Regarding God’s mercy, there are several things Scripture clearly states:
- It is reaped when righteousness is sown (Hosea 10:12)
- It is a function of His sovereignty; He will show mercy to whomever He will (Romans 9:15)
- It endures forever
- It is a function of covenant (Deuteronomy 7:9)
- It protects from destruction (Lamentations 3:22)
- It has a target (Romans 9:23)
- God is full of mercy (James 5:11)
- We can be confident (Psalm 13:5) in it, rejoice in it (Psalm 31:7), and pray for it (Psalm 51:1)
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but it frames a solid context for our next lesson on how we live the queenly character of mercy. Let’s review the guiding principles:
- There is no reward for selective mercy (Luke 6:36)
- We need God’s mercy to die to ourselves and reign with Him (Romans 12:1)
- The character of mercy protects others from penalty (Lamentations 3:22-23)
- Mercy is part of the answer to the prayer to be more like God (Colossians 3:12-13)
There are daily reminders of our need for God’s mercy. There are also reminders of our need to extend God’s mercy. It is even attached to a blessing in Matthew 5:7 — those who show mercy will be shown mercy. It’s a kind of measuring stick…and could inspire us to keep a clear awareness of our motives.
Mercy is not apathy. It is not laziness and inactivity. Being merciful does not ignore issues of accountability. It does not equal door mat, but it also does not demand its “rights”.
As with the other queenly characteristics, mercy is active and it takes attention, energy, and discipline to live out. It is an expression of our growing relationship with God. When I show mercy I honor the transforming work of Christ in my life/heart/soul and protect others from the “fire” in me that would like to consume them. That’s powerful, that as we grow in grace we learn mercy. We learn the value of another’s life and respect their value enough to protect them from us and show mercy.
Ah, this could go on… but we’ll be on the line next Tuesday, June 18th at 8PM central hashing this one out. I invite you to join us. Dial (218) 862-6400 and use access code 6360503.