In View of God’s Mercy
April 14, 2020 by Pastor Kevin Van Wyhe
There is an overwhelming feeling I get when I am hiking in the mountains; an honest perspective to my own significance. It is a feeling that, on the surface, seems to be in contradiction to what is actually being felt. We all long to feel big and important, to feel significant and of value. We all desire to see a deep meaning to our life and experience fulfillment in the short time we have been given.
When I am high on a mountain ledge, looking out over the vast scale of the incredible peaks and rugged ridgelines, I feel small and unimportant. When I contemplate the history of these massive piles of rocks and reflect on how long these ancient giants have been unchangeably cast in the amazing landscape, I feel like my ever-changing and short life is but a ripple in a stream. When I compare the priceless beauty and splendor of the snow crested mountain peaks to the ordinary frailness of my own life, I feel worthless.
Seems depressing doesn’t it? Why would I ever want to feel this way? Why in the world would I spend so much energy and time climbing into the cold, thin mountain air for an experience that would ultimately make me feel so small and insignificant?
Realizing how minuscule and meaningless I am, while being surrounded by mountain grandeur as far as the eye can see, actually gives me a perspective of how important, how significant and how much value I actually have. When I think of how big my creator God is and how tiny I am, I gain a true understanding of my worth. How a great and vast God who was able to speak the universe into place can even notice my tiny existence, blows my mind. How an amazing God who needs nothing yet decided to create something so small that was worth having his son die for, is incomprehensible to me. How an absolutely perfect God would show unmatched mercy and make a way for someone so imperfect as I to share eternity with, is truly unfathomable.
On the back side of the busy and meaningful Easter season comes a period of spiritual let-down. We have been ramping up for the last couple months and looking forward to remembering the most important day to Christians and now it is past. We don’t start thinking about Christmas and celebrating Advent until late in the fall. Especially now with the weight of the pandemic on our minds the let-down will surely feel even greater. What if the time after Easter could actually be seen as the most significant spiritual season we could celebrate? What if, in view of Christ’s profound sacrifice this season becomes a time for an encouraging “pick-me-up” instead of a great let-down.
When we fully realize God’s amazing love for us, shown to us through His son’s death and resurrection, we can only summarize that feeling with one word. When we completely take in the significance of how great God’s mercy towards us is, by giving us a second chance at spending eternity with him, there can only be one response that seems fitting: “Gratitude”.
“Gratitude” according to the English dictionary is: a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you. It is the act of being grateful. Our God moved mountains when he saved us. Our God’s love for us is the most powerful thing in all creation. Nothing is greater or more deserving of our appreciation, love and worship than His great Love. The fact that our amazingly big Creator would give His one and only Son for such a small and insignificant part of His creation, actually tells us that we are far from being small and insignificant. He did not create us to be a part of this World, He created this world for us so we could take part in it. Though the stars he set in the sky are the biggest things we know, we are the star and crowning jewel of His creation.
In Romans 12: 1-2 Paul gives us a picture of what our gratitude to our Maker should look like. Take special note of the two words: “In View”. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When we ponder how great God’s mercy and love for us is, our “Gratitude” and willingness to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to His will and His plan for our lives should be second to none. Here our true and proper worship is defined not by what we do on Sunday mornings but what we do with our lives every day. Out of Gratitude for this great gift, “In View” of this incomparable present of His Son, we should find ourselves on the mountain ledge of eternity looking out, not at how small or insignificant we are but at how great and good God is. We should acknowledge that we are God’s most valuable creation and that for us to show Him gratitude by offering of ourselves as living sacrifices is the greatest response we could possibly give.
In this post Easter season, may we seek to be living sacrifices through serving others. May we show our love to God by loving others whom He loves so dearly. By showing sacrificial love to others, we will show our gratitude to God for not viewing us as small and invaluable but for seeing us as eternally significant and “Forever Priceless”.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you sent your Son as a ransom for our souls. Thank you for giving us a second chance at having eternal life with you. Help us to keep Jesus’ sacrifice in view as we offer our lives back to you. Help us to be willing to show our gratitude by loving others the way you loved us. Thank you for the Cross and for the empty tomb. In Jesus Name –Amen.