet Jesus face-to-face, it’s a powerful encounter that immediately changes us. Regardless of what we’ve done, He’s always willing to show mercy.

This point was illustrated in Acts 9:1-18, when Saul, who had previously spent much time and energy murdering Jesus’ followers, met Him after His resurrection and ascension into heaven. Jesus held Saul responsible for his actions, but also showed great mercy in restoring Saul’s vision. I believe in this case, along with regaining the use of his physical eyes, Saul received the spiritual vision he didn’t have before. God changed Saul into an entirely new person, and used him in a mighty and powerful way.

For us, this means that regardless of whatever guilt trips the world tries to lay on us when we make mistakes, Jesus is willing to forgive us and take us back. Notice I said “mistakes” in the plural, because He knows that during our lifetime we’ll miss the mark plenty of times. What He taught about mercy is a good rule of thumb for us to remember.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’.
(Matt. 18:21-22 NIV)
Some of us are hurting so much we feel we’re beyond all hope. We think we’ve run our life right into the ground and messed it up so badly that there’s no salvaging it. But God has good news for us—He’s given us a “do over” in His Son. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3, NIV). We can be confident that God is not waiting in the wings to beat us up, but to forgive and love us.

Whether we’ve hurt others, or we’ve been hurt, sometimes when we step back and look at the difference between our hopes and dreams and what our lives look like now, our hearts sink. But this “new birth” the Bible mentions will give us a fresh start. We all desperately need a big dose of God’s mercy. Will you accept it?

Copyright © Creflo Dollar Ministries/World Changers Church International
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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