Posts Tagged ‘Mercy

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.
16
Feb
17

Goodness And Mercy

Good Thursday morning to you! As David reflected on his fellowship with the Lord, he realized something. This fellowship would never end. Why? Because of God’s love and goodness.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life – Psalm 23:6a (ESV)

The word for mercy is a word that means loyal love. It’s a love that means a faithful covenant kind of love. David’s confidence in God as his Shepherd comes from God’s love and goodness. God is good, my friends. Sometimes that is hard to believe. But when we think about the cross, we can know and believe that God is good. Jesus went to the cross because of God’s goodness and mercy. Bad things happened to Jesus so good things could happen for us. The love of God sent Jesus to the cross. Nothing can change God’s love for you. It is yours all the days of your life. So enjoy His goodness and love today and tomorrow and forever.
25
Oct
16

God Is Good

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. — Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. — Luke 18:19 (NIV)

I’ve often wondered if the reason we don’t pray as much as we should is because we doubt.  There are two things that we primarily doubt about God.  We doubt His greatness and His goodness.  I wrote about God’s greatness the other day and how we should be amazed at His power and His deeds.  When we come to Him in prayer, of these two attributes, this is the thing we doubt the least.  We know that God is powerful.  We believe that He is great.  But is He good?  Will He really “give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11, NIV)?  Does He really care?  Does He really love us?  Can we trust His goodness?  Absolutely!  We are talking about the God who knows the very number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30).  He is so intensely interested in you that He knows something as seemingly as trivial as that.  It matters to God, though.  Why?  Because you matter to God.  I matter to God.  He loves us so fiercely and passionately!  May you sense and feel that love today!  May you taste and see His goodness.  May you have the power to grasp the height, width, depth and length of Christ’s love.  May we have a better understanding of God’s infinite goodness on this day and in the days to come.  Because God is good…all the time.

PRAYER: Help me, O God, to be aware of Your goodness in my life today. Help me to keep faith and not doubt Your love for me. Thank You for Jesus, the ultimate expression of Your love. Amen.

23
Sep
16

As The Lord Forgave You

In Jeremiah 31, God made a promise of a new covenant to come.  He foretold of a time when the old covenant and its sacrificial system would be no more.  That God would no longer dwell in a temple made by human hands, but instead would live in the hearts of His people.  God would make a new covenant because His people had failed to live up to the old covenant.  Idolatry and spiritual infidelity caused God to make a new covenant through His Son, Jesus.
My friends, we are living under this new covenant.  God’s Holy Spirit lives in our hearts by grace through faith in Jesus.  We have the gift of His Word to teach us and guide us in our walk with Christ.  He has forgiven our wickedness and has promised to remember our sins no more.  Think about that for just a moment.

For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more. – Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)

Three things come to my mind with regard to this verse.
  • First, God is awesome!  His love and grace are so much more than I can fathom.
  • Second, the devil is a liar.  When he comes calling and bringing up your past, remember this promise.  Your sins are forgiven and God will not bring them to mind ever again.
  • Third, we need to forgive…and forget.  Colossians 3:13 (NIV) says:

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

God has forgiven our sins and chooses not to hold them against us.  He has promised to forgive and forget.  We must be willing to do the same.  We cannot say, “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget!”  It doesn’t mean that we are not wary of those who abuse our forgiveness and wrong us time and time again.  It means that we forgive and we choose not to hold their transgressions against them.  We won’t be best friends, but we can be civil and courteous.  We are still called to love everyone, even our enemies.  We are called to forgive everyone, even those who wrong us over and over.  Think of what Jesus told Peter in Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV):

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Let us be ambassadors of forgiveness.  Let us demonstrate God’s forgiveness to the world.  Let us not hold grudges for grudges turn into bitterness.  We are living under a new covenant of grace and forgiveness.  Praise the Lord!
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I praise and thank You for Your grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. Help me to forgive others today who have wronged me and hurt me. Help me to seek forgiveness from those whom I have wronged and hurt as well. Thank You for Jesus, amen.
20
Sep
16

Seeing For Yourself

John 4:39-42 (NIV)

