Posts Tagged ‘Mercy

12
Sep
18

Giving/Receiving Mercy

I remember growing up in church and learning the definitions of grace and mercy. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve. God’s grace means that we get the gift of forgiveness. Mercy means that we don’t receive the punishment we deserve for our sins. Grace means that we get eternal life. Mercy means that we don’t get eternal death in Hell. Jesus wants us to extend mercy to others. He said:

Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7 (NIV)

People are going to hurt you. They’re going to lie to you and cheat on you and gossip about you. They’ll do it more than once. How will you respond? Will you try to get revenge or will you show mercy? Jesus’ words remind us that His way is best. When we show mercy to others, we open ourselves up to receive the mercy of God. Author Dave Willis said something along the lines of “We should not treat people the way they deserve. Rather, we should treat them the way we want God to treat us.” If you want God to show you mercy, be merciful to others.
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07
Sep
18

Mourning Our Sinful Condition

At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon in the Gospels, Jesus describes a person who is devoted to His Kingdom. It’s a passage known as the Beatitudes. These are the traits of someone who is on the right track to becoming what God wants them to become. The first step is to recognize one’s spiritual poverty. The next step is described in this way. Jesus said:

Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

This is not just any kind of mourning, though. It is a mourning over one’s spiritual condition. God comforts the brokenhearted, to be sure. But this kind of mourning goes deeper than being sad over a death of a loved one or a broken relationship. This is mourning over the fact that you are a sinner and there’s nothing you can do about it. When you get to the point where you realize just how bad you are and how much you need a Savior, that’s when God will comfort you with His grace, mercy and forgiveness.
30
Mar
18

Forgive Who?

On what we know as Good Friday, Jesus was crucified for the sin of the world. Luke records the scene in this way. He wrote:

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)

While we don’t know their names or their crimes, we know that it should have been us. We could have been either the criminal on His right or His left. We should have felt the nails. We should have been left there to die for our own sins and transgressions. Yet, there is the perfect Son of God with thorns on His head and nails in His hands and feet praying to His Father, “Forgive them…” Forgive who? Forgive those who were killing Him? What love! Forgive those who were insulting Him and spitting on Him? What mercy! Forgive us who were the true source of His suffering? What grace! Jesus took our punishment when He took our place and that is what Good Friday is all about.
14
Dec
17

The People Of God

Christians are God’s people, not by lineage or ethnicity, but by mercy. Under the old covenant, the children of Israel were God’s people by their ethnic heritage. Under the new covenant in Jesus’ blood, His followers, though they are not of one race, have been made the people of God. Here’s what Peter said:

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:10 (NIV)

The mercy of God was extended to the whole world through the cross of Jesus. Jesus took the punishment that we deserved upon Himself so we would be spared the wrath of God. We deserve God’s wrath, but instead He poured it out on His Son. We don’t have to suffer the consequences of our sin because Jesus did it for us. He who never sinned in any way suffered as though He was the worst of sinners. His blood that was shed on our behalf made us the people of God.
28
Jun
17

Confession And Mercy

The Proverbs are full of tidbits of advice. They’re not necessarily guarantees, but rather, they are general principles on which you can generally rely. In Proverbs 28, it says:

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble. – Proverbs 28:13-14 (NIV)

Our spiritual lives are not to be compartmentalized away from the rest of our lives. When we sin and try to hide it, it affects the other areas of our lives. The principle is that God will not bless His people when we sin and try to hide it or we refuse to acknowledge it. When we admit our sin, God is merciful and forgiving. The important thing to realize is that mercy is better than prosperity. Mercy is eternal while prosperity will only be temporary. So tremble before the Lord and do not harden your heart. Turn to Him in repentance and find mercy as you confess your sins to Him.
31
May
17

Who Are You To Judge?

We are often confronted with Jesus’ words of do not judge lest ye be judged. James repeats this command in his letter to the church. He writes:

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? – James 4:11-12 (NIV)

When we speak ill of one another, we are acting like judges over our brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether it is slander, gossip or insults, we are judging people against our own standards. How quickly we forget that we are a people who have been saved by mercy and grace. Shouldn’t we extend that same mercy and grace to others? When we hold people up to our standards or even the standards of God’s righteous law, we are in danger of having to be judged by that same standard. Before you judge someone today, show them the same mercy and grace you want from God. Instead of judging them, love them. Instead of condemning them, encourage them. We are a people saved by grace in order that we might extend grace to others.
05
May
17

Mercy And Judgment

Since we’re all sinners and lawbreakers, according to James 2:10-11, how should we view one another? Through eyes of mercy. If we are all going to be judged by God, how should we treat each other? Let us treat each other mercifully. This is what James says:

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:12-13 (NIV)

We are not going to help each other get better by  pointing fingers and condemning one another. We’re all working on our own stuff. God is merciful and He will show mercy to those who act mercifully. He will not show mercy to anyone who does not act mercifully. If we want mercy, we’ve got to show mercy. Author Dave Willis says, “Don’t treat people the way they treat you. Treat them the way God treats you.” God treats you with grace and mercy. Go and do likewise.



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