Growing up, I have always heard what I call the “You Stink Gospel”. It is when much more of the focus is on how bad YOU are and how lucky WE are to have Jesus. I have heard this preached countless amounts of times. While there is truth in this, it always produced the same result of only looking to myself instead of Jesus. And from there, it made my walk with Jesus much more focused on what I do and always holding myself and everyone else to this level that we could never reach on our own. So with this thinking, I had this mindset that mercy is all about what I can get away with. But mercy is all about the extreme goodness of God. God’s mercy triumphs over judgement through Christ Jesus. He is the Merciful One! He is greater than law! He is greater than religion! He is perfect!
Lamentations 3:22-23 says Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Before we move on I need to clarify the difference between mercy and grace because they often times get used interchangeably when they are actually quite different. Mercy is when you DON’T get what you DO deserve. Grace is when you DO get what you DON’T deserve. How thankful are you that we have the Merciful One? It is all about Jesus. He is so good. Psalm 89:14 says mercy and truth go before Your face. That means you cannot come into His presence and not experience mercy. He is so good!
We are supposed to do two things with mercy. We are to receive mercy and release mercy. In our world today, society has made mercy and weakness walk hand in hand. But God is the exact opposite of weak. He is strong. He is perfectly strong. And He is merciful! So it is wise to believe that mercy and strength actually go together. It takes a truly strong person in the Lord to forgive and portray mercy to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Here are some points on how to overflow in mercy.
1)The prerequisite to having true mercy is having true humility
Micah 6:8 And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Like we covered earlier, Jesus is the Merciful One. He is mercy. What He did at the cross is the very act of mercy. There is a posture of humility that we must keep. Many people confuse this with condemnation but these positions are very different. Jesus has set us free of condemnation. We are to live as Jesus did and he was never under condemnation so neither should we. He was the definition of humility. We must never think ourselves better than anyone else or think less of others. We have all made mistakes and needed Jesus to save our lives. If we don’t keep in this place of humility, it is too easy to step into a place of judgement and being critical. This is the most important thing to do in walking in true mercy.
2) Delight in Mercy
“He delights in mercy” Micah 7:18
In both verses in Micah, it talks about loving mercy and how God delights in mercy. That is a revolutionary concept. It is so God to delight in mercy. He is so good. You can’t say it enough or exaggerate His goodness. A lot times when we have an opportunity to show mercy,
we choose to try prove that we are right instead. It isn’t always about being right. It’s about being in agreement and walking in harmony together in love as His body. Even if a leader offends you, walk in mercy. Even if someone says something rude to you, walk in mercy. Even if someone totally disagrees with you, walk in mercy. No matter your situation, you are called to be merciful. When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He asks His Father to forgive everyone. And then, He forgives the thief hanging on the cross next to Him. That is true mercy. And when you are 100% in the right and it seems like everything is coming against you, you need to learn to allow God to be your defender. Even if it takes time, it is always better to have God defend you than you defend yourself out of the flesh and your own spirit. We operate through the spirit. We must choose mercy. We live in such a crazy world and time. But I really believe mercy can be on the of the greatest evangelism tools you use to introduce others to the Merciful One.
Challenge: Start your day and receive His love. Ask Him to show you how much He loves you. Then, you are properly equipped to respond to whatever the day brings. Choose to delight in mercy.