Well meaning people have told me from time to time, "You deserve it!" in reference to good things happening or blessings in our lives. And, while I appreciate the love behind the comment, I would have to disagree with it. I want to take a minute to proclaim this to the world: I *don't* deserve all the good things and blessings in my life. I deserve eternal punishment for any shortcoming or sin I ever committed....we all deserve death, actually. The Bible states that the wages of sin, the payment for works of sin...is death.
Even if we try to live a perfect life, without making any mistakes or hurting anyone or transgressing against God Almighty, we would still be lost without a Savior, because of the iniquitous nature we each were already born into, since Adam and Eve originally disobeyed God, as accounted for at the beginning of Genesis. Sometimes, we can be so deceived that we can't even know our own sin!
Some would argue that we are all born innocent... Babies are so beautiful and wonderfully pure in many aspects, but we soon see, as they develop and grow, that no one has to teach them how to be disobedient; every human born on the face of this earth is already inclined to sin. This is why training up a child in the ways of the Lord, according to scripture, is so important...to help lovingly guide children away from their selfish and sinful tendencies. We all needed consistent discipline as children. If ever I understood this at all, it is when I finally became a parent myself. Children need continual guidance, not only to do what is right and to be considerate of other people, but also to do what is safe beyond their limited knowledge, obediently trusting loving parents who already foresee natural consequences and have the best interests of their children in mind. If we know the Lord, our privileged role and responsibility is also to help them see glimpses of God's grace and experience love that looks like God's Love, until hopefully one day our children will themselves know God personally, trusting Christ Jesus as their own Savior, responding to the Holy Spirit themselves.
Each of us has walked in sin to some degree or another, if we've ever lied, ever took something that belonged to someone else, ever disobeyed our parents, etc. But, God, in His unfathomable Love, decided to make a way to prevent us from getting what we deserve (death), through His only son, Jesus Christ, who was absolutely innocent, yet submitted to death on a cross for our sins and rose again to life. Now, by God's Grace through faith in Christ Jesus, we are blessed to have what we never earned nor deserved: Life eternal and abundant blessings. His Mercy [withheld punishment] keeps us from getting what we DO deserve, and His Grace [unmerited favor] gives us more than we could ever deserve on our own --> what we DON'T deserve. This is the truth of His Word, whether we accept it or not.
"Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." - Ephesians 2:3-7
"For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." - Titus 3:3-7
Pondering His Grace and Mercy today,