Mercy, Mercy Me

Praying through the Navigator’s tool “30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God,” we come to a characteristic of God that we all want… mercy.  Yet, have we really thought about what mercy means in our own lives?

quoting from the Navigator tool:

God is merciful
God’s merciful compassion is infinite and inexhaustible. Through Christ, He took the judgment that was rightfully ours and placed it on His own shoulders.  He waits and works now for all people to turn to Him and to live under His justification.

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.  For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.         Deuteronomy 4:29–31

Mercy is humankind’s favorite word when describing God.  We love the fact that He is truly a merciful God.  But do we really understand His mercy?  Being totally just, God will not just wink and say, “Well – Kids will be kids.  I’m give them mercy and overlook what they deserve for their rebellious, selfish, disobedience.”  God can’t ignore sin – even if we’d like Him to.  But He does want to show us mercy – what’s a just God to do?

The answer is Jesus.

If we’re going to be honest, we’ll admit that we don’t want to obey God… instead we want to do our own thing.  We want to decide our own fate and not surrender to God to work out our future.  We are sinners.  Even if you’ve told the smallest lie or taken a penny that didn’t belong to you (like the pens, paper, paperclips, and rubber bands from your workplace), you are a sinner.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.       James 4:17   

But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,         Romans 3:21 

God had a problem.  Man is a sinner.  As a sinner, man deserves judgment and separation from a holy God.  Someone perfect has to pay that judgment – someone who doesn’t owe the debt for sin needs to pay the bill for sinful mankind.  Jesus paid the penalty for all of man.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.       Philippians 2:5–8  

Let’s think for just a moment on the difference between “Grace” and “Mercy” with this simple definition.  “Grace” is getting what we don’t deserve.  “Mercy is NOT getting what we DO deserve.

He is a merciful God indeed.  Aren’t you glad?  Next time you’re going to God in prayer, tell the Heavenly Father that you understand and appreciate that mercy.

Think about it…

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