But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,Titus 3: 4-5
The other night, I watched the last few minutes of a movie where the bad guy is defeated and the good guys celebrate. The trouble is that in real life, the lines aren’t nearly as clearly defined, right?
How many of us want to receive what we deserve? Really. Even the best of us have made significant mistakes along the way, right? Some have broken the law at least to some degree. Some have cheated others. Some have broken trusts. Some have damaged their families.
In John 8, a group of religious leaders presented Jesus with the challenge of determining the penalty for a woman caught in the act of adultery. Jewish law provided for the death penalty, but Jesus turned the tables on the crowd when He stated, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8: 7b).
Instead of receiving what she deserved, Jesus offered another chance. He put her past in the paper shredder, but He also told her that while He did not condemn her she should “go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11b).
I don’t know about you, but with more than six decades of life, I have plenty of times in my life when I have been grateful for not receiving what I deserved. And when it comes down to it, there is nothing I can do on my own to overcome my guilt.
As Paul wrote to Titus in the verses above, it is God who has “saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy.” May the LORD have mercy on us today.