Because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, I have received mercy. What mercy have I received? By definition, mercy is kindness or compassionate treatment; relief from suffering. Before I knew Jesus as my Savior, I was a condemned person. Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners before a holy God. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 6:23 tells us that sin has to be atoned or paid for and Jesus paid the price for my sin and treated me mercifully. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I did nothing to deserve His act of mercy towards me. Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Peter 1:9-10 explains this state of mercy I received because of Jesus in a beautiful way. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. How glorious it is to be the recipient of God’s mercy. He treats me with His loving kindness and rescued me from eternal condemnation.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for giving and treating me with your eternal mercy and loving kindness. Open my eyes today to receive your marvelous light and treat others as you have treated me. Amen.
Suggestion: Try to grab hold of God’s mercy today in a new way. Pray for an opportunity to do a random act of kindness or mercy towards someone. That means look for ways to act with kindness/mercy when it would be unexpected, like going out of your way to help someone without them even asking for help. Be open to giving out mercy in God’s name today.
The words of the Messiah now begin to focus on Jesus’ time here on earth and what he accomplished. Isaiah 35:5-6a gives us a glimpse of the future of the babe that came that Christmas night.
“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.”
This prophecy appears in a chapter subtitled Joy of the Redeemed. These actions prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth speak of the people who encountered Jesus. They would see, hear, jump and shout for joy after their meeting with Jesus. This was fulfilled and recorded in the gospels. Matthew 15:31 “The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” The direct fulfillment was in Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.”
This prophecy of visible change either mentally or physically or both can also apply to us. When we have an encounter with Jesus our eyes are opened to His truth and we can hear and believe the gospel message. Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” When we hear and believe, we are transformed and our reaction is like those who saw Jesus. We shout His praises, leap for joy and see the reality of His truth. Ephesians 1:13-14 describes our transformation. “ And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” His indwelling Holy Spirit brings joy, peace, knowledge, wisdom, hope, and so much more into our lives when we accept Jesus as our Savior. I have a needle point on my wall reminding me of the truth of what I have in Christ. Psalm 107:1-2 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.”
May your day reflect His joy and may you shout out His praises. Let others know of your joy in the Savior that redeemed you.
Sorry no audio of these verses in the Messiah was available on the Internet.
Luke 2:10-14 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men!” NKJV
This glorious portion of scripture is very poetic and eloquent in the New King James version. The angel proclaimed that good news for all mankind had come in the form of a babe sent from God. He would save us from our sins and it will mean good will towards all men. His coming would bring peace. Does Jesus bring those things to you today? Are you assured of His love and salvation? Remember Ephesians 1:13-14 “ In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” The Holy Spirit living inside us is the guarantee that we belong to Jesus. We are sealed eternally and are His. Be assured today of the hope that is within you and praise Him for coming to save us.
Listen to this glorious chorus and revel in the majesty of that night and the wonder of the shepherds.