OPEN HEAVEN 20 FEBRUARY 2019 MEMORISE: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1Timothy 1:15
OPEN HEAVEN 20 FEBRUARY 2019 READ: Acts 22:1-10
1Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
10 And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The above verse beautifully captures the extent of Christ’s sacrifice in order to bring salvation to all of mankind. Even though He was He was God, he brought Himself low for the purpose of extending His mercy to all sinners, irrespective of how much evil they had done.
Speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Luke 1:78-79, Zechariah described Christ as salvation brought to us through the tender mercy of God:
“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
This salvation did not come to us as a reward for any good deeds on our part: rather, it is a gift given to us by God’s mercy, through the spotless righteousness of Christ when a sinner realizes that he or she is in a hopeless situation, condemned to eternal death and is incapable of doing anything to change the situation, and he or she comes in faith to receive a new beginning from Jesus Christ, the merciful Savior, this person is ushered into a new covenant with God.
One of the articles of this new covenant which begins to work in the life of such a fellow is described in Hebrew 8:12, which says:
“ For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
How marvelous is the mercy of our God to wash away our past into the sea of forgetfulness!
Salvation is the exclusive prerogative of God alone; there no human effort involved in securing it. So then, it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God who shows mercy (Romans 9:16).
God has worked out everything in our favor through Jesus Christ His Son. He has shown us His mercy by granting us salvation, making it available for all mankind, irrespective of race, color, language or culture.
The least you can do to express your gratitude to Him is to accept His love and mercy today by giving your life to Jesus, proclaiming Him as your Lord and Savior. When you do this, He will give you peace, joy and eternal life.
OPEN HEAVEN 20 FEBRUARY 2019 ACTION POINT: Express your gratitude for the mercy of God you have received by telling someone about it today.
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