Posts Tagged ‘Mercy


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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