The One True God is Merciful
by Gini Crawford, MSW
The mercy of God
God is merciful. This means He feels great compassion and heartfelt sympathy towards us because of our suffering and struggles - the misery from sin. His mercy gives Him an active desire to remove those miseries from us. God's mercy also brings alleviation of the consequences of our sin. God loved us in mercy and gave to us in grace, resulting in our eternal life with a rich inheritance in heaven. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:3-5). When you think no one has sympathy or compassion towards you, remember God does! He died to give you compassion.
The LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you... Isaiah 30:18a NASB®
God's mercy is shown to us through Jesus Christ
We didn't deserve God's mercy, because we were walking on a path of rebellion against God. There was no reason for God to show us mercy, because as sinners we were His enemies, deserving His wrath. We didn't love God but He loved us, and sent His Son to die for us, so we could receive His mercy. (Romans 5:9-10; 1 John 4:10). God's mercy towards me, makes me want to lift up my hands toward the heavens in thanksgiving, and say to my God, "I love you, LORD!" Is God worth your love? He thinks you are worth His love.
And you were dead...in your sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world... Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath... But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:1-5 NASB®
The life-changing power of God's mercy
About 24 years ago in Rwanda, a man wielding a machete killed a woman's child, and cut off her hand while doing it. Years later, this same woman decided to give mercy to the man that killed her child, and as a result she forgave him. Now they are friends serving the God that gave them both mercy and forgiveness through the death of His Son.
When I first read the story above, I thought, "How can the woman have mercy on the man who killed her child?" Then God made it very clear to me - it was Him and His loving mercy within her. God's mercy, as the story illustrates, works miracles in our lives.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy...whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. / ...keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. Titus 3:4-6, Jude 1:21 NASB®
Giving others mercy always seems to bring about a beautiful relational healing. I have seen it many times in my life and in others. We all need mercy. I know I need it quite often. You too?
Our merciful High Priest
High Priest is a name of Jesus. In the Old Testament, God appointed priests to offer sacrifices, prayers and praise to Him on behalf of the people. In doing so they made the people acceptable to come into God's presence in a limited way. The head priest was called the high priest.
Things changed in a very wonderful way in the New Testament. Jesus became our eternal and merciful High Priest. Instead of offering animal sacrifices, Jesus offered Himself once, to permanently pay for our sins. Because of Jesus' sacrificial mercy on the cross, we can now be in God's very presence, and pray and praise Him personally.
Our High Priest, Who is on His throne in heaven, is always with us. He always intercedes for us. He can sympathize with us because He has been one of us. He will always give us His abundant grace and mercy. (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-16, 7:23-27). As I write this, even after decades of knowing God, I am still in awe over how much the One True God does for us because He loves us.
How do you feel about your High Priest's compassion toward you?
A question of mercy
John chapter eight is about a woman caught in adultery. Read John 8:1-11. Would you have picked up a stone and thrown it at her? The punishment for adultery was stoning. Or would you have given her mercy? Jesus gave her mercy. Jesus was probably writing the sins of everyone around Him in the sand, to remind them that they are sinners too. We need to keep in mind we are sinners, needing mercy and forgiveness. This thought helps me to give mercy to others. How about you?
None of us deserves God's mercy, but He abundantly gives us sympathy and compassion. We want mercy but at times refuse to give it to others. Ask yourself, do you show other people mercy? If you are having trouble showing mercy, just remember the rich mercy God has given you, even when you don't deserve it. Read Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:35-36; Hebrews 4:14-16.
From these passages write down some insights about mercy.
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