Tag Archives: mercy

Mercy And Healing

Have you ever done something wrong and then tried to cover it up? Of course you have. You’re human. There’s something inside of us that think if we cover it up, no one will know and it will go away. I’ve been trying it since I was a kid. In fact, my friends and I once started a fire when we were young. When it started smoking a lot, we tried to cover it up…with dried up pine needles. The fire roared even bigger. Instead of asking an adult for help, we went to my friend’s brother who was only two years older. By the time he realized he couldn’t put it out either, a neighbor saw the blaze and called the fire department who came and prevented a huge forest fire. By then, there was still significant damage we could have avoided had we confessed sooner.

I’ve found that people are more willing to forgive your shortcomings when you’re open and honest about them. But there’s this voice in our heads that creates doubts and insecurities in us. It tells us, “If they knew this about you, they would never talk to you.” When we listen to that voice, we choose to cover up our sins, failures and shortcomings which compounds the problem. We know it doesn’t work, but we try anyway thinking we might get away with it this time. The temptation to cover things up is such a challenge that it’s often more tempting than the temptation to sin. The problem is that sin covered up is unconfessed sin.

Proverbs 28:13 says, “If you cover up your sin you’ll never do well. But if you confess your sins and forsake them, you will be kissed by mercy” (TPT). We confess our sins to God for forgiveness. We confess them to others for healing. We need to get better at showing people mercy for their confessed sins. That’s the only way to break this cycle of covering up sins. We all sin, and we all need mercy and grace from each other. Jesus said it was the merciful who will obtain mercy. Let mercy start with you today.

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

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Led By God’s Love

I grew up seeing things very black and white. I believed I had a firm grasp on all the rules in the Bible. The way I interpreted those rules was simple, if you broke any of them, you were going straight to Hell. There was no room for mercy or grace in my mind because those things don’t follow the rules very well. They aren’t easily definable and didn’t fit into my black and white world. It wasn’t until I got older that I began to make room for those in my mind and in my life. The more I looked at the things Jesus did, the more I saw that He wasn’t about the rules as much as the Pharisees were.

One of the stories that helps me to see differently is in Luke 13:10-17. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. There was a woman listening who had arthritis so bad that her body was twisted and she couldn’t look up. Jesus saw her, laid hands on her and healed her. The head person was furious with Jesus. He said, “Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath.” But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. So why isn’t it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?” (MSG).

Jesus was telling them and us that it’s not just about the rules. We’ve got to have compassion, mercy, love and grace too. As I said, those don’t always fit into our predefined understanding of the rules, but Jesus constantly showed us that those things trumped the rules we try to force people to live by. Jesus was constantly at odds with the legalism of the Jewish leaders and did things like this to help open their eyes to what God really wants from us. A life led by God’s love for others will always yield more fruit than one bound by legalistic thinking. Yes, we need the rules, but without compassion we miss the point.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

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God Listens


Have you ever been talking to someone only to figure out they were looking at you, but not listening? It’s frustrating. You’re going through the emotions that you feel, describing each detail to them, and they aren’t even paying attention. Would you go back to that person the next time you needed the support of a listening ear? No! You wanted someone to listen and to help you, and they weren’t even giving you the respect of listening.

Have you ever felt like God was that way? Have you felt like you poured out your heart to Him in prayer, but it was like He wasn’t listening? It’s frustrating to be in prayer and to feel like your prayers aren’t escaping the room you’re in. Maybe you’ve tried praying louder or just sat there weeping in that place crying out to God for mercy. In any case, God is not like us. He does not have selective hearing. He hears every prayer, even those that seem to fall flat on the floor.

In Psalm 116:1-2, the Psalmist wrote, “I love the Lord, because he hears me; he listens to my prayers. He listens to me every time I call to him” (GNT). God hears every prayer you’ve ever prayed from the silent ones that you could barely muster the energy to say to the loud “can you hear me” prayers. When you and I pour out our heart before God, we have a guarantee that He hears us and listens to us.

We are not guaranteed to have every prayer answered, but we are guaranteed an audience with God every time we pray. Since He gives us an audience and hears us, we should have confidence and approach His throne where we will find mercy and grace to help us just when we need it (Hebrews 4:16). We don’t have to leave prayer frustrated because we know He hears us, and if He hears us, He will give us the grace and mercy we need for whatever our situation holds.

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God Is Merciful


There was a time when David sinned that God let him choose his own punishment. God gave him three options: 1) Three years of famine 2) Three months of running from his enemies or 3) Three days of a severe plague. That’s a tough choice, but David thought about it and made a wise decision. He said, “They’re all terrible! But I’d rather be punished by GOD, whose mercy is great, than fall into human hands” (MSG)

David recognized that God is a lot more merciful than we are. He took his chances with a plague betting on God’s mercy and it paid off. Just as the angel bringing the plague was about to destroy Jerusalem, God stopped him because His mercy was greater than His desire to punish. God is a merciful God, yet someone how so many of us view Him as a punishing judge rather than a merciful father.

