Grace leads to love

Psalm 116:1-2
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Love for the Lord is the best thing we can have, because of what comes from it. It changes the way we view everything else in the world and in our lives. It’s out of love, his love for us and our love for him and our desire for him that all good things come. Because it is so good for us, there are plenty of verses, especially in the Psalms, about love for the Lord. This particular one also comes with several other aspects to ponder upon.

Why does David say he loves the Lord here? Because the Lord has answered his prayers. He answers our prayers too. We can pray for many things, and if our spiritual life is going the way it should, we do. We can pray for material things. We can pray for God to be glorified in many ways. We can pray for spiritual growth in ourselves or in others. We can pray for the people in any place or group, in the present or in the future.  But David here says God has answered his prayers for mercy, not just for material things.

Mercy is one of the greatest things we can receive, because we are sinful people. God’s mercy allows us to keep going so we can even have a chance at redemption. Sometimes though, we take it for granted. It’s always there. Even if we don’t recognize it as “mercy” before we believe in the Lord and someone tells us it’s “mercy,” we still receive mercy every day. We receive mercy from God because while we are sinful, God is merciful, and every day it is his mercy that allows us to continue going on with our daily, sinful lives.

When we are sinful, we deserve his wrath, but he loves us, and he doesn’t dole it out on us, because it’s his will for people to come to belief in him, so he gives us many many many chances. And if we believe in him, it’s because he has revealed himself to us, but it’s also because his mercy allowed us to make it that far in the first place. We should love the Lord because of the mercy he has shown us.

At whatever point we recognize that we are sinful, and we ask him for mercy, he is faithful and just to forgive us. He inclines his ear to hear our cries. This should compel us to love him more and more as we grow In our faith. The Lord hears us when we ask for forgiveness, and he also hears us when we ask him for help as long as we live.

If we have recognized that we are sinful, and he has forgiven us, we have a great reason to love him, and to love him with all our heart and mind and soul is the greatest commandment he gives any of us. The more we love him, the more we can appreciate the blessings of the mercy he has shown us, and its effects on us, but we don’t love him based on us: we love him because he loves us, he is love. Live your life every day with love for the Lord for what he is.



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