Day Four: Experience God's Mercy
Ephesians 2:4–5, “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.”
As a teenager, I received a few speeding tickets, and on one occasion was invited to a court to explain myself before a judge. There was no getting around the fact that I was guilty. I knew it and the judge knew it. I admitted my guilt and asked the judge to extend mercy, which he granted. I didn’t deserve pardon, but I experienced the judge’s mercy.
Throughout the book of Psalms, we read the phrase, “have mercy on me, oh Lord.” The psalmists knew they deserved punishment yet they pleaded for mercy, which is also translated “compassion.” The good news is that God is rich in mercy, and because of this, his wrath does not consume us.
Mercy is closely connected to grace in a sense that both are the foundation of forgiveness. Neither is based on merit, but both are received as gifts from God. Like grace, mercy from God is never deserved and is always generated by His character. Salvation is God’s merciful act of withholding His wrath and eternal punishment as well as His grace in granting forgiveness and eternal life.
Mercy is unique in that it is sometimes translated as “compassion” or “pity.” Jesus was moved with compassion and showed mercy when he encountered the hurting, sick, or downcast.
It is interesting to note that mercy is extended from the larger to the smaller, the rich to the poor, the strong to the weak, and the righteous to the sinner. God, who is completely holy, extends mercy to us as sinners.
In what areas of your life have you received mercy?
Where do you need to extend mercy toward others?
Based on what you have read and what God is saying to you, what decisions do you need to make?