Friday, November 17, 2017

Mercy and Truth (Psalm 85:10)

Today’s scripture: Psalm 85:10

I know I’ve said this before, but I do love the psalms. The authors of those 150 pieces of poetry offer praise and worship alongside cries of pain and suffering.

Sometimes, though, I read a psalm—or often just a verse—and my heart is touched by the beauty of its words.

Psalm 85:10 is one of those. Look at these words again:

“Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed.”

Beautiful!

We’ve defined mercy as not getting what we do deserve, and when we marry it with truth, it’s breath-taking. The God of all truth, the Author and Creator of all things, shows mercy on His creation. Instead of the eternal death we do deserve, He offers salvation.

But then the words, “righteousness and peace have kissed.” Righteousness through salvation makes us holy in the eyes of God, which brings peace beyond human comprehension (Phil. 4:7).

Meditate on the beauty of these words. And then praise God for His mercy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mercy to Others (Matthew 9:12-13)

Today’s scripture: Matthew 9:12-13

Our Lord deserves all our worship and praise. He deserves sacrifice of our time, talents, and treasures.

But He wants more than that. He wants us to be His hands and feet in a broken, hurting world. He wants us to be His light in darkness.

He wants us to show mercy to the sick, to the difficult, to the (in our eyes) undeserving. He wants us to show love to the unlovable. He wants us to show grace when we receive nothing in return.

Our Lord’s heart is to save sinners, and when we’re “Jesus in the flesh,” unbelievers will see Him and want to know more about Him.

It’s a privilege we shouldn’t take for granted.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Mercy for the Rebel (Daniel 9:9)

Today’s scripture: Daniel 9:9

Oh, I understand rebellion. Unfortunately …

I’ve shared much of my story over the years, so you may be familiar with my being raised in a Christian home and asking Jesus to come into my heart as a child. But painful experiences with abuse led me on a very long path of rebellion.

For many years, I did my own thing, made my own decisions, followed my own plan.

Things seemed to be going well … on the outside. But inside, I was depressed to the point of questioning if life was worth living.

Praise God, I found my way back to the Father, and He showered me with “mercy and forgiveness” in spite of my rebellion.

If you’ve rebelled, come back to the Father. He’s waiting with open arms.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mercy and Redemption (Exodus 15:13)

Today’s scripture: Exodus 15:13

We who’ve followed Christ for a while tend to use a lot of words that nonbelievers may not understand … at least not in the same way we do. Grace. Faith. Joy. Salvation.

And redeemed.

Redeem is something you do when you use a coupon; you redeem it and get a discount.

For Christ-followers, redeemed means something very different
. Easton Bible Dictionary defines redemption as “the purchase back of something that has benn lost, by the payment of a ransom.”

This is a great definition. We were lost in our sin. One might even say we were kidnapped and held captive by sin. But in His incomprehensible love, grace and mercy, J
esus Christ paid the penalty for our sins. He paid the ransom.

And so we are saved. We are clean.

We are redeemed!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Mercy and Compassion (Zechariah 7:9-10)

Today’s scripture: Zechariah 7:9-10

Sometimes, mercy and compassion seem to go hand-in-hand.

If I’m going to show mercy toward someone, I also need to show them compassion.

We’ve defined mercy as not getting what we do deserve. Compassion can be defined as “
sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it(Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

So if these attributes are put together …

If someone wrongs me and then shows true remorse, I should “desire to alleviate” the other’s “distress” by not giving him what he does deserve: condemnation.

And this is where a bit of grace comes in …

I need to forgive that “someone” (in other words, give him what he does not deserve).

Mercy and compassion … and grace.

Hand-in-hand. 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Great Mercy (Luke 1:57-58)

Today’s scripture: Luke 1:57-58

When the Lord revealed to me that I wasn’t going to have children of my own, I have to admit, verses about God’s mercy in providing children to barren women (and there are several in the Bible) made me a bit melancholy.

Why did He show mercy to them and not to me?

It took a while, but I finally realized that He had “shown great mercy” to me in a couple of ways.

First, He answered my prayer for peace when His will was not for children.

Second, He did give me children—children of my heart and spiritual children. I have great nieces and nephews (and now great-nieces and nephews!) and “adopted” children, those young people whose lives I’ve been blessed to influence. I also have been exceedingly blessed to share the good news of salvation when I speak, and seeds have been planted and watered through God’s words through me.

So, now when I read those stories, I rejoice in God’s mercy … for them and for me.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Mercy ... All Along (Genesis 39:21)

Today’s scripture: Genesis 39:21

The story of Joseph is likely familiar to most of us. A favored son. A slightly cocky teen. Sold into slavery by jealous brothers. Accused of attempted rape. Imprisoned. Forgotten.

Joseph had every reason to give up, to doubt, to reject God.

Yet, in each situation, Joseph knew that the Lord was with him, “show[ing] him mercy.”

His trust never wavered, so when he was finally released from prison and elevated to the second-highest ruler in the kingdom, he gave all credit to his merciful God. He was able to say with a sincere heart, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (NLT Gen. 50:20).

He saw God’s mercy all along.

Are you in a “prison”? Have you been betrayed? Have you been wrongfully accused? Don’t lose hope in merciful God. One day, you too will be able to see how God intends to use your situation for good … if you don’t lose heart.