In our GROW group this week, we read Psalm 123. The writer talks about looking to God as a servant looks to his master. Other masters, it seems, are contemptuous, proud, and oppressive. But when this psalmist looks to God, he finds…mercy.
Yesterday, Pastor Chris took us to Lamentations and invited us to reflect on God as a merciful Father. Another passage of Scripture that brings together these truths of God’s character – His mercy and His fatherly love – is Psalm 103:
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
Like Ps 123, this psalm invites me to look to God. And when my eyes land on Him, they find…mercy.
As our GROW group started chatting a bit about God’s mercy the other night, we found our way to Romans 12:1-2. You probably know the verses. Offer your bodies as living sacrifices…don’t conform to this world…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
One of the guys in our group drew our attention to a little phrase in these verses. Honestly, it was like I was reading them for the first time. I mean, I know I’ve read them before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really heard them. All of this chat from Paul about service and worship and sacrifice and transformation…and where does it all start?
In view of God’s mercy (Rom 12:1).
God’s mercy changes everything.
Last week was a big week for our family. Penelope, our three year old daughter, got glasses. Adorable, right?! (Minus the bit about not being able to see, of course).
Pen was a champ. It was a big deal for her – and her parents! (And her sister, who’s having a hard time learning we don’t always get two of everything!) We picked up her glasses, had them fitted, and then started to make our way out of the doctor’s office.
Pen, apparently, has a pretty significant astigmatism. When the eye doctors first picked up on it, they told us glasses would be a pretty big adjustment for her, something about her cognitive processes and her brain taking some time to put it all together.
Well, as we were leaving, this happened. You can see the struggle as she tries to adjust to seeing differently. And in case you missed it, she says, “It’s deep when I wear these.” These glasses are rocking her depth perception.
This passage in Psalm 103 – for me, it’s a bit like Pen and those glasses. It’s like seeing clearly for the first time. It’s a perspective that changes everything. It rocks my depth perception.
His mercy is deep – and I’m not used to that. I’m used to contempt and pride and oppression. Sin is a terrible master. Works and law are relentless drivers. But God? He is compassionate, unfailing in His love, merciful. Like a father to his children.
In view of God’s mercy.
Take some time today. Sit with Psalm 103, put on those glasses, and reflect on God’s mercy in your life.