[CF Devotionals] 2010-03-24 - The Hour of Mercy

John 17:1, “Father, the hour has come.”

We might wonder what hour? It is the hour of our redemption. 2 Peter 2:1 speaks about our “Master who bought them.” Jesus purchased our redemption on the cross. Titus 2:14 says that He “gave Himself for us.” This hour spoken of in John 17:1 was His giving Himself for us, but like in the 2 Peter 2:1 passage, we find in Titus that His death for us means we are His. Titus 2:14 goes onto say, “that He might redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for Himself a people for His own possession.” We are redeemed from lawlessness, and we now belong to Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection not only secured the believer's freedom from sin, but it has bound us to a loving Master – to Christ Himself. He has bought us (2 Peter 2:1), and we are His possession (Titus 2:14).

In John 17:1, Jesus says, “Father, the hour has come.” He has waited for this hour. The Father has waited for this hour. We also wait for the hour of mercy to be known to us. Have you waited on the mercy of God? The Son waited to secure the mercy of the Father until this time, and the Father waited to grant mercy. “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you,” Isaiah 30:18.

Another consideration is that in the interval time, while we wait for the Father’s mercy to come, He is preparing us for His mercy. The Lord is not slow about the hour of giving grace. It is a blessing that He is preparing us, all along, to be receivers of His grace.

The hour of the Father’s mercy will come. He will show mercy to His elect, but let us consider why the hour of His mercy to us, or others, may seem to tarry. Whose fault is it? Have you ever considered the great work it is to humble a heart – your heart – my heart? What does it take to bring us out of the condition of being “dead in trespasses and sin,” Ephesians 2:1? We do not simply have a “sin cold,” and need a little of Jesus to make us better. We are dead in sin. It rules us. Without the grace of Christ, it will continue to rule us. He is preparing us, in His time. His grace - and His time of grace unto us is always perfect. In fact, consider that, if it seems to us that God tarries in His lovingkindness toward us, let us remember that it will be an even greater blessing when He brings it – having seemingly tarried.

What is the hour of mercy for me? It is one thing to ask what the hour of mercy is, but quite another to ask what it is for me, personally. The hour of mercy is when the Lord opens our blind eyes to the truth of His free offer of grace to all who trust in Him. It is by His grace that we are saved – grace that was secured in the “hour” he speaks of in John 17:1 – but the way His grace becomes effectual to us is by faith. We believe into Christ. We trust that Christ is dead for sin – for our sin, and that He has been raised for our justification and restoration with God, Romans 4:25. God even gives us the faith to have faith. He is, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” Hebrews 12:2. We ought to thank the Lord for His grace and mercy, but also for the faith that He gives us to have faith.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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