by Dr. Gary Fisher
Director of Church & Faith Relations
Baptist Health System
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ---Romans 5:1
A woman reported for jury duty and informed the judge that she couldn’t serve because she was opposed to the death penalty. The judge responded, “That’s alright, this is not a capital case. This case is about a man who emptied his wife’s savings account of $14,000 and blew it on wild weekend with his girlfriend in Atlantic City.” The woman thought for a moment and replied. “OK, I’ll serve. And I could be wrong about capital punishment.”
That story reminds us that we all like to see people get what’s coming to them. I personally love it when the bully is taken down or the bad guy is exposed and ultimately defeated. But what about us; do we really want to get what’s coming to us? From the looks of my rap sheet with God, I certainly hope I don’t.
In a world that screams for fairness and justice, I want mercy when it comes to my shortcomings and failures. I suppose you do as well. From the time Adam and Eve ran and hid from God’s presence, all mankind has been trying to hide from Him. The Bible calls us enemies of God, indicating that there is a struggle between sinful man and a holy God. That is a battle we cannot win.
There is good news for us all. The Gospel tells us that our God is a God of mercy. Mercy is that characteristic of God which allows Him to withhold the punishment we deserve. Mercy is a gift from God, and peace with God is the result of that gift. We don’t have to ask God to have mercy. Mercy is what He is. Just ask Him to share Himself with you.
Father, when I look at my life it becomes clear just how far short of the mark I fall every day. I come before you to throw myself on the mercy of your court. My rightful punishment has been withheld and in its place you have shown mercy through Christ Jesus. His death has brought forgiveness and now I don’t have to hide myself from you any longer. I confess boldly, “I have peace with God!”