Read: Romans 11:13-15, 28-32
For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
God’s Mercy is for All People
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“That’s not fair!” Gabby shouted. “Papi, why am I getting punished when Manny started it? He was the one who broke the rules! That’s not fair!” Gabby thought she was so right. Why should she get in trouble when Manny was the one who started throwing the ball in the house?
What Gabby seemed to forget was that she also threw the ball in the house. In fact, they were playing catch for 15 minutes together before the ball hit the lamp and shattered the light. They both were guilty. They both broke the rules. They both sinned.
Thankfully, Gabby and Manny’s papi was a patient and loving father. While there was a consequence for breaking the rules, he still loved them both and forgave them both. Did they deserve to be forgiven? Not really. They broke the rules. But their father was an example of the word grace, which is undeserved love. He showed them grace by forgiving both children with the same undeserved love.
This is the way that our heavenly Father deals with us. Satan wants us to point our fingers at other people and say things like, “That’s not fair! That person sins more than I do! That other person is really bad! They should get punished!” We don’t want to be like Gabby though. We can’t forget that we are just as guilty as everyone else. We all sin and break God’s rules. We all deserve to be punished equally.
But here’s the good news, our heavenly Father is even more patient and loving than Gabby and Manny’s father. The apostle Paul reminds us in the verse for today that even though everyone has disobeyed God the same, our heavenly Father also has mercy on everyone the same. He sent Jesus to be the Savior of every last sinner in the world, including you. Do we deserve to be forgiven? Not at all! But that is the true definition of grace—God’s undeserved love seen at the cross in Jesus who died for the whole world.
This is an important truth to remember, because this reminds us that we are not “better” than other people in the world, in our neighborhood, or even in our school classrooms. The devil wants us to act like we are better than other people. But the love of Jesus teaches us to know that we are all equal—we are equally sinners and equally forgiven. So look for ways you can show Jesus’ love equally to others, especially those who may look, talk, or act differently than you do. What a joy it would be for them to join you and all believers in our heavenly Father’s house forever!
Lord God, remind me that I am a sinner, just like other people. Then comfort me that your grace and forgiveness are for me and all other people. Help me to share that good news with the world. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Have you ever said, “That’s not fair”? Why? What happened?
- Explain what the word grace means. How did God show us grace?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Explain why Jesus dying for us was actually not “fair.”
- Why would Jesus die for sinners if we don’t deserve it?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why is your sin a reason for you to be humble around other people?
- Why is God’s grace a reason for you to be humble around other people?
Hymn: CW 391:1,5-6 – God Loved the World So that He Gave
God loved the world so that he gave His only Son the lost to save
That all who would in him believe Should everlasting life receive.
When you are sick, when death draws near, This truth your troubled heart can cheer:
Christ Jesus saves my soul from death—This is the anchor of my faith!
Glory to God the Father, Son, And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To you, O blessed Trinity, Be praise now and eternally!