God of Mercy
God of Mercy – Understanding Mercy
God is known to be a God of mercy and grace. Understanding mercy is often difficult for people as we tend to be a generation of “I’ll get him for that” and “I hope they get what they deserve.” Many have developed a nature of harsh criticism and want others to get what they have coming to them and then some.
God, however, is merciful to even the worst offenders, sinners, and law-breakers. This means that even though He knows of our guilt, He doesn’t always issue the punishment deserved. To elaborate, the verse in Romans 3:23-24 says “...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Simply, we are all sinners and do not meet the standards of righteousness that God intends us to have. But, through His mercy and grace He provided a way for our sins to be forgiven through our acceptance of Christ Jesus—even though we don’t deserve it. Coupled with grace (being given God’s free gift of forgiveness though we’ve done nothing to deserve it), mercy is shown because He loves us and only asks that we accept His Son by faith.
God of Mercy – To whom it is given
The God of mercy calls for the following in Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” These are words to all of mankind. Mercy is offered to you and me alike. He has shown us what is good and answers what is required of us. Micah asks God in Micah 7:18, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
This passage shows that God enjoys being merciful, and is still showing mercy today. One example of God’s mercy today is the remarkable story of a woman called Jeanette. Her grandmother, Carla, tried to urge Jeanette to go into drug rehab without much success. Carla prayed to God, asking for His intervention with Jeanette. Carla was reminded by the words from God, “Who do I need to do anything, remember who I AM. I can take that drug away from your granddaughter, squash it and it will not return.” Carla said she prayed for Jesus to come into their broken family and heal her granddaughter. Jeanette is now drug free and enjoying a blessed relationship with her family. Carla stands on Luke 1:50, “His mercy extends to those who fear [revere] him, from generation to generation.”
There are many references about God’s mercy throughout the Bible. For instance, in Genesis 37 through 45 we find the story of Joseph, son of Jacob. God’s mercy toward Joseph’s brothers for their betrayal is certainly evident in this story. Other illustrations are found throughout the prayers of King David in the Psalms. God’s mercy is endless and found throughout the ages to the present.
God of Mercy – The Ultimate Benefit
Saying that He is a God of mercy is a minimized description of what He is willing to do. Remember, in the first section we said God offers a pardon even though He knows of our guilt. Paul gives a good picture of this in Ephesians 2:1-10. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. “
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace we are saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
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