14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?" 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’" 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
Praise God! We are objects of God’s mercies and compassion through the love or Jesus Christ, and our faith in Him.
However, it’s not just enough to rejoice about this, it also confers on us a serious responsibility to become messengers and dispensers of the same mercies and compassion.
God makes us objects of His mercies, so that we can become channels and instruments of His mercies and compassion to others.
If you have received God’s mercies, compassion, and forgiveness, you must show gratitude to Him by extending the same to others.
We can do this by:
- Interceding for other people before God.
- Forgiving others who have wronged us.
- Interceding for other people before others.
- Being more patient and tolerant with other people’s flaws and faults.
Scriptures on mercy
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." ~ Matthew 5:7
"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." ~ Matthew 6:12
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." ~ Matthew 6:14, 15
"32 "Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart." ~ Matthew 18
Mercy really is all about making room for change and God’s work in other people’s lives.
6 Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 "’Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’" ~ Luke 13:6-9
"13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment." ~ James 2:13
The more merciful, tolerant, and compassionate we are towards the weak, the more we receive God’s wisdom and patience to become agents of change and transformation.
The ministry of mercy
"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." ~ Romans 15:1.
Sometimes, the weak and slow among us are there to develop and test our patience!
Joshua and Caleb would have made it in three days, but they spent 40 years, because of the doubt of their brethren. But that’s what Romans 15:1 is all about! There were 2 million people walking through the Red Sea, including chickens, goats, pregnant cattle, women, and children. How could they run!
Sometimes, we are slowed down by others! And that’s what mercy is all about. Relationship is expensive. The weaknesses of the people you love and care about must inhibit and slow you down one way or the other. That’s the cost of love,mercy, and compassion. And it’s ok!
Mercy is thinking and caring about others. It is necessary also for bringing them into the Promised Land even if we could have gotten there faster. It’s about love, mercy, compassion, and tolerance. Sometimes we need to give up our privileges so that others can make it!
We need to share the word and the vision of God with others. Then, we need to lead them on and on, reminding them of it, and encouraging them to keep going, that we are going to make it with God by our side.
That’s the ministry of mercy.
A bold vision
It takes courage and boldness to be merciful.
Often, it’s fear, and insecurity that makes us condemnatory and judgmental of other people. We are afraid we won’t be able to handle their faults and the attendant consequences!
So we turn into moral tyrants!
To be merciful, we must have a bold vision of the potentials and possibilities of others, much like in the parable of the barren tree, and in how Jesus dealt with the woman that was caught in adultery.
We must see things in others and in ourselves that are not yet obvious.
To create a beautiful world, we must believe in God, but we must also believe in ourselves and in other people’s capacity to become better and greater.
We must begin to see possibilities, not liabilities in others.