KEY SCRIPTURE Ephesians 2:4-6
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
When you think of riches, does mercy enter your mind?
I am pleased to have a father who is rich in mercy. I need it. But it begs some questions about how one becomes rich in this asset, how it is stored, and how we discern where we spend or invest it. The riches of God are just like that.
His Son performed small things like turning water into wine, ensuring a coin was in a fish's mouth, and casting out demons, but I think mercy is more significant to God.
Hosea 6:6 gives us some sight into God's heart. "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."
Years later, Jesus drew His listeners to that verse due to its significance when looking at how God judges. "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Matthew 9:13
So important was mercy to God and His Son that Jesus told them to go and learn God's preference for it over giving sacrifices. But there comes a time when God shows no mercy. Such as when we turn children aside from the Kingdom by things we do and say. (Matthew 18:5-7). Or when God ensures that those who have rejected Christ's calling and choose not to repent do not enter the Kingdom. Revelation 22:15.
God's mercy ended for people many times in biblical history and will happen again at the end of the ages. Revelation 22:10-12 says, "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
Jesus returns in the blink of an eye—a far quicker time than it takes to repent, so let's fully use God's mercy. We can extend it to others more often than we do now by continuously remembering that we are nothing except for Christ. His grace and mercy toward us are the only reason we do not spend eternity in Hell, so we can lower our harsh judgements a few levels and provide the love Jesus gave to us.
Also, if we are not yet saved or perhaps unsure, we can use this time of great mercy to ensure our Salvation. We can repent of our sins and ask Jesus into our hearts. If we know we are saved, we can increase our Christian living to better resemble biblical righteousness and Godly principles, enriching our lives and those around us.
God instructed Moses to make something specific He chose to name the Mercy Seat. That wonderful creation was situated within the Holy of Holies—the heart of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:17), and illustrates our capacity for mercy since God is at the centre of our own hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Lord, you know I think about mercy a lot, but I just cannot get over how great it is toward us. I find it hard to get my head around such richness and how much you prefer it. Please help me to have the same mercy and use it as wisely.
Photo by Miriam G