I’ve been on this earth longer than dirt (well, it seems that way), but I’ve come to realize I have a lot more to learn, so I plan on being around awhile. One of my biggest lessons over the last several years regarded my faith. As a young Christian, I thought Jesus just “presto, zappo” fixed me forever. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way – that’s where mercy and grace come in.
These two go hand in hand – mix in a lot of forgiveness, and this is a powerful faith recipe. God’s grace (unmerited favor) allows me to extend that same grace (as mercy) to others. My lesson began in 2008. I was having a hard time accepting forgiveness for a past transgression, but once I learned about the gift of forgiveness, lightbulbs began to flash. Maybe this story can explain it better.
In 1995, Dan Mohler worked in a warehouse in Pennsylvania. Dan’s life was not going like he wanted; his marriage was on the rocks and he was ready to call it quits and move in with another woman. Dan wanted it his way and kept telling himself “there’s plenty of fish in the sea.” But down deep, Dan felt some remorse about his selfishness. At his lowest point Dan reached up to God and prayed, “if you’re really real, and if you really love me and can forgive me for all the things I’ve done, I’ll live for you.” Transformation began immediately.
There was still a lot of healing to occur in Dan’s life. His marriage was one of them. Every time his wife would come home from being out all night, Dan was there and ran out to her and hugged her and told her how much he loved her. She asked him what he thought he was doing, to which he replied, “I love you just like Jesus loves me.” That cold, hard heart of hers began to soften.
God transformed Dan’s life, one chip at a time, then transformed their marriage in the same way. Meanwhile God prepared Dan Mohler for ministry to share His message of forgiveness, redemption, mercy and grace. Today Dan travels as a minister, sharing the transforming power of the Gospel in a way that leaves lives changed forever. But how is this possible?
The depth of God’s transforming love is hard for my human mind to fathom. Once I realized forgiveness, mercy and grace were unconditional, I started witnessing dramatic changes in lives all around me. God is too big to be put in a box. Thank you, Lord, for mercy and grace – they are incredible tools in a believer’s toolbelt of faith to share our faith with others.
Hebrews 4:16 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”