Scripture

Hosea 6:6 (NIV)

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Observation

Most of us have likely seen a film, television show, or read a book where there’s a villain who gives their life to save others. We may have seen this villain kill loads of people and do everything in their power to stop the hero. However, for one reason or another, our villain shows a change of heart and gives up their life for the greater good. This is a fairly common trope with various terms used to describe it from Villains Dying Grace through Redemption Equals Death to Death Equals Redemption. The premise is the same, however, for each case. Someone turns from a life of evil to perform a “good” act in sacrifice, gaining some form of redemption.

There’s nothing wrong, inherently, with someone turning from a life of evil to a life of good, right? Except in these cases, that we love so much, as evidenced by our tears, there is no redemption gained. These villains who give their lives are only redeemed, perhaps, in our eyes. because of their sacrifice. Some may hope to emulate them in some way while others may say that true redemption would be staying alive and living a life of good deeds. That gaining redemption in this way is too easy.

However, in the real world, we cannot gain redemption through one sacrificial act, nor can we gain redemption through living a life of sacrifice or by bearing our cross daily, as some might like to think. No, we can only gain redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross and then accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. God’s desire for mercy is for His mercy upon us. We cannot sacrifice our lives, or anything else, and hope that we will earn God’s mercy and grace. God’s grace cannot be earned. That’s why it’s called grace. We have but to accept it and then believe that we have received it.

Nevertheless, if we are to follow Christ then we ought to live lives that show mercy to others. The love of God. We are to live a life that is holy and pleasing to God, not because we are striving to earn a redemption that we cannot earn, but rather because God has shown us this mercy, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). To a degree, this is what living a life of bearing our cross looks like. Not one that is full of sacrifice, trying to deny ourselves for others, but rather loving others as we love ourselves, for there is no victory in the denial of sin, but there is life, hope, and eternal salvation in embracing the love that God has given to us and then giving that love to others.

God loves you and He sees you. He knows your joy and He knows your tears. He waited for you before you were born. He takes delight in you and desires that you would delight in Him. If you would like to receive the gift of eternal salvation offered to you today then pray this prayer with me.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.