Monday, October 28, 2013

Not the First

By David A. Sargent

      A young employee secretly misappropriated several hundred dollars of his business firm’s money. When this action was discovered, the young man was told to report to the office of the senior partner of the firm. As he walked up the stairs toward the administrative office, the young employee was heavy-hearted. He knew without a doubt he would lose his position with the firm. He also feared the possibility of legal action taken against him. Seemingly his whole world had collapsed.
      Upon his arrival in the office of the senior executive the young man was questioned about the whole affair. He was asked if the allegations were true, and he answered in the affirmative. Then the executive surprisingly asked this question: “If I keep you in your present capacity, can I trust you in the future?”
      The young worker brightened up and said, “Yes, sir, you surely can. I’ve learned my lesson.”
      The executive responded, “I’m not going to press charges, and you can continue in your present responsibility.”
      The employer concluded the conversation with his younger employee by saying, “I think you ought to know, however, that you are the second man in this firm who succumbed to temptation and was shown leniency. I was the first!  What you have done, I did. The mercy you are receiving, I received.  It is only the grace of God that can keep us both.” *
      None of us is “the first” to make some terrible mistake, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  That fact does not excuse us from our misdeeds, but it does reveal the NEED that each of us has for mercy.  Due to our sin, each of us deserves the penalty for sin: DEATH (Romans 6:23).
     “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4), provided the Solution to our dilemma.  He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross as payment for our sins (Ephesians 1:7).
     God will save those who: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), who turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), who confess Christ before men (Romans 10:9-10), and who are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
     Won’t YOU accept His mercy and grace by trusting and obeying Him today?
     Then, won’t you extend the same mercy to others?
     “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

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