The Lord is Merciful

I must admit that I’m not always the most merciful person in the room (not even close) – so this study had some really convicting things for me to work through.¬† We’ll progress through the nature of God’s mercy, the actions of His mercy, and our response to mercy – all from Psalm 103.

God is everything mercy ever hoped to be.¬† He isn’t just part mercy – He IS mercy.¬† God has NEVER been unmerciful. ¬† It’s who God is; mercy is His very nature.¬† Mercy can be simply defined as ‘Love in Action‘ (Eph. 2:4).¬† It is living compassion (Ps. 116:5, 145:8).¬† Theologically, mercy is what withholds that which is deserved.¬† I always represent mercy with a “<” symbol.¬† Mercy is getting less than I should, while grace is getting more than I should (“>”).

Mercy is What God Does

God’s mercy is our Provision (Heb. 4:16).¬† Notice the action words of Ps. 103:2-5.¬† He is acting on your behalf – because of His mercy.¬† He provides forgiveness, healing, salvation, and so much more.¬† Why?¬† It’s God’s nature to be merciful and gracious.¬† God’s mercy is His Patience toward us (1 Pet. 3:20).¬† Water boils at 212, olive oil at 570, and mercury at 675, but Ps. 103:8-9 teaches that our God has a much higher boiling point.¬† Thank God that He’s slow to anger!¬† His mercy affects His Punishment of sin (v10; Lam. 3:22).¬† He knows what we deserve, yet He Pardons us (v11-12) according to His abundant mercy and grace (Isa. 55:7, Rom. 5:20).¬† We were in bondage to sin, but Christ set us free.¬† Our sins are forgiven, the stain is washed away!¬† And finally, His mercy grants us a Father’s Pity (v13-14).¬† God’s mercy deals with people where they are – not with where they should be or will be someday.¬† He deals with children differently than with adults, with new converts differently than with seasoned saints, with the disabled differently than with the gifted; yet He deals with each very mercifully.¬† God is my Father, a good father, even though I am His prodigal son.

Our Response to God’s Mercy

The Psalms are full of instructions about how to react to the overwhelming mercy of God:
First, we should Praise Him with thanksgiving, song and a grateful heart (86:12-13)
Then, it should lead us to Pray with greater faith and hope (69:13-16)
Next, we will Bear Witness to those around us (89:1-2)
If we have received mercy, we should Be Merciful to those who least deserve it (Matt. 5:7)
Last, His mercy lead me to Surrender – to cut the strings of this world and give in to Him (Rom. 12:1-2)

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