The apostle Paul, in Romans the twelfth chapter, makes an appeal based on “the mercies of God”. The NIV puts it like this: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” The action urged is “In view of God’s mercy.” I like Phillips’ translation which says, “With eyes wide open to the mercies of God.”
Are my eyes wide open to all the mercies God extends, or do they seem like pictures on the wall which I see every day, but don’t really see at all? Visit any hospital and you will come away with a new perspective. Do you have eyes to see? Lungs with which to breath? A heart which functions properly? It’s so easy to take all of these things for granted. G.K. Chesterton has commented on our passing about the great mercies to which we are blind. He says we thank God for the presents in our stockings at Christmas, but we ought to thank God we have legs in our stockings!
The old adage is true: we don’t appreciate the water until the well runs dry. “Nothing raises the price of a blessing like its removal; whereas, it was its continuance which should have taught us its value.” (H. Moore)
Consider what God has done in giving us life, sustaining us through the years, granting the blessings of family and friends, saving us from our sins, granting us the privilege of prayer, preparing for us an eternal home. And the list goes on and on . . . Do we have eyes wide open to the mercies of God?
Hannah Moore has a word in season for all of us: “There are three requisites to the proper enjoyment of earthly blessings: a thankful reflection on the goodness of the Giver; a deep sense of our own unworthiness; and a recollection of the uncertainty of our long possessing them—the first will make us grateful; the second humble; and the third, moderate.”
It’s a challenge, but we all need eyes wide open to the mercies of God. Then we will present ourselves as living sacrifices to God. – John Gipson