Day Two: God's Mercy

by Arch Hoercher

Because of God’s great love for mankind He had mercy upon us.  Because of His mercy He sent His son to die for all men’s transgressions and then to be resurrected from the dead.   1Peter1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  Because of God’s love he had mercy upon us.  Because of His mercy, He sent His Son.  God’s mercy, like His love, is available for all men no matter how bad or evil they may think they are.  
    

Paul was shown mercy.  He was a persecutor of the church and was responsible for the death and imprisonment of many believers.   1 Timothy 1:12-14, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service.  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown MERCY because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”    Paul is saying that even as bad as Paul thought that he was, God showed him mercy.  God’s mercy is available to everyone, no matter how big of a sinner one might think that they are.  1 Timothy 1:15-16, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.”

I, at times, dwell on my past sins and wonder if God could really forgive me.  I get down on myself and cannot believe that God could really forgive me and use me.  I sometimes have to remind myself that God uses the broken ones to show that He is the One in control and will show mercy to whom He wishes to show mercy to.  I am reminded that He used Moses who killed a man in anger.  He used David, an adulterer and knowingly sent a man to his death.  Jonah who disobeyed and ran away from God and was angry because God showed mercy.  Paul who was a persecutor and destroyer of the church.  Peter who was a boastful and angry man.  God uses the imperfect to manifest His perfection and will.  It is all because of His mercy.

The Bible tells us that mercy is an essential quality of God (Exodus 34:6-7 – Deuteronomy 4:31 – Psalm 62:12).  Mercy is God’s delight (Micah 7:18 – Psalm 52:8).  He is the Father of mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3).  God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4).    His mercy is abundant (Psalm 86:5, 15 – Psalm 119:64 and is everlasting (1 Chronicles 16:34 – Ezra 3:11 – Psalm 100:5).  In the New Testament “mercy” is a distinctive word characterizing God as revealed to man.  

Mercy by definition: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.  God definitely has the power to punish or harm, but instead has shown mercy and has awarded forgiveness to those who accept His gift of mercy, our Lord Jesus Christ.  And when we accept, Jesus Christ,  God’s love offering given in mercy we receive and have access to Grace – unending and all encompassing Grace.