I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God . . . (Romans 12:1)
We are challenged by the mercy of God. Without Christ, each of us stands condemned before God. We are sinners by nature and by choice. However, in spite of our sinfulness God loves us. He loves us so much He sent His very own Son to die for us; to set us free from sin and the terrible consequences of sin; and eternal death. By His great mercy, He saved us. As a result, we must respond. We cannot remain as spectators looking on. The Christian life is a heroic venture that requires a full quota of energy. As that old Puritan Pastor, Richard Baxter, once wrote, “Christianity is not a sedentary profession or employment. Sitting still will lose you heaven as well as if you run from it.”
When we grasp the enormity of God’s love towards us, we are driven to seek his kingdom as a precious prize—we are to seek it with ardent zeal and intense exertion. We will find ourselves wrestling with God and seeking his attention with violent force (Matthew 11:12). Someone once described a football game as twenty-two men on the field badly in need of rest, being watched by seventy-two thousand people in the stands badly in need of exercise. While football may be a spectator sport for most of us, Christianity certainly should never be. We must get involved in the action. We must never take the mercy of God for granted. It should always motivate us to get on the field.
I am one of those who reads the Scriptures and can’t sit still. I read a portion of it and feel compelled to jump up and yell, “Hey! Do you see this?” Did you notice Paul’s plea here? He says, I “urge you . . .” Often, as Christians we need to be urged on. There are times when we become apathetic to our commitment. Maybe our minds become occupied with the “things of this world” and we need to be reminded of our real priorities in life. Here the Holy Spirit pleads with us to take heed of what He is about to say.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome