Wednesday, February 10, 2016


The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  Psalm 145:8

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines mercy as: 1.) compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; 2.) lenient or compassionate treatment; 3.) imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder; 4.) a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion; 5.) a fortunate circumstance; 6.) compassionate treatment of those in distress.
Some people get mercy and grace mixed up.  Mercy is flat out deliverance from the punishment we deserve for our sins.  Mercy is deliverance from judgement.  Grace is extending kindness and blessings despite that fact that we don’t deserve it.  It is kindness extended to the unworthy.  They are distinctly different, yet go hand in hand.
I find great comfort in the passage above that says the Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger…Yes, my Lord and Savior will need a lot of patience with me!  And I am so grateful He is slow to anger.  I can promise you that I have taken full advantage of his mercy and compassion.  I have also used every one of those mercies that are new every morning like the verse below talks about.  I need that clean slate to start with every day, and sometimes I need it again before it is even lunchtime.  That is the good news about our Lord.  His love is unfailing and He extends mercy to us every time we need it.  He never runs out.  The Bible says But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our sin, made us alive together with Christ. Ephesians 2:.4-5. 
Because of His unfailing love I can know I am forgiven and I can know that He will not turn me away, no matter how many times I fail.  He loved me when I was dead in my sin and brought me back to life.  This is what gives me the strength to get up again after every fall.  This is also what gives me a heart of mercy for others who deserve judgement.  How can I possibly have the unfailing love of the God of the Universe in my heart and not show mercy and grace to others who fail me?  If He can give me mercy, then I can surely show His love to another undeserving sinner like myself.  How could I not?  What right would I have to withhold mercy?  As Christians, perhaps our greatest testimony to the world is how we treat those who mistreat us. 
God has been clear in His Word about how we are to respond in these situations.  Matthew 5:7 says Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  No, I absolutely do not want to do anything to empty the mercy bank I have with God.  So, if showing mercy to others means I will be shown mercy then, yes I will be merciful because I know I need all the mercy I can get.  I am thankful not only when God shows me mercy but also when others show me mercy as well.  I know what that feels like and as a child of God I want to help others when they are in that same place.  The mercy and compassion of a Christian may be what turns one unbeliever to Christ.  Bitterness, resentfulness, and refusing to forgive will hurt you much more than the person you are trying to exact punishment on.  This doesn’t mean allowing someone to continue hurting you, but only that we should forgive and show mercy as God shows us

Scripture to Claim:
The steadfast love of the Lᴏʀᴅ never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22–23)

by Lara Cook

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