Justice Or Mercy
Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-23: It is of the LORD*S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
We are all sinners and deserve the justice which will be meted out in the Lake of Fire. When Jesus died on that cruel cross, He took our just judgment upon Himself. Because He did that, when we receive Him, God imputes His vicarious sacrifice to us and gives us mercy.
Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
When we receive Jesus, we receive mercy. If we reject Jesus we will receive justice. The greatest mercy is that we won*t be thrown in to the Lake of Fire. The fact is, we deserve to be in the Lake of Fire this very moment. Whether we live one day or ninety years, every day of our lives is a gift we are given only because of God*s mercy. We do not deserve the privileges of living or serving God. Every opportunity to serve Him is a gift given because of His mercy.
Evangelist Wil Rice devotional on 2 Corinthians 4:1 entitled Mercy for Ministry:
There is an amazing gap between what kids want and what kids need. What do kids want? They want sugar. What do they need? They need vitamins. What do they want? They want to stay up until 2 am. What do they need? They need a nap. What do they want? They want to pound their brother. What do they need? They need restraint. There is often a big gap between what I want and what I need.
In 2 Corinthians 4:1 Paul says, *Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.* Now what do we have? We have ministry. We have this day to serve God. What do we do? We persevere and faint not. What do we need? What is in between this ministry and the continuance of it? That is God*s mercy, and as we have mercy, we faint not. There is no sustained ministry without daily mercy.
What do I want when I serve God? What I really want is credit. I want people to know. Yet if you look at verse 5, Paul says, *For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus* sake.* Notice the words *not ourselves,* *your servants,* and *Jesus* sake.* What we want is credit. What we need is mercy. We want ease. We need mercy. Verses 8 and 9 say, *We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.* God would rather give you mercy to do what is impossible in your strength, than to give ease and allow you to muddle through life on your own.
We want glory. We need mercy. Verse 15 says, *To the glory of God.* Earlier in the verse the Bible says, *For all things are for your sakes.* So we want credit, ease, glory, and reward, but we need mercy.
If you are going to be in this for the long haul, you may need money, rest, help, friends, and occasional recognition and encouragement, but what we need more than anything is not something we deserve. We need something that we do not deserve by its very essence, and that is mercy. There is no sustained ministry without daily mercy.