Rich in Mercy by Pastor Scott
“Rich in Mercy”
The LORD is gracious and merciful, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion and mercy on all he has made.
Mercy Defined: the acts of God that demonstrate His tenderhearted, loving compassion toward the needy.
“Mercy is kindness exercised toward the miserable, and includes pity, compassion, forbearance, and gentleness, which the Scriptures so abundantly ascribe to God.” – Charles Hodge in Systematic Theology
Receiving mercy is a humbling act of surrender and showing mercy is a hard practice to faithfully demonstrate.
Please help me Lord and us as a church, to grow in the knowledge & grace of understanding and practicing acts of mercy.
Mercy Delivered: the source of mercy is God; the supply of mercy is “abundant” and the supplication for mercy is two-fold: our need for forgiveness undeserved and our need for compassion delivered beyond our own ability.
Forgiveness to meet an undeserved reconciliation-withholding punishment:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
According to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions;
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them;
Let them turn to our God, for He will freely forgive & pardon.
Compassion to meet an unachievable need-extending provision:
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!
My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” (Jesus said “yes” showing mercy and delivered her daughter)
A man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water” (Jesus said “bring the boy to me” showed mercy & healed)
Two blind men were sitting by the road, and heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” … Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Matthew 20:30-31, 34
Mercy Distributed: in our current study in Jude, we read that we have received mercy (1:1), we are waiting on mercy with expectation (1:21) – “wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” and that we are called to show mercy to others (those who doubt, those in danger & those defiled) – “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and rescue them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating the stains of corrupted flesh” (1:22).
In the parable of the unmerciful servant we hear this prompting question from the example of Jesus, “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” (Matthew 18:33).
Questions to discuss:
‡ How can LivingWaters become a merciful place for those who struggle with doubts about faith?
‡ What could it look like for us to reach out in mercy to those who are in dangerous places?
‡ How can we balance “not being defiled by evil” while cautiously speaking words of mercy into dark places?
A Prayer for Mercy:
But the tax collector stood at a distance, unwilling even to lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. – Luke 18:13-14
So, the Biblical teaching on mercy is clear, simple to understand, as people who have received mercy in the forms of forgiveness and compassion, we are called to extend mercy in the practice of forgiveness and to go to the hurting or suffering in the practices of comfort and compassion. The actual activity and practices of mercy are not so simple.
May God give us the grace to grow and become His people of mercy.
Praising God for His Mercy shown:
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” – Ephesians 2:5