Reaching Out Beyond Justice, to Mercy
Grace is the Lord giving you something you don’t deserve. Mercy is God holding back what you do deserve. God said in His temple there was to be a place of mercy, and it was called the Mercy Seat. When it comes to the people in your life who have offended you, all of heaven screams, “Give him another chance!!!” Every time YOU mess up, God is there offering His hand up out of the ditch you have fallen into with eyes of mercy coupled with forgiveness and another chance. I love that we serve a God of second and third and fourth chances. Where would we be without a God like that? There is always a Mercy Seat in God’s house. When there is nothing but judgment and law then failure is certain. It must be mixed with grace and with mercy.
I love the people God sets apart as those who capture His heart: The poor in Spirit. They that mourn. Those who are meek. Those who hunger and thirst, wanting more and more of Jesus. The Merciful. The pure in heart. The peacemakers. Those who are persecuted for His Name’s sake.
While I have had my share of the last one, persecution, I truly wish I could be like more of these.
Which of the above are you strongest in? Which ones above would you consider to be a weakness? Would you be willing to make these areas a matter of prayer this week? How do these weaknesses affect your relationship with others? The point is this---these all reflect the heart of God. I WANT TO REFLECT THE HEART OF GOD. I really do…and so do you. I have learned, though, that these are not necessarily things we are born with, although some people seem to naturally gifted in some. These are disciplines and each is an area that God gives grace for us to grow in.
In this hotly contested political season, I think all of have lost a few friends or und=friended a few people on Facebook or other social media. Our different opinions have divided us, even from other believers. You know its true. But here is the good news: We don’t always have to see eye to eye to be connected to each other. On the mercy seat the angel’s wings touch but their eyes do not meet. They can touch and agree on the majors while not seeing eye to eye on everything.
Are there relationships you care about in your life that are currently affected by not seeing eye to eye on an issue? Would you agree that there are enough major issues you agree on that you could overlook the few you don’t for the sake of having a relationship restored?
Here’s the secret: See others through the blood and mercy of Jesus. Let mercy have a seat in your home. Let mercy have a seat in your life. Sometimes we interpret others in negative ways through our own perceptions. But God does not see what you see. Ask the Lord for HIS eyes to see people. We need to believe in one another and love one another. We must have a place of mercy.
We don’t appreciate mercy until we need it. Mercy is one of the most powerful and profound gifts the Lord has ever given us. The law condemns but mercy brings life. Restoration and provision comes through the mercy of God. Do justly, be humble…and love mercy (Micah 6:8). We give mercy and we receive mercy. What if the only mercy you would ever receive would be measured exactly by the same amount as you have ever given. Mercy is a discipline and it is a decision. Give mercy a place in your world. Instead of giving criticism this week, consider only making your complaint or observation to the Lord. Give place to mercy.