The Merciful God

“For the LORD thy God is a merciful God.” (Deuteronomy 4:31)

“Kindness is a law of God’s universe. The world was planned for happiness. Even now that sin has so sadly marred God’s handiwork, and introduced elements which were not from the beginning, the Lord yet has so arranged matters that the Fall is broken, the curse is met by an antidote, and the inevitable pain is softened with mitigations. Yea, even in this sin-stricken world there are abundant traces of a Hand skilful to soothe distress and heal disease.

“We may be sure of this – that the Lord has never taken delight in the ills of His creatures, but has sought their good always and hath laid Himself out to alleviate the distresses into which they have guiltily plunged themselves.” (Charles H Spurgeon)

Mercy is God withholding from us what we DO deserve, and giving to us what we DO NOT deserve. James Ryle

blessing 2Nothing stirs our hearts to adoration and worship greater than MERCY. One need only browse the Psalms to see this is true. The great theme of David’s praise was the mercy of the Lord. “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy” (Psa.145:8).

The Lord is powerful in a generous way – that’s gracious. He is sympathetic in a mighty way – that’s full of compassion. He is patient in a loving way – that’s slow to anger. And, He is merciful in an abundant way – that’s great mercy.

We all NEED mercy, and we each receive it to some measure or another in our lives – for “the Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psa.145:9)

But, in order to FULLY experience the Mercy of the Lord, three things must take place:

First, We Must Ask for It — “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, abounding in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5).

This was best seen when the tax collector, standing afar off from the Temple entrance and would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13).

Jesus tells us that this man went home justified. I love the way one Jamaican pastor put it – “God, He say him all right.”

Second, We Must Give it Away to Others — Jesus said it plain enough, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). This fits with the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would that others do unto you.”

How can you honestly expect God to show you mercy if you yourself are unwilling to show mercy to others. This illustrates one of the great truths of the Kingdom – if you want to keep it, you must give it away. The Psalmist put it this way, “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful.” Psalm 18:25

Third, We Must Honor the Merciful God in how we Live — “The LORD watches over all who honor him, who trust and obey Him, who hope in His unfailing mercy” (Psalm 33:18).

God is no man’s patsy. He cannot be played like a cheap fiddle. Perhaps some suppose they can continue in a life of selfish pride, banking on God’s mercy to bail ‘em out anytime trouble hits. They are in for a rude awakening.

The Lord watches over those who honor Him with grateful hearts and obedient lives. Gratitude is the true evidence of experiencing God’s mercy. A thankful heart and a trusting mind will always step forward in the presence of the Lord whenever His mercy is shown.

“The LORD is always merciful and kind to those who worship and honor him, and He keeps his promises to their descendants who are true to his covenant and faithfully obey him.” (Psalm 103:17-18).

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