When I was a teenager some friends and I would frequently get together on a weekend night to go camping. My grandparents have some property not far from my hometown that my family calls “The Farm.” I can recall one particular camping trip to The Farm when I made a big mistake. My friends and I gathered up some wood to keep the fire lit and for cooking breakfast the next morning. I borrowed my grandfather’s hatchet to help out with breaking up some of the fallen tree limbs. Unintentionally I ended up breaking the hatchet’s handle as well.

In a moment of panic I made a poor decision to cover-up the incident by tossing the handle into the hot fire and the hatchet head in the nearby pond. It wasn’t long after that my grandfather approached me wondering what had happened to the hatchet he let me borrow. I was caught. I mustered up the courage to confess what I had done. I felt awful for letting him down.

I told him I wanted to replace the hatchet with a new one. It was the least I could do. That’s when he shared with me that the hatchet was priceless. It had been passed down to him from his grandfather many years ago. I was willing to do anything to rectify my relationship with him but nothing could replace what I had taken. I was heartbroken.

Thankfully I have a merciful grandfather, he forgave me for what I had done and continued loving me. He simply asked that I learn a lesson in honesty and responsibility.

Paul, a follower of Jesus, wrote, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). In other words, since we recognize that God has shown us mercy through the death of his son, Jesus, let’s offer our lives to him.

There’s no way I can replace my grandfather’s hatchet. It’s even more impossible to repay my debt to God for his deep mercy in my life. All he asks for is my heart and a committed life lived for him. That’s doable!

How about you? Have you accepted God’s mercy in your life? What does God’s mercy mean to you? I’d like to hear from you. Leave a comment on our blog at www.hopeforlife.org/blog or send me an email at info@hopeforlife.org.

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