This is something I struggle with.
Why would the God of the universe choose to love me when I think I am unlovable? To be gracious when I’ve been cruel. Extend mercy when I clearly deserve the punishment. To forgive me when I believe, I’m unforgivable.
God’s characteristics are unconditionally displayed to me every day. But it doesn’t just stop there. A display is something that is meant to be seen or viewed. Like art being on display at a museum, that probably has a sign next to it that reads, “Please Don’t Touch Displays.” Art takes ideas that we have never imagined and pieces them together for our viewing pleasure.
So often this is how I engage with God’s character. I simply think I should just view it and not interact with it. Similar to whenever I’m at an art museum. I’m walking around admiring the creativity, talent, and detail, knowing that I don’t possess the specific type of gift or talent to create these things and that lacking is what makes me an observer.
Too often I look at God and the way He pours mercy on me, with eyes full of wonder. I am blown away by the creativity, personalization, and the authority of God, but so often I am afraid to allow all that God has for me to become a personal reality. I tend to believe the lie that I’m not worthy of God’s love. But here is the truth: God’s characteristics are meant to be embraced! His grace is meant to be engaged with! He wants me to cling to His love! Dance with His mercy! Treasure His forgiveness and honestly, sometimes that’s hard for me to grasp.
My response to God’s love shouldn’t be the same as when I’m at an art museum. I shouldn’t just stand at a distance and look at it with admiration. I shouldn’t look at it as if I’m not good enough to experience his mercy. Why? Because though I personally at times don’t feel as if I deserve God’s mercy, it doesn’t matter what I feel!
JESUS KNOWS THAT I DESERVE HIS GRACE AND HIS MERCY!
Jesus paid it all! Including the price of my soul. Which means that it doesn’t matter what I feel at times. My feelings don’t change what Jesus has already deemed as worthy. My worthiness isn’t dictated by my perceptions!
My worthiness is simply determined by the grace of our Savior!
I want to encourage you that if you struggle with receiving God’s love, grace, mercy, or forgiveness, know that God has deemed you worthy through His son and that is enough!
It’s not anything that you have done or worked towards, it’s simply because God sees you as worthy, and Jesus gives you that validation in the eyes of His Father.
This passage of scriptures helped opened my eyes to how much God loves me. Jesus encounters two men that are possessed by demons. The men stop him and the demons began to question Jesus about why he has come around them. The demons realize that they’re in trouble and began pleading to Jesus.
Matthew 8:30-32 picks up right there and says, “30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
Jesus showed mercy on the demons.
He showed mercy on his enemy. He showed mercy on the demons even though their whole mission is to steal, kill, and destroy. He showed mercy to those that want to see His reign come to an end. Jesus showed mercy on them.
And how did the demons respond? They embraced his mercy! They didn’t question Jesus, they just took what He gave them and went off. As followers of Jesus, we need to understand that if Jesus extended mercy on his enemies, how much more does He want to and will extend his mercy on us, as children of God. Jesus calls you a friend! He loves you more than you can comprehend. Don’t fall for the lie that Jesus doesn’t want to show you love or grace or that you’re not good enough.
In Conclusion: It is so easy to believe that we’re not worth God’s time. We end up viewing God’s characteristics with admiration and eyes of wonder but struggle to accept that we’re “good enough” to allow these unconditional extensions of love that Jesus gives freely to become a reality. Art is meant to be viewed, but God’s love is meant to be experienced. Jesus extends mercy to his enemies and they quickly accept it. I want to encourage you to quickly embrace all that God has in store for you. Matthew 7:18 talks about how God delights in showing mercy. This means that it brings Him joy to love you. You are not a burden in the eyes of your father, you are beautiful. You are precious. You are valuable. You are worthy! You are so valuable that God sent His one and only son as your advocate! You are so beautiful and it is because you are made in the image of God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit! He made you unique! You are so worthy that God has given you the responsibility to reflect His image with the way that you live your life AND to go make disciples of all nations! That is not something that our Father takes lightly. Jesus has made you worthy. Nothing can change that. Through Jesus, you are seen as righteous in the eyesight of God. Jesus showed mercy on the demons, so why wouldn’t He show it to you?