We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. (Daniel 9:18)
We don’t approach God because we are good enough to deserve His attention. We don’t list our good deeds for Him, as if our deeds are noteworthy in His eyes. We don’t stand in front of Him because we’ve earned anything, for all of our righteousness is simply rags. No, we are only able to go before God because of His great mercy.
It’s remarkable that the words above were written by Daniel (of Daniel and the Lion’s Den). Certainly if there was any person from the Israelite captives who lived a righteous life, it was Daniel (after all, he was found by Darius’ minions making his illegal prayers to God as he had done since before they were illegal – see Daniel 6:10). But Daniel didn’t claim his righteousness because he knew that his righteousness wasn’t enough to win over God’s approval. Instead, he pleaded for God’s mercy.
The same is true with us. It doesn’t matter how “good” of a person you are, how many little old ladies you walk across the street, or how many doors you hold open for other people. It’s only by God’s great mercy and grace that we can stand before Him be welcomed into His Kingdom. Take a moment to express your gratitude to God for His great mercy, and be encouraged that it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are because God is full of mercy.
Lord, thank You for Your mercy. I can’t stand before You because of anything good that I’ve done. My righteous is simply rags in Your presence. However, Your mercy is great, and I am grateful for that. Let me find joy in Your presence and in Your mercy.