A God kind of mercy

There was an incident today in which a child was disappointed. An expectation had been created that was not delivered. And apparently it was just an oversight, but it happened. It was explained to me that someone had made a mistake and that the mistake would be corrected. What this made me realize was that every time a child is wronged it breaks my heart. It seriously hurts me because I physically feel what that child is feeling. And really, it’s not just with children, it is anybody. I think God stirred in a big spoon of mercy when He made me. I cannot abide injustice. It hurts me to my core.

Mercy is something that God shows us in great abundance daily. Without mercy I don’t think the human race would still be in existence. The dictionary gives the meaning of mercy as: ‘compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.’

God definitely has the power to punish and harm us if He feels like it. His capacity for showing mercy alone would probably qualify Him to be God.

Exodus 20:6,  but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Psalm 85:10-13,

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,

That glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Truth shall spring out of the earth,

And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Yes, the Lord will give what is good;

And our land will yield its increase.

Righteousness will go before Him,

And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

These words are so beautiful, and the promise that is made is so precious. God will give us good things and we will prosper if we live out the salvation we have received through the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. And He will always go ahead of us. We know where we stand when we are children of God. We know that we never have to fear. We know that no matter how bad things look God is going through the storms with us.

Romans 9:15, For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

This verse seems to be a little strange at first but I interpret it as God saying, “If I feel like having mercy and compassion on someone that you think doesn’t deserve it, that’s My choice.” That means that we can’t deserve His mercy by doing things, just like we can’t earn salvation. People so badly want to be able to do things that will cause God to favour them. I think it’s born into humans because that’s what people are like. If you do certain things that please me then I will do what you need from me. And that is 100% not what God is like at all. The only thing we need to do is to accept Jesus to be our saviour. That’s it!

Joel 2:32,

And it shall come to pass

That whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Shall be saved.

For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,

As the Lord has said,

Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

Romans 10:9-13, if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God’s mercy is enough for us all and we need to be showing mercy towards others, and not a kind of condescending mercy that shouts of arrogance. We need to dig deep inside our souls and find that kind of compassion and mercy that God has shown for us every time we messed up and He reached out and put His arm around us and welcomed us home.

Mercy is a purple dress

I had one of those days! You know, those days where so many little things go wrong that you think staying in bed all day might not have been a bad idea at all. And then someone broke the milkshake mug. The one that has a special design so that only that one can fit into the milkshake machine. It sort of just added insult to injury! So I went home to look for the epoxy glue. The kind that comes in two tubes that you have to mix. I have one of those drawers where all the odds and ends land up. I’m sure most people have one of those. I found one. And two empty ones. I was slightly upset but I remembered I had a small box of more odds and ends that I had put on a bookshelf when we moved to this house. And, there it was, the first thing I saw when I opened up the box. My whole day has been restored. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy, and this was one of those small mercies.

Luke 5:9, “For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which he had taken.” That’s how I felt. I was so happy that God hadn’t actually forgotten about me. I know in my heart that He never forgets about me, but my flesh is very much inclined to forget!

Deuteronomy 6:12, “then, beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” As I said, my flesh is inclined to forget that God will never forget me, but also very much inclined to forget about God! How many times do I try to do things on my own, in my own strength. Today went badly because I was mostly doing it in my own strength. Reacting too quickly, not consulting God when I made a decision. If the bad parts were because I didn’t consult God, then what was the glue that I found? I didn’t consult God about it either. It was mercy, pure, undeserved mercy.

Titus 3:4-8, “But when the kindness and the love of God our savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”

Now, if God can do that for us, such a big thing, what are the little things to Him? We like to do our own thing and just muddle through, when everything could be so much better if we involve God in our daily routine. We could just become quiet and ask Him something simple like, should I do this or shouldn’t I? And He answers. God isn’t too busy to care about the little things in our lives. I remember in 2015, I was going to a ladies camp. About a week before the camp I dreamed that I was wearing a purple dress. It seems irrelevant, but I never wore purple, ever. When I woke up I remembered it so clearly and thought, “I didn’t look too bad in that purple dress, maybe I can wear purple,” Later that morning I checked my emails and there was an email about the things we had to take along to the camp. Right at the end of the list was written: Bring an item of purple clothing for Sunday. I was completely blown away. God cared enough about me to let me know that I could wear purple. He didn’t want me to feel terrible when I realized I was expected to wear purple. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, and nothing is too small for Him to care about. Hallelujah!

