1 Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Several months ago I somehow managed to have a 25 pound weight fall on my foot. It fell, and my toe was wedged between it and the concrete floor in my garage. I had no idea what had happened, all I knew was that seconds earlier I was standing up and now I way on the floor with excruciating pain flowing through my foot, then I saw blood and then I realized what had happened. After that I quickly realized that I was downstairs and my 3 year old was upstairs and I somehow had to get to him. I crawled up the steps and hobbled around the rest of the day and in fact I hobbled around the rest of the month. When something that heavy hits you, it moves you and things are changed.
In 1 Peter, Peter is writing to the early church. They are suffering through persecution and difficulty yet when he writes to them he doesn’t write to them a message of “woe is me”, but instead he writes them a message of joy. Basically what he says is praise God because He has given us the opportunity to be born again because of His great grace. The greek word that he uses there for great is a word that could be translated amazing, or large, or abundant. It could also be translated as heavy or a mass. So Peter says we ought to rejoice and praise God because He has given us a mass of mercy. His mercy is heavy is the picture that Peter is painting for us.
When you are touched by something heavy it moves you doesn’t it? Just like the weight moved me, the great mercy of God must move us. We cannot be touched by the mercy of God and the grace of God and stay the same. It moves us, it transforms us, it makes us different. God’s mercy is heavy and in reality when we are touched by it we are not the same.
Christian band Whitecross had a song called “Plowed Down” that talked about how Paul was plowed down by the grace of God on the road to Damascus. It was heavy, it was great, it was abundant and amazing and when it hit Paul, Paul was changed. He was transformed, he was no longer the same. It does the same thing to us. God’s mercy changes us, His great mercy transforms us. His abundant mercy causes us to get our eyes off of ourselves and on to Him. It causes us to trust Him and to stop looking at the sins, the temptations and the worries of the world. God’s mercy is heavy. We cannot be touched by it and remain the same.
That is important to remember as we go into a New Year. His grace and His mercy will change us, but not only that they are great and they will carry us through 2017. God never does anything half way. His mercy and grace are great, which means that are inexhaustible. No matter how many times we run to them, they are there. God in His abundant mercy and heavy grace will carry us through 2017 so may we anchor our lives to them, and may we live for His glory.