by Julia Bruce
Richard J. Needham said, “Many of those who cry so loudly for justice would soon beg for mercy if justice were done to them.” When it comes to standing before God, I don’t know about you, but it’s mercy that I want – not justice. The Bible is clear that every one of us are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that the justice we deserve for our sins is death (Romans 6:23). If God were only a God of justice – none of us would have any hope. It is only by His grace and mercy that the invitation of salvation was given to us and Ephesians 2:4-5 tells us that we sinners are made acceptable by God’s grace and because of His love for us.
As sinners, we each find ourselves in a dreadful situation. One where we are spiritually dead and enslaved in our sin as we walk among the disobedient and under Satan’s dominion. As such, we are objects of God’ wrath and justice demands payment and the payment is a debt we are not able pay. It is impossible for us to do enough good works to change our dreadful situation. There is no amount of money large enough to donate to the church to buy you way into eternal life. There is absolutely nothing we sinful humans can do on our own to change the justice we deserve. On our own, our situation is not only dreadful – it’s also hopeless.
But God is a God who turns hopelessness into abundant life. Here’s how…
First, God is rich in mercy. Mercy is simply God’s compassion for our hopeless and helpless situation and spares us from the justice we deserve. Instead, He shows pity, compassion, and kindness in that He made it possible for us to trade in our hopelessness for His abundant life. However, we must understand that God does not owe us mercy. In fact, mercy cannot be owed because it is given to someone who doesn’t deserve it.
Another aspect of God’s mercy, is that He is rich in mercy – or in other words, He is very patient with us. If God handed out justice immediately upon our first sin, none of us would every get passed our toddler years. Instead the holy and righteous God chooses to hold off pronouncing judgement to a later time to give us the chance to experience His mercy, repent of our sins, and accept Christ as our Savior. William Farley wrote in Outrageous Mercy: Rediscovering the Radical Nature of the Cross, “The cross displays God’s mercy and grace, and justice, and does so with startling clarity.” Because God’s wrath and mercy met at the cross of Christ who paid our sin debt for us, we can become a new creation and a child of God.
Mercy triumphs over justice, but if we choose to refuse God’s mercy, our hopelessness remains and instead of abundant life, we face eternal damnation. Rejecting God’s mercy is choosing justice and judgement instead. But if we reject what He freely offers, then we can expect to receive the justice and wages of our sin – eternal separation from God and an eternity in hell.
God is not only rich in mercy, but His love is great. To see the greatness of God’s love, we only need to look at the cross. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus, the sinless son of God, took our place. It should have been us on the cross – but Jesus bore all of our sins on himself and willingly went to the cross so that we could receive God’s forgiveness and accept His mercy. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made the One [Jesus] who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” As Jesus shed His blood for us, His blood covers all of our sins and God sees us as righteous.
God’s love for us was great…even while we are still hopelessly lost sinners. Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinner, Christ died for us.” We often hear stories but soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the platoon or a parent or spouse who steps in front of a bullet. But how often do you hear a story where someone sacrifices their life for their enemy? This is exactly what Jesus did for us. As a lost sinner, we are God’s enemy, but even then Christ loved us enough to die in our place.
Because of God’s rich mercy and great love, He extends grace rather than justice. If mercy is God not giving us the punishment and justice we deserve, then grace is God giving us blessings we do not deserve. Instead of justice, God extends his favor towards us when we choose to accept his free gift of salvation by faith in Christ. It is only by His grace that we receive the blessing of salvation and eternal life. It is impossible to earn it. If I should give you a gift, but you want to pay me for it, it ceases to be a gift. If you work for the gift’s value, it ceases to be a gift. And if you refuse and reject it, then it is no longer a gift. It is only a gift when you reach out and accept it. Christ already paid the price for the gift of salvation – with His life – so that once we accept the gift of salvation our sin debt is marked “paid in full” with the very blood that Jesus shed on the cross in our place. The grace God offers, is the unmerited gift of eternal life.
When we accept God’s generous and loving offer of mercy and grace, He makes us alive together with Christ and gives us abundant and eternal life. Instead of being spiritually dead in our sin, God’s grace and mercy makes us a new creation that is now spiritually alive and when we pass on into eternity, there is a place waiting for us in heaven where we will dwell with Christ.
The work of salvation cannot be accomplished by our works. We can’t earn it and we can’t buy it. The entire process of salvation is an act of God’s goodness and only by His unmerited favor and only for His glory. When we truly see ourselves as the sinners we are and the grace and love that God has for us despite our sinfulness, we must then choose to accept or reject His gift of salvation. Accepting it by faith leads to eternal life in heaven with Christ. Rejecting it leads to the justice we deserve – eternal separation from God in hell. What will you choose?
#verseoftheday #savedbygrace #richinmercy #Hisgreatlove #WCM
If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. In the first phase of our Land & Building Campaign, we will be seeking the perfect 200+ acres of land on which we will build this dream. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor
- Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
- Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
- Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#WCM #fundraiser #land #building #growingintoourfuture #buymeacoffee
BOOKING NOW to be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author