Romans chapter 9:16, “So then it depends, not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.” This verse in the middle of a very heavy chapter that gives us a glorious picture of God’s sovereignty over all things, specifically his sovereign grace and mercy. The reason why verse 16 is so key is because it is a reminder that we need the mercy of God. Every day, we need his mercy. Our lives depend on his mercy. We don’t have breath right now without the mercy of God. We don’t have anything good without the mercy of God. We don’t have salvation apart from his mercy. His salvation, we’ve seen all throughout Romans salvation from sin is not dependent on human will or work or exertion. It’s dependent on the mercy of God and the grace of God through Christ at the cross. God in his mercy has made salvation possible.
Regardless of how well we perform, our will and work can never make us right before God.
I look at my life. I’ve been saved from my sins. That’s mercy from God. I look at my family. I could go on and on and on. I could spend all day just listing out all the evidences of mercy in my life. Every good thing in my life comes from God’s merciful hand. The same is true for you. We have nothing good apart from God’s mercy. We pray, God, we are a people who are totally dependent on you for everything good in and around us. We can do nothing to earn goodness, to cause goodness. You are the fountain of all goodness. You’re the fountain of all mercy. We need you to save us from our sins. We need you to experience any blessing in our lives. It all comes from your hand and we praise you for your mercy. As people who know you, who have come to know you through Jesus, through his blood sacrificed for our sins, we praise you for your mercy. We praise for you all the evidences of your mercy in each of our lives. God, thank you, thank you, thank you for your sovereign mercy. You did not have to show us this mercy. You didn’t have to show me mercy. You’ve done that solely because you’re merciful.
God, I humble myself before you. We humble ourselves before you. We just thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the mercy you showed us. As we thank you, we cry out for more mercy, not that you haven’t given us enough, but the reality is we can’t do anything apart from your mercy. We can’t breathe. We can’t live as you’ve called us to live. We can’t experience all that you’ve called us to experience apart from your mercy. We are totally dependent on your mercy. God, not just our lives, in other’s lives, we pray for the spread of the gospel to others around us. We pray for your compassion and your love and your mercy to be made known among more people around us, more peoples around the world. God, use our lives, your mercy toward us for the spread of your mercy toward others. God, we praise you as the God of mercy. You’re the God who has mercy. Romans 9:16. In Jesus’s name, we pray, amen.