We all make mistakes and we all have shortcomings.

As human beings, we know that our lives are not perfect. I know many of us can look back at a time, (maybe not too long ago) in our lives where we have not made the right decisions.

I know I for one, am guilty of making some rash decisions and following the wrong path. In my case I was quite fortunate to know God from young, I could gladly raise my hand and say that I grew up with a rich Nigerian heritage in a strong Christian household. I thought I understood who God is and what it meant to be a Christian.

My name is Ifeoluwa, which means God’s Love, so obviously, I was drawn to learn about God’s Love.

However, it turned out that I didn’t fully understand this, so when tough challenges and situations presented themselves throughout my teenage years, I stopped going to church regularly and stopped studying the bible. I had seemed to stray from the path of God and His righteousness.

Last year, during my first year at university, I started going down the wrong path, innocently following the crowd. I put myself in situations where I could have been hurt as a result of the bad decisions I was making. I didn’t fully understand the depths of God’s love and grace, as much as I thought I did.

I had been wrestling and struggling with why God has been so faithful and kind to me for all these years, even when I wasn’t faithful to Him.

I was recently reading a devotional on the bible app called “finding your way back to God” by David and John Ferguson. It was an inspirational plan and a reminder about God’s love being so deep, and unconditional, even when we make mistakes it is part of His promise to love us. This led me to a verse I found while I was praying one night:

‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.’ Ephesians (2:4-5 NIV)

The English dictionary definition of mercy is “compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”

God’s definition of mercy, is not unlike the definition from the dictionary, but there is a deeper and more profound meaning. This verse gave me a brief glimpse of what God’s mercy truly is.

This verse in Ephesians says he is “rich in mercy,” so he has a great deal of it, and it is part of his generosity that he hands out the gift of mercy, sparing us from punishments, even punishments we deserve. Mercy is not just an attribute of God; it’s an integral part of who he is! His mercy knows no bounds!

In Ephesians 2, Paul was explaining the benefits of following Jesus Christ, he explains that naturally our sins would not have been forgiven. But, because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, through grace, God has had mercy on us. The very act of God sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins is mercy. He sent us a saviour that could what we could not. So, now our past mistakes are blotted away and we are made new in Christ. We are a product of mercy and grace!

Another key theme in this verse is ‘Grace’, which means God gives us things we do not deserve.

Mercy and Grace are precious gifts that God has given me and the fact that I’m writing this blog is a huge testimony of his mercy and grace and the generosity He has shown me. Remember, these are gifts given not because of our behaviour and actions; it is based on whom God is, so I am grateful that He is never-changing.

I pray that we will all be able to know and understand that only by his grace, we are free to live our lives without shame and guilt. I pray that you will be able to understand the immense power of his love and mercy that has impacted your life. I pray that together we can grow in faith and accept his love. I know that when we grow in faith we can show acts of mercy and forgiveness towards others too. Amen.

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