Spirit and Life Devotional is a daily publication by Pastor Chinaemerem Ibezim, senior pastor of Able Ministers Chapel, a church based in Calabar, Cross River State.
“So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” – Romans 9:16 NKJV
Jesus told a parable, recorded in Luke 18:10-14, which we all need to seriously consider:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Lots of Christians today are placing so much emphasis on works! They think that they will prosper, or are prospering, solely because of what they do; they think that the reason for their success is the amount of work they’ve done and the application of principles; they are quick to point to something as the reason for their breakthroughs, completely ignoring the grace and mercy of God!
While it’s good to do the things that we do, it’s an error to put our trust in our works; God is sovereign and He does whatever pleases Him. You don’t go before God and say, “Lord, I’ve done so and so, so you owe me this and that.” No dear, it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. If you trust in your giving you can still be poor! You can pray and fast for 30 days and things still remain the same if you put your trust in your prayer and fasting!
Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” If that’s how He saved us, that’s how He will do every other thing for us. I don’t know about you, but I’m grateful for mercy! I’m not qualified for all He does for me, yet He does it anyway! Oh, hallelujah!