mercy (자비)

Psalm 103:8 (ESV)

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

 

Mercy. 자비.

What a wonderful thing it is when we are shown mercy.

It’s completely undeserved. Unearned. Unwarranted.

The fact that the mighty creator of the universe, the sovereign King of all things great and small, can be so kind is mind-boggling.

And yet, despite our sinfulness – our continued rejection of Him – ‘… God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ …’ (Ephesians 2:4-5a)

Wow! Alive with Christ!

Let that just sink in for a moment.

We were dead. But now we’re alive.

How could you not be thankful?

Kim+

prayer : thank you for the mercy you have shown towards me, a sinner

action : share this truth with at least one person today

now you have received mercy

1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV)

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

How great it is to receive mercy.

The overwhelming relief. The love and gratitude we then feel in return.

How can we possibly repay our maker? What can we do in return for our redeemer?

Whatever it might be it can never be enough. The debt is too great.

Yet we’re told all our debts to God are forgiven. We are absolved of the need to repay Him.

Leaving us free to serve Him as we ought. With a clear conscience.

As one who is ‘chosen’. One of His ‘people’. Part of His ‘royal priesthood’.

Made ‘holy’ in His sight. And thus set apart for His good purposes.

In part, to show grace and mercy to others.

And what better way than by sharing our faith through ‘proclaiming’ His ‘excellencies’.

Kim+

prayer : may I fully appreciate the gift of ‘light’ and my rescue from ‘darkness’

action : help me to ‘proclaim’ boldly and faithfully

you were washed

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV)

It’s easy to read this passage and point the finger at “wrongdoers” (another translation for the “unrighteous”).

Yet, as Paul so clearly points out at the end, some of the listeners were once exactly like those he describes.

In fact, the only thing that “makes” them righteous is the blood-of-Christ as it washes them clean.

Better that we should spend a lot less time condemning the practices of others and more time “repenting” of our own sins (Luke 1:3).

We don’t condone sinful behaviour. But neither are we to “judge” it. That’s God’s responsibility (Matthew 7:1ff).

What we should be doing is “loving our neighbour” in genuine and practical ways (Luke 10:36).

For like Jesus, we should “desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13 – quoting Hosea 6:6).

Kim+

prayer : forgive my unrepentant heart: my pride, my greed, my lust

action : share the grace of God through merciful actions

but I received mercy

“But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,” 1 Timothy 1:13b (ESV)

“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16 (ESV)

How great is God’s mercy?

We certainly don’t deserve it.

Like Paul, we turn our back on God. Choosing to ignore Him, reject Him, perhaps even blaspheme and actively oppose Him.

Yet God still loves us.

We’re His creation. And He wants nothing more than to be in a relationship with us.

Patiently waiting for us to return. His arms outstretched wide.

All too often we think of God as a harsh taskmaster. A ruthless judge dishing out punishment for all of our indiscretions.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

He is the God “who shows compassion to those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:13)

Kim+

prayer : thank you God that in your great mercy I can call you “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)

action : be an example to others through love and mercy

greetings

“To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Timothy 1:2 (ESV)

I love how Paul addresses his letters. Such warmth and sincerity.

I don’t see anyone else doing it quite like this nowadays.

Emails and text messages are so short and abrupt.

But how wonderful to see Paul taking the time to ponder over how to start a letter to someone he truly cares for. A letter to someone he loves.

And here Paul does it by sharing not only his own feelings but three gifts in particular that come directly from God: namely grace, mercy, and peace.

There’s plenty to say about all three but I’ll leave that for another day.

For now, I just want to greet anyone reading this blog and especially this post.

Kim+

prayer : thank God for His generous gifts of grace, mercy, and peace

action : commit to reading the Bible every day