God Has Mercy For You and Me


 

Today, I am breaking once again from Acts to post. The impetus for today’s blog is Psalms 103. If you have never read this psalms, you should stop now; go back, and click the link to read it. It is a beautiful psalm that outlines the blessings or benefits of serving Christ Jesus. I read this with my son yesterday for his devotional from the Keys for Kids series from CBH Ministries. The Word of God is good for children and adults.

The focus of the devotion was for my son to discover or deepen his concept of mercy. God Has Mercy For You and Me. According to Easton’s bible dictionary mercy is defined as “compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen 19:19;Exd 20:634:6,7Psa 85:1086:15,16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Mat 5:718:33-35).”

Here are several examples of mercy: The prison keeper, to Joseph, Gen 39:21-23. Joshua to Rahab, Jos 6:25. The Israelites to the man of Beth-el, Jdg 1:23-26. David to Saul, 1Sa 24:10-1317 (Nave’s). Perhaps, you may have a better idea of what biblical mercy is. If not, read the text below paying particular attention to the bolded verse.

Psalms 103:8-12

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Mercy in a simplified sense is God not treating us as our sins deserve. Romans 6:23 states “For the wages of sin is death, …” As such, man deserves to cease to existing with God; yet, God offers us mercy by not treating us according to what we deserve. It’s like you have been riding down the expressway, and you see those blue flashing lights. Immediately, you look down at your speedometer. You see that you are 10, 15, or even 20 miles over the speed limit. You know that you are going to get that ticket, but the officer warns you. In appreciation, you pull off slowly all while promising yourself that you are not going to speed anymore – well at least for the next few days.

If we admit it, we are not just sinful; we are extremely sinful. As a result, our consequences should be great. As such, we are in a desperate situation. If that same officer caught us speeding over and over multiple times each day, we would, without doubt, not be extended more opportunities. In Deuteronomy 7:7, we are told “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” We don’t earn God’s mercy or grace. Remember Romans 6:23, we deserve death, but God offers us eternal life through Christ Jesus.

For those who have taken advantage of the salvation offered by Christ through his death, burial and resurrection, Ephesians 2:3-5 captures our reality. “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercymade us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

God’s mercy is that we did not get what we deserve. God’s grace is that He offers salvation and relationship to those who surrender their lives to Christ. In doing so, we all should exclaim as Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1 where he says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”

David leads us in saying “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love.” (Psalm 51:1) God Has Mercy For You and Me.

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