Merciful & Forgiving
Our God is MERCIFUL and FORGIVING, beyond what we can imagine. When you place God’s MERCY and JUSTICE side-by-side, God tips the scale in favor of MERCY. That’s why God waits so long to bring people into judgment and gives us so many opportunities to turn from our evil ways and find His goodness, love, mercy and forgiveness. God is so wonderful that He doesn’t give His children what we deserve, but rather what we need!
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:10-12)
How then shall we live? We should freely receive God’s mercy and forgiveness, confessing our sin to Him with honesty and humility. (This was covered in Prayer Station #3.)
“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (John 1:9)
Then we must freely give others mercy and forgiveness. Jesus calls us to imitate God’s mercy in our conduct toward others. How can we ask God to continually give us what we are unwilling to give others?
“Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Examine your relationships today. Are you showing mercy to people around you who don’t deserve it, but still need it? Do you bear grudges? Do you despise anyone in your relational orbit? Are you good, kind, patient and merciful to the Extra-Grace-Required folks in your life? You can’t show mercy to people who have hurt you deeply unless you first forgive them. Remember forgiveness is an act of will. It’s not tolerating sin for that would make a mockery out of forgiveness. It is not forgetting. Rather it’s choosing not to use the past against the debtor. It’s not seeking revenge or repayment instead it is resolving to live with the consequences of another’s sin. Forgiveness is a matter between you and God. Forgiveness sets you free!
ACTION ITEM/PRAYER TIME: Write out a list of people you need to forgive. Write down what they did or said and then say, “Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I choose to forgive ___________ for ____________. I also pledge not to bring this up ever again because that’s what You do for me!” There are envelopes here on this table if you choose to write a letter to the person as well so you can extend mercy and grace to them and begin to heal your relationship.