New Mercy, just like the first time

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
(Lamentations 3:22-24)

Screwtape Letters Chapter 2 (C.S. Lewis)
“Work hard, then, on the disappointment or anticlimax which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a churchman. The Enemy (God) allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavour. . . It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His “free” lovers and servants-“sons” . . . Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to do it on their own.”

There are few Christians who do not feel some loss of their ‘first love’ for Christ. When our eyes are first opened to the truth of who God is, who we are in relation to him and what trusting in Christ’s death means, our lives and our thinking are radically changed! Even if you grow up in a Christian or church-going family there is a time where faith becomes your own. At first the blessings and presence of God are so tangible. We feel like our love and our passion will never grow cold. . . But then there is passing time, then there is the pressure of the everyday, the kids, the mortgage, the settling in to what is acceptable or expected. And we can lose that first love, that deep appreciation for the things of God. (In fact this is one of Christ’s complaints of the church at Ephesus: “You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” Revelation 2:4.)

MercyMe_-_The_Hurt_And_The_HealerIt is comforting to know that in C.S. Lewis’ opinion (Screwtape Letters) there is some element of God’s design in this. To grow our faith he allows us to experience the disappointment that comes in every aspect of life, once the shiny and exciting veneer of “new” has worn off. God grows us as he deepens our reliance on Him. We come to know His grace more as we see our failings. And for these failings His mercy comes, new every morning. Each day the opportunity is there for us to appreciate anew the reality of God’s love for us in Christ. His grace and mercy pours to us through His Word and His Spirit in us. We also have His body, His people, and we can gather together in Him. We can serve, and in serving, receive encouragement!

The band Mercy Me has captured something of this new deep appreciation of God’s mercy which comes as we mature in the faith. (Watch and read the lyrics below: “The First Time”). As we go through the ups and downs of life we realise the unfathomable depth of God’s love. We realise the worthlessness of our own attempts at self-righteousness, and cast ourselves on Him. This is the grace we rest in, and are refreshed by, each day.

The First Time (by Mercy Me)

“Day after day, I try to explain you, like I can contain you in so many words
You are the ocean, I’m on the shoreline, thinking I know you, like you could be learned
It’s so amazing, that you’d ever save me . . .

I thought I knew your face, I thought I tasted grace
But I have never felt anything close to this.

Just when I’d seen it all, new mercy breaks the door.
With eyes open wide, it feels like the first time, first time.
it feels
like the first time, first time.

After all of my searching, all of my reaching,
I’m left with nothing, nothing of worth.
You treasure the broken, over and over,
And give me a hope that can never be earned.
It’s still amazing, that you’d ever save me.

And your beauty no eye has seen, Your majesty overwhelming
You love for me is healing, O God!

I thought I knew your face, I thought I tasted grace
But it was nothing like this.
Just when I’d seen it all, new mercy breaks the door.
With my eyes open wide, I feel alive for the first time, first time.
Just like the first time, first time.
I can see like the first time.

2012 – Songwriters: Muckala, Daniel John / Millard, Bart / Bryson, Jim / Cochran, Nathan / Graul, Barry E / Scheuchzer, Mike / Shaffer, Robby / Ingram, Jason David 

You may also like:
More great grace songs                                             The Unexpected Timing of God’s Grace

3 thoughts on “New Mercy, just like the first time

  1. Pingback: The great unveiling (2Corinthians 3:16) | sevennotesofgrace

  2. Pingback: The great unveilling (2 Corinthians 3:16) | A Needed Word

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