Today, we’re going to begin walking through Romans 12. The plan (and we all know how plans can change) is to do this daily in the hopes that it might encourage the body of Christ and challenge those who do not believe so that they might embrace Jesus as Savior! So, let’s get started…
In all that he has written before this, Paul has already presented the church in Rome (and us) with a truckload of profound and life-changing truth about God and His eternal plans. Here, Paul appeals to the Roman believers. “Appeal” is a word meaning to urge or exhort. It is composed to two parts. The first part means “from close beside” and the other “to call.” Even though Paul was a great distance away, it is as if he were standing beside them making his plea to the Romans.
In his urging, is “by the mercies of God.” If you took the time to read through Romans 1-11, it richly expounds on the great mercy of God toward sinful humanity. It was a mercy that took Jesus to the cross.
The word “mercy” means to have deep compassion on someone in great difficulty. It is translated elsewhere as “pity,” but we see pity as looking down on a person or just feeling sorry for them. Mercy is far more active! It not only feels badly about a person’s situation, it acts on behalf of that person. So, for us, mercy reveals not only the heart of God toward us but His power in acting to bring us out of our dire state.
Lamentations 3:22 reminds us that the mercies of God never end. Ephesians 2:4 informs us that God is rich in mercy. God pocket’s are bulging with mercy. His bank vault cannot close because of the magnitude of His mercy. His mercy overflows the halls of heaven and spills out on each of us as God holds back His wrath and is lovingly patient with us.
God’s mercy and grace are bound up together. As Ray Pritchard writes, “Mercy is what gets us out of trouble. Grace gives us what we don’t deserve” (citation). They are both expressions of His love.
Today, let us marvel in the mercy of God. Let His mercy toward us motivate us to reflect that mercy to a hurting world. Jesus said, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)