Grateful for Mercy
Jan 08 3:20 AM

Grateful for Mercy

Jan 08 3:20 AM
Jan 08 3:20 AM

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:9–10

Knowledge of the fact that we have been chosen by the Lord is truly humbling and can actually be overwhelming as well.

We begin with this overwhelming sense of gratitude because we realize we are so undeserving. These feelings lead to intense service because of a steady growing knowledge of all that has been accomplished on our behalf. We now belong to the Lord that we may be able to proclaim Him to the world.

The danger is that this can then lead to a sense of pride because we begin to realize all that we do on behalf of the Lord and that everyone that belongs to Him isn’t serving Him as fervently. This can then lead to feeling overwhelmed for an entirely different reason than at the beginning.  When we begin to examine what we do on behalf of the Lord, and we begin to construct a picture of why He chose us, the feeling can be truly overwhelming.  But I want to encourage us to destroy this picture of ourselves immediately, because there is no truth to it.

The Lord didn’t choose us because of our great ability, He chose us in spite of our shortcomings. This is true for every believer who has come before us as well—even the ones we admire so much. The authenticity of Scripture proves this to be the case, as we see even the low points of their lives exposed for us to read and learn from.  Each one of our Biblical heroes bore a multitude of shortcomings.  From Moses to David to the Apostle Paul, they were all wrestling with the reality of their humanity and the undeniable weaknesses of their flesh. 

Humility and thinking soberly about ourselves is indeed a hard truth to grapple with, but we must continuously acknowledge it as the truth. In doing so, we will be careful to not lose the zeal that originally caused us to embrace the faith that we now enjoy. The Lord has chosen to be gracious to us, and for that our lives should forever show our gratitude to Him.


Barbara Love

This is undeniably true... Excellent Analogy

Posted on Fri, Jan 8, 2021 @ 5:40 AM CST

Emma King

What awsome encrougement in times like these.Thank You Be Bless

Posted on Fri, Jan 8, 2021 @ 6:49 AM CST

Regional Grimes


Posted on Fri, Jan 8, 2021 @ 8:49 AM CST


Amen ???? ????????

Posted on Fri, Jan 8, 2021 @ 3:03 PM CST


Thank You Matthew for this wonderful and right on time devotion!!

Posted on Fri, Jan 8, 2021 @ 6:57 PM CST

Cathy Austin

I'm grateful for all He's done for me.

Posted on Mon, Jan 11, 2021 @ 8:34 AM CST

Post Comments

Finish Well, Finish Strong
Jan 31 12:38 AM

Finish Well, Finish Strong

Jan 31 12:38 AM
Jan 31 12:38 AM

By Loretta Shelton and Pastor Marlin Harris

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7

The Apostle Paul uses an illustration in 2 Timothy 4:7 reminiscent of competing in the Roman Olympic games in order to demonstrate the Christian believer’s life of faithfulness.  He says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

What is remarkable is that Paul makes these comments while imprisoned in a Roman jail knowing he is at the end of his life, and consequently at the end of his God-given mission.  Throughout Paul’s Christian journey, he remained steadfast and loyal to his calling, despite the unimaginable obstacles and perils that he faced.  Paul remained faithful to his ministry for the sake of Christ by fighting what he called “the good fight of faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). This means he maintained a godly character, lived by Biblical principles, and was unwavering in his faith and trust in God.  This characterized Paul’s life regardless of the unpleasant circumstances that he was often attacked with.  He did not rely on his past service, but he persevered and served God until crossing the finish line at the end of his ministry on earth.

Like the Apostle Paul, we must live this Christian life with the same convictions and fortitude as the athletes who were competing in the Roman games.  Christians must run the race, fight the good fight, and endure hardships valiantly, in order to receive the prize of an incorruptible crown that never fades away. The qualifications required to receive this coveted prize are to run lawfully and diligently until we finish. Running this race means honoring God with our hearts and bodies, developing a character that looks more and more like Christ each day, and living a life that pleases our Father, and is worthy of the great redemption that we have been graced to receive.   We must start, run, and then finish the race.  We will finish, because no believer ever runs the race of his life alone.  The Lord Jesus Christ runs with us, and He will get us to the finish line, if we stay the course and “finish well and finish strong”. 

When you are running the race of life there are a few things you want to be sure to do.  First of all, you must be spiritually prepared for the journey.  This spiritual preparation is impossible without being filled  with the Holy Spirit, for which there is no substitute.  The scripture is clear that we are to be empowered by the Holy Spirit if we hope to accomplish anything in this life that brings glory to God. The Spirit of God empowers us with wisdom, strength, and godliness that causes the blessings of God to rest upon our journey.  He alone conditions our hearts to endure the pain of the race, and to not turn back or give up before we reach the finish line.

Secondly, we must endure the necessary disciplines needed to prepare us for the rigor of the race we are to run.  When runners prepare for lengthy marathons they will often spend months preparing themselves physically for that one race.  They will attempt smaller races and work their legs and test their endurance with exercise regimens.  They do this so that when they are in the ‘big’ race, they will have the strength to finish.  Finishing our Christian race is more about the strength of our spirit than it is about the desire we may have in our hearts.  Many people start out with Christ, and they desire greatly to finish, but they have not developed the spiritual strength to endure the trials and tests that befall them along their journey and they, sadly, fall away. 

Jesus speaks about this reality in Matthew 13:1-9 when He shares the Parable of the Sower, where he outlines four different scenarios of seed-planting.  One of his 4 scenarios involves a farmer who sowed his seeds in soil that was cluttered with rocks. He says that the soil received the seed quickly, but because the ground had not been tilled and prepared, the rocks were too numerous in the soil and made the soil depth shallow.  Soon the seed died in the soil because there was no depth created by tilling.  This is what happens to any of us who set out to run this Christian race, and we have not had the hard, stony rocks in our hearts, minds, and habits broken up and tilled away.  Without the discipline of dedicated study of the Word of God, the daily practice of prayer, and regular worship and thanksgiving to God, we will not be able to break those hard rocks that have settled into our hearts and have made them resistant and impervious to the convictions and truths of the Word of God.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, every sincere believer must have an ardent and passionate desire to finish their race well.  God placed that desire in your heart when you gave your hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The only way to satisfy that aching and longing in your soul to finish well is to daily discipline your life with the Spiritual practices of prayer, worship, and time in the Word.  As you attend to the things of God, He will attend to the cares and desires of your heart.  Let’s lay aside the weights and the many distractions, and run this race with all we have so that when we are finished, we will feel our Master’s embrace and hear him say, “Well done”.


Holy Father, we all have our own individual race to run.  May You grant us the strength and the conviction to run our race well.  Remove the hindrances from our path, and unchain our feet from the heavy weights and burdens that have weighed us down.  Lord, grant us the freedom to run and not get weary, and to walk and not faint.  In Jesus’ Strong Name, I pray.  Amen.


Spend today surveying your life to determine what are those weights and distractions that make it difficult for you to finish your race well.  Consider those challenges, temptations, and tests that you are engaged in daily, and actively name them before the Lord, and make the decision to do whatever is necessary to lay them aside.  Seek the Lord for His strength and lean upon the Holy Spirit for His guidance.