Your mercies are new

Renovations at our shop have been going on now for almost 2 months. It feels like two months going on for two years. The pressure of working in less space has been getting to me. My desk has been shoved behind a Coca-Cola fridge in the back corner of the shop. The seating has been moved out to accommodate the equipment that has come from the part that’s being worked on. The whole shop is going to receive a facelift and a lot of much needed TLC. It’s going to be really awesome when it’s done, but right now everything is a mess. At the end of last week I thought I couldn’t take another week of building!

Lamentations 3:17 says, “You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.” We feel like that sometimes. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of believing things are never going to change.
Then I realized that I was living under the circumstances and not above them. Psalm 121 says, ‘I lift my eyes to the hills…” Obviously help doesn’t come from the hills, it comes from God. But if we don’t lift our eyes off of the circumstances we aren’t going anywhere. We will never see the forest if we keep staring at the trees. We need to step back and realize that everything is temporary and leads to the next thing. We don’t need to know what the next thing is, only that there is a next thing. Lamentations 3:22 – 23: “Through the Lord ’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.”
His mercies are new every morning. We just need to remember that. Every new day brings new challenges but it also brings new mercy, new grace, new opportunities.
I undertake not to live under my circumstances but to look above them, to lift my eyes and see what the Lord has for me. To see the mercies that every new morning brings.

Grace and Mercy

The ‘grace’ I’m referring to means free, unmerited favour or goodwill. Clemency, mercy.

In music a grace note is an extra note added for embellishment.

  1. God shows grace

    1. Ps 84:11 – For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

    2. Proverbs 3:34 – Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.

    3. Deut 9:5 – 6 – It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God drives them out from before you, ad that He may fulfil the word which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  6. Therefore understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.

We are a lot like the Israelites who came out of Egypt. We like to complain. We like to selectively recall events out of our past according to the mood we’re in. We like to look back and say ‘if only’. If only I had invested in bitcoin three years ago I would be a multi-millionaire now. If only I hadn’t wasted my time by hanging out in clubs instead of studying for my degree. If only I hadn’t fallen with my skateboard and hurt my knee, I might have been selected for the national soccer team and been rich and famous. If only I quit smoking 10 years ago I wouldn’t have had lung cancer now. And so it goes on. If only, if only, if only. The Israelites weren’t any better. If only they had stayed in Egypt they wouldn’t be starving and in danger. They forget to add that they were slaves in Egypt and treated worse than dirt!

We want our rewards and we want them now. We want to pray a quick prayer and have it answered immediately. Not only do we want it answered right away, we want the answer that we want to hear.

Grace is when I don’t do anything to receive favour, but I receive it anyway. I go to work every day just as usual and one day the boss call me in and gives me a huge raise. That’s grace. I didn’t work particularly hard or do anything special to deserve the raise.

Mercy – a disposition to temper justice with mildness. Clemency, compassion.

Micah 7:18 – Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgressions of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Titus 3:5 – He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 6:36 – Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

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

Mercy is when you deserved to be punished but you aren’t. If I pour a glass of Coca-Cola onto your laptop keyboard because I’m mad at you and your keyboard gets fried, and you don’t get mad at me and demand for me to replace your laptop. You just wipe it off and go out and buy a new laptop. That is mercy. I was purposely vindictive towards you and you didn’t retaliate at all. God shows us mercy all the time. How many times have you done things that just aren’t right? And you didn’t get struck by lightning or fall down dead. As these versed illustrate God shows us mercy all the time and He also expects us to show mercy to others. Matthew 5:7 even says that if we are merciful we will be shown mercy. Showing mercy is not a sign of weakness. Quite the opposite. It is much easier to give a harsh answer or to mete out punishment than to be merciful and give someone a second chance, especially if the other person has hurt our family, our finances or our feelings. It’s the principle of reaping what you sow. I really, really want God to show me mercy. Hebrews 10:31 – ‘It is a fearsome thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’

Let us grow in grace and be merciful for the sake of our own souls.