“The love of God, as manifested in Jesus Christ, is what I would wish to be the abiding object of my contemplation; not merely to speculate upon it as a doctrine, but so to feel it, and my own interest in it, as to have my heart filled with its effects, and transformed into its resemblance; that, with this glorious Exemplar in my view, I may be animated to a spirit of benevolence, love, and compassion, to all around me; that my love may be primarily fixed upon him who has so loved me, and then, for his sake, diffused to all his children, and to all his creatures.” – John Newton 
Every single day I wake up and remind myself of this verse. It blows me away that our loving Father made me alive. It’s easy to question why God would choose to do that, but thankfully the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to give us that answer! It is because of His mercy and great love for us all! Even though we were completely dead in our sin, He still chose to raise us back to life.
| “BUT GOD ” |
We were dead in our sins, but God … We were rebels against him, but God … We were enslaved by Satan and our sinful natures, but God … These may be the two most welcome words in all of Scripture: “but God.” God could have left us spiritually dead, in rebellion against him and in bondage to our sins. But he didn’t. He did not save us because of, but rather in spite of, what he saw in us. In addition to thanking him for what he has done for us, we should also show humble patience and tolerance for others who seem unworthy or undeserving of our love and compassion. They may be spiritually dull, rebellious, and even antagonistic toward God. So were we; but God loved us anyway. Can we do less for fellow sinners? 
God is “rich in mercy” points us to His compassion for all of us. The word “rich” indicates the bountiful nature of God’s mercy—beyond our comprehension, an inexhaustible storehouse.  Without God, there is nothing that we can do and He knows that. Mercy is God choosing to NOT give us what we do deserve for our sin, but instead, He gives us grace. Often times we don’t spend enough time thinking about what God withholds from us. The things that we do deserve, the things that would destroy us, the things that would harm us, etc… It is also those things that we must allow our hearts to focus on. God’s mercy on us flows from His completely loving and loyal heart to His people. We cannot do anything to ever “earn” His mercy or pay our way out of what we truly deserve.
“…when we were dead” reminds us of our state before we received God’s love into our lives. Sadly, this is why many people within the world go from thing to thing trying to find something that makes them feel alive. Often time, the addiction doesn’t satisfy them anymore so they go to more and more extremes to find that sensation again. It’s always heartbreaking to see/hear about men and women that are consistently seeking after something that will satisfy a longing in their hearts.
Even more so when it is people who know about Jesus but aren’t turning to Him to be satisfied. Jesus tells us very clearly that what He has to offer will never leave us “thirsting” again. “…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The figurative language used with this points towards addictive things that we turn to for temporal satisfaction.
The beauty of this verse goes well beyond just simply getting into heaven. Truthfully it opens up the heavens for us while we are on earth! Jesus says this, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Jesus’ promise for abundant life begins the very moment that you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. It echoes some of the Old Testament prophecies that Ezekial spoke of! These prophecies say,
“12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.” 
And continues with,
“I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations. 30 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. 31 And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” 
I get that those verses are a lot of reading, but if we break them down slowly we can see the promises of God that are fulfilled within following Jesus! Jesus doesn’t call us to live a mundane, miserable, joyless life while on earth! It’s actually the complete opposite! He calls us to live a life full of joy, overflowing with meaningfulness, covered with favor and blessings from God. All while being in complete unity and fellowship with a family that is united under Jesus’ name…
God worked on behalf of us all because of His great love. God could have chosen to punish us all for our sin, but instead, He chose, as a selfless act of love, to show mercy and extend grace to us all. It is a wonderful and glorious gift to be saved by grace and grace alone. This is a gift that is free for anyone who would choose to accept Jesus as Lord and be obedient to Him throughout our lives. I made that choice many years ago and it was the best choice I have ever made…