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Sometimes you’ve got to experience Jesus for yourself before you’re convinced that He is who He said He is. You can tell people about Jesus and the difference He’s made in your life, but until they taste and see the goodness of the Lord, they just won’t accept it. Until they hear His words for themselves, they can’t believe it. Think of Thomas, the disciple who doubted, and how he couldn’t accept the fact of the resurrection until he saw Jesus for himself. The other disciples told him that they had seen the risen Lord and they just couldn’t convince him. The Samaritans in John 4 believed the woman at the well, but they became convinced that Jesus is the Savior because they heard Him for themselves.
We need to be patient and merciful with people who have doubts about Jesus’ true identity. Everyone is in a different place on their journey of faith. Some people are so close to believing in Jesus. We need to keep working with them to show them the truth of His grace. Some people are much further away from believing in Jesus. We need to be patient with them and love them into the Kingdom of God. Don’t give up on the doubters. Instead, as Jude said, be merciful to them (Jude 1:22).
PRAYER: My Father in Heaven, I pray for those people I know who doubt. Whether they doubt Your love, power, grace or existence, I pray that You would reveal Yourself to them that they may come to know You in a real way. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me and for continuing to be patient with me when I doubt. In Jesus’ name, amen.
13
Sep
16

Loving The Doubters

Be merciful to those who doubt — Jude 1:22 (NIV)

As Christians, we are going to meet people in life who do not believe in Christ.  They, like so many, doubt the existence of a loving, personal God.  They doubt that Jesus was who He said He was.  They doubt that the Resurrection ever took place.  They doubt that they could be forgiven from their sins and transgressions.  They doubt that Jesus is returning.  They doubt the existence of heaven and hell.  Oftentimes our first inclination is to debate the doubters.  Jude tells us something different — love them.  Have mercy on them.  Be compassionate towards them.

The Greek word translated as “be merciful” means to have compassion on those who doubt.  To remember our own doubts before we came to faith.  To remember the doubts that we’ve had since coming to faith in Christ.  To empathize with those who have not yet come to faith in Jesus.  Let’s face it, we’ve all had moments of doubt.  Even those with the strongest faith can feel their knees buckle from time to time when the storms of life blow hard against us.  Rather than punishing those who doubt and whose faith may waver, we should deal gently with them.  We should extend grace and mercy to those who are dealing with doubt.  To mercifully help bring or restore someone to faith is far better than debating or shaming them into hell.

PRAYER: Help me to remember, O Lord, that I need mercy when I doubt. Help me to be merciful to those who are struggling with doubts. Thank You for saving me and forgiving me through Jesus. Amen.

07
Sep
16

The Call To Be Merciful

This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’ — Zechariah 7:9 (NIV)

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. — Hosea 6:6 (NIV)
The Old Testament prophets understood it, but the Pharisees did not.  Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 in Matthew 9:13.  God calls us to be merciful.  To show mercy means to show compassionate forgiveness towards someone who has wronged us.  This is how God treats us.  Psalm 103:10 (NIV) says, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”  He treats us with mercy, not punishing us in the way that we deserve to be punished.  He takes pity on us because we truly don’t know what we are doing.  If we knew how our sins hurt God and hurt others, we would act differently.  But we can be so self-centered and self-absorbed that we often don’t realize just how hurtful our sinful actions truly are.  God understands this.  So He compassionately pours out mercy on us.  Then He expects us to do the same.
When someone hurts us, God says, “Be merciful.”  When someone sins against us, God says, “Forgive as I have forgiven you.”  He desires that we learn to forgive others more than we learn to give offerings to Him.  We can get so legalistic about a tithe and yet forget about that which is most important — loving and forgiving others.  I believe that God wants us to know that relationships matter the most.  We need to come to a better understanding of how great is the mercy of God that we may be like Him in our forgiveness of others.  If Jesus could forgive those who were crucifying Him, we can forgive those who hurt us.  If almost no sin is too great for God to forgive, then no one who sins against us is not worthy of our forgiveness.  May we be merciful, just as God has been merciful to us.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I pray that You will have mercy on me, a sinner. Help me to show mercy to others today when they wrong me or sin against me. Help me to forgive those in my life whom I have had a hard time forgiving. Thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness, grace and love. In the name of Jesus, amen.



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