To help us see Him as merciful, here are some verses that talk about His mercy.

1. GOD is all mercy and grace— not quick to anger, is rich in love.

Psalm 145:8 MSG

2. Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.

Hebrews 4:16 GNT

3. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV

4. But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

Psalms 86:15 NLT

5. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:3 NLT

6. But GOD ’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

Isaiah 30:18 MSG

7. O GIVE thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.

Psalm 136:1 AMP

8. And he also wanted to reveal his abundant glory, which was poured out on us who are the objects of his mercy, those of us whom he has prepared to receive his glory.

Romans 9:23 GNT

9. How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!

Psalms 116:5 NLT

10. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

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Grace, Mercy And Peace

I was speaking to someone recently about the old computer operating system DOS. I remember as a kid learning how to write programs for DOS. We were taught to increase each command line by 10 so if you needed to add a line of programming later, you had the room. Another thing they taught us is the phrase, “If this, then that.” It was a way to tell the computer if the user does this, then I want you to skip to another line and run the program from there. It was all about cause and consequence. 

The Bible is full of “if this, then that” type phrases. In John 15:7 Jesus said, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you then you can ask whatever you will.” II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people will humble themselves and pray…, then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.” These are just a couple of examples. God puts conditions on many promises that require an action on our part first in order to activate them just like in the old DOS programming. If we don’t do the first part, then the next part is skipped.

Another conditional promise is found in II John 1:3. It says, “Grace, mercy and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ – the Son of the Father – will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. (NLT)” If we will continue to live in truth and love we will receive grace, mercy and peace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor which affords joy, delight and pleasure according to the Blue Letter Bible. The favor of God alone is enough, but John added in through his use of the word grace that we would also get joy, delight and pleasure by living in truth and love.

Next, he said we would get mercy. One of the definitions of mercy is to have the providence of God. That means that God will order your steps and guide your future. He won’t just let you wander. Your life will be filled with purpose which leads to the last promise of peace. When we live in love and truth, we will also get peace in our hearts, our minds and our lives. That includes peace with others. We will be someone who gets along with others and doesn’t have to carry the weight of stressful relationships because there’s no peace between you. God wants to give us these three blessings if we will simply live in truth and love.

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Mercy And Grace

  

As I’m driving somewhere with my preschool son in the car, most of the time he will say, “Dada, I NEED your phone.” I typically respond back, “You don’t NEED IT. You want it.” I wonder if that’s how God sees us with our prayers sometimes. We often cry out in desperation, “God, I NEED this answer to prayer!” The truth is that many of those NEED prayers are truly want prayers. We WANT it very badly and are desperate to get the answer, but the truth is, a lot of those prayers are not really needs. 

I’ve been reflecting on Hebrews 4:16 quite a bit. It says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (NLT)” I’ve quoted this scripture in many of my prayers, but I haven’t really broke it down until recently. I know that if I approach God’s throne of grace in prayer, He hears me. I often assume that because He hears me, He should answer according to the way I’m praying. That line of thinking has led to a lot of disappointment misdirected at God. 

The verse says that at His throne of grace, we will receive mercy. When I hear that, I think of blind Bartimaeus outside of Jericho. He heard that Jesus was passing by and knew that He healed people. Bartimaeus yelled out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! (NLT)” Jesus called him over, had mercy on him and healed him. When we approach God’s throne of grace, we are often crying out for God to have mercy on our request. Sometimes, He calls us over like Bartimaeus and grants us mercy and other times He gives us grace.

The last part of Hebrews 4:16 says that we will find grace to help us when we need it most. In II Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul talks of a thorn in his flesh that he asked God to remove. Instead of giving him mercy by removing it, God replied to him, “My grace is all you need.” God told him He wasn’t going to answer his request for mercy, but instead He would give him the grace to help him when he needed it most. He does the same for us. He gives us grace that is sufficient when He doesn’t answer our petition for mercy.

I don’t know what makes God choose grace over mercy so often. I wish I did. What I do know is that when He chooses grace, it’s enough. He has promised that whatever I face, He will give me grace that is sufficient to endure. He will be strong when I’m weak. He will carry me when I can’t seem to find the strength to move forward. Each time I approach God’s throne of grace, I know that I will either receive mercy to grant my request or I will receive grace to help me through the situation. Either way, I know that God has heard my plea and is giving me just what I need in order for Him to fulfill His purpose.

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10 Scriptures On Mercy

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1. Mercy to the needy is a loan to GOD, and GOD pays back those loans in full. (Proverbs 19:17 MSG)

2. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:23 NLT)

3. So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these]. (Luke 6:36 AMP)

4. But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5 GNT)

5. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NLT)

6. But GOD ’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. (Isaiah 30:18 MSG)

7. The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution. (Proverbs 11:17 AMP)

8. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (James 2:13 NLT)

9. Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just. (Psalm 112:4 GNT)

10. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (James 3:17-18 MSG)

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