Throughout 2017 we are going through words that you’ve heard, but not necessarily have fully understood. In January, we went through the word Grace. In January we learned that the Greek word for grace is charis and it denotes unwarranted favor or blessings from our Father in Heaven.
This month, we’re dealing with a word that often goes hand and hand when you hear about grace. That word is mercy. We now know that grace is God Almighty giving us something we don’t deserve. Mercy is our merciful Father in Heaven not giving us what we do deserve.
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) [Ephesians 2:4-5, NLT]
Mercy is a Shepherd still loving and caring for their flock even when the sheep go astray and do what they want instead of how their Shepherd guides and instructs them.
In Psalm 51, David, in light of his many transgressions against God’s holy ways in his episode with Bathsheba, pleads to God to ask him to forgive him and make him clean. He says,
1 “Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.”
How many of us have been in the same place as David? We may not have gone as far as summoning a woman to our palace, had an affair with her and then killed her husband to cover it up, but we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve all stretched the truth. We’ve all at one time taken something that wasn’t ours. Which one of us hasn’t coveted something someone else had that we didn’t? Let’s follow David’s example and ask for our Father’s mercy when we fail and fall short. To petition our Father with our shortcomings and ask for his heavenly mercy to fall upon us.
We’re not called on to only ask for our Father’s mercy, we are called to love mercy and to practice it. Think of a sister showing love to a brother who may have hurt her, even when the pain still cuts deep. A friend looking past, even forgiving, the hurt of a trusted friend who walked away from a friendship without any reason given. Who has hurt you? Who can you show mercy to? Do you think the pain is too deep to forgive? The same Father who sent His one and only Son to die on a cross for every single one of our sins, yours and mine, still shows us mercy when we betray his trust. Can anything anyone has done to us compare to that? Psalm 103:17 says “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him.” We’ve been instructed to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. It’s a pretty simple formula for peace.
Father in Heaven, we praise You for who You are! Your Word says that Your mercy is from everlasting to everlasting for those who fear You. We praise You for Your unending mercy; for Your love that never abandons us! Lord, there are times that we selfishly hold on to bitterness, envy and anger knowing fully that it’s not right. It’s not Your plan for us nor what You’ve instructed us in Your Word. Father, we’ve sinned against You in so many ways. We ask that You would purify us from our sins, and we know we will be clean; would you wash us, and we will be whiter than snow. Thank you for your desire to commune with us, for us to be close to You. You are a loving Creator and we can’t ever fully fathom Your love, but we accept it and are so eternally thankful dear Father. We pray these things to You, our merciful Father, Amen.