Titus 3:3-5 (NLT) states, “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But, when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and a new life through the Holy Spirit”.
A definition of mercy is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”. When we compare this definition to Titus 3:3-5 we should rejoice, fall on our faces before the Lord and praise His Holy Name that He chose to pour out His mercy upon us; bathing us in His underserved compassion and forgiveness. We should do this because God very much has the power to punish each one of us, and yet He does not. God is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love (Ps 103). We do not “get what we deserve” from our merciful Father.
Personally, I find that needing God’s merciful compassion and forgiveness is on-going. It would be great if it were a “once and done” deal for me; I wish I could say that. But, just as I require bathing with soap and water daily to remain physically clean, so my spirit needs and is renewed by God’s mercy washing.
Being bathed in our Father’s mercy is available, I believe, as often as necessary when we turn to Him with a truly repentant heart and with a contrite spirit and we call out to Him for forgiveness. Just because our Merciful Father will compassionately forgive us when we genuinely cry out to Him does not give any of us “license” to sin. Sin has consequence and the Bible says that each of us will stand before the judgement throne of Christ to give an account of our sins. (2 Cor 5)
As I write this I reflect upon my sinfulness even from today and my need to confess that sin. I am not proud of my failure and I must genuinely repent and seek a mercy washing from my Heavenly Father. I am confident that He hears my prayer, knows my heart, and washes away my sin. He does this for me because of His great mercy. I cannot grasp the expanse of God’s ability to pour out mercy, but I can accept His gift of it. As can you.
“Abba Father, You alone know our hearts. You are patient, loving, merciful and kind. Lord God praise You for providing a way to You through Your Son, Jesus Christ. It is by His shed blood that we are saved. It is because Jesus bore our every sin upon the cross that we can receive Your mercy washing. God, we do not deserve Your forgiveness. Thank You, Father, that You are long-suffering and call to us when we sin against You and others. Praise You, Jesus, that Your Spirit convicts our hearts to acknowledge and confess our sin so we can be in right standing with the Father once again. Holy Spirit continue to develop in me the image of Christ so that others may see more of Him for the glory of God the Father. It is in Jesus Name we pray. Amen.”
Kami R. Lobner