1Peter 1:3(CEB)

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.


Mercy is defined in the Oxford dictionary as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. We as Christians usually think of mercy as God giving us what we don’t deserve and keeping us from getting what we do deserve. As the dictionary definition states, it is certainly within God’s power to punish or harm us, but that is not how God works. Lamentations 3:22,23 (New Living Translation) reads “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  Our God gives us a chance every day to make things new – to be forgiven and “born again.”

That phrase can sometimes have a negative connotation. I know growing up we went to some churches that were all about the “fire and brimstone” and the “if you weren’t born again, you were going to hell” philosophy. Although I always think of these three lovely ladies that used to sing “Because He Lives” at the piano, and I was taken back there in my mind when I heard that song on Easter. But scaring someone into believing that Jesus died for us, and God loves us seems to be counter intuitive to me. Don’t we serve a loving God and Savior? Aren’t we shown mercy over and over again? Are we showing mercy to others?

I want to revisit last week’s devotion and Judas for a minute. Kate said something during one of the live morning devotions that I totally agree with. She said that Judas gets a bad rap, and Jesus would have forgiven him just as he forgave Peter and Thomas – and all of us. We tend not to give Judas much mercy, but he was pivotal in our salvation. Jesus went through a terrible death and separation from the world to then be risen from death so that we could have the promise of new mercies everyday – that no matter what we do, we get to get a new chance every single day. I love the song by Casting Crowns “Who Am I” that says, “Not because of who I am, but because of what you’ve done, not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are.” That Jesus would die for us – we are, according to the song, “a vapor in the wind” and in the course of forever, that’s what are lives are timewise, but as Joe said on Sunday, we are hoping to have those lives for as long as possible and in that time, we want to know the hope of Jesus and the hope God gives us by renewing us with mercies every day. Born anew into the living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That promise is something that should bring us comfort and hope every single morning when we awaken.

For Pondering & Prayer

Thoughts: If you don’t know the song “Who Am I’ by Casting Crowns, try to take some time to listen to it. It is a powerful message about God wanting to be in our lives and support us everyday because of what Jesus did for us and the very nature of God. We don’t have that nature, but we can certainly ask God to renew us day by day. When we wake up, are we thanking God for new mercies every day?

Prayer: Lord of all the earth, we thank you for your mercy and your redeeming love that you give to us over and over every day. Help us to accept those new mercies every morning and to keep them with us as we move throughout our day. Amen.