"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." NIV
Don't you just love the word, "but"? I was a sinner destined for hell and destruction, BUT, God showed me mercy and made me alive in Christ! (The reality of that overwhelms me even as I type.) Stop and reread that sentence again..... A simple compound sentence that describes a 180 degree shift in my eternal destiny. And it's all because of "God, who is rich in mercy." Oh, how I take that for granted. I was raised a preacher's kid, at the church every time the doors were open. I never did anything too horrible -- never took drugs, never stole anything, never murdered -- and yet in my sin I was as destined for hell as everyone else. BUT, out of God's rich mercy and my repentance, I am raised up through Jesus Christ and am eagerly awaiting the day when I will see Him face to face. It doesn't matter what I've done in the past, I am a child of God, co-heir with Jesus Christ, and I have an eternity to show him my gratefulness. I better get started.