Have Mercy – A Devotion

Have Mercy

Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT)

I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

 

Mercy is the compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, enemy or other person in one’s power. It is considered an act of favor. We all want mercy but are reluctant to give it. Like so many other things in life, it is good enough to receive but too precious to give. The sin that runs rampant in the world today and lack of love that is growing colder in each moment has created a dog-eat-dog environment. This is a far cry from the kingdom that Jesus died for us to enter. We must endure this life in order to make into the Kingdom of God and live there forever. Mercy is forgiveness. It is not humanity’s strong suit but the divine example of God through Jesus Christ. We must learn to not only accept God’s Mercy for us but live to have mercy on other people.

The trials in our office have been escalating for months. It has been a warzone since I returned from caring for our son during and after his bone marrow transplant. The stress level of two sides of the office fighting a battle and become collateral damage has weighed on us all. All that the bystanders can do is watch and hope the next assault will not be from within their own department. It sounds brutal because it is. There has been so many double standards, twisted truth and unfair practices it seems no one will ever find real justice. Instead, people’s lives and livelihoods are destroyed. Years of excellent service ruined by mistakes along the way exploited by another who does not want their own shortcomings exposed. It’s a mess. There has been no mercy just a battle calling for justice but really bent on destruction. I came to the Lord this morning because I am lost in the midst of such wrongdoing. I know that people have done some things that were against the rules. They have not been completely honest. Every suspected wrongdoing and possible mistake has been plastered across the news. Lord, thank you for your mercy today. Your compassionate and kind forgiveness that will keep me from such an occurrence when Jesus comes back. Now Lord, teach me to have mercy on others as you have had on me.

Psalm 103:6 (NLT) The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

 

In high school, I really didn’t fit in with any major clique. My friend base was in our youth group. I attended a very large church with an extremely active youth group that consumed most of my time. One day in the cafeteria, some people were picking on some kids at a table that might be labeled “misfits”. They were just being mean. Some of the bullies were my “friends” but at that moment I didn’t like any of them. As I walked over they acknowledged me, but I ignored them putting my tray on the table I introduced myself to two people who would become my close-knot companions for the rest of high school even attending church with me. They both later received Christ. One is already with Jesus today. I cannot stand bullies or seeing others picked on. I absolutely loathe it and am compelled to stand up for the “little” guy. In this instance, it paid off and they not only became my friends but more importantly became friends with God. It all began with mercy. Showing kindness and compassion in a world where it is foreign and misunderstood.

The situation that I am facing at work makes me want to stand up for my friends and coworkers especially those who I feel are being treated unfairly. In my spirit, the Lord keeps compelling me to pray for mercy for them. I cannot fix the fight. I am powerless in a battle that goes to the highest ranking office but I can reach into the Heavens with my heart and ask my Father who gives us righteousness in the midst of our sin and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He will answer my plea for mercy not only for me but those around me who need it too.

Romans 9:14-16 (NLT)
Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

I wish I could see past the injustice and malice of the circumstances with my coworkers to the purpose and meaning of it all. How will this end well for anyone involved? How will they rebuild their broken live from the wreckage? When will those who are abusing power be changed? God is not unfair. He is God. He is Sovereign – all powerful. He is constant – never changing. He is good – it’s a fact. He loves us – every one of us. If we accept God’s Mercy, His Compassionate nature and unfailing love work in our favor. If others come to know the Lord, the details of their life will become a source of goodness, grace and glory. We must have mercy on others while we ask God to have mercy on us. I am not here to judge these people although some days I already have. It is not my position to shout for the head of those who are persecuting other people and abusing their personal power. I must continue to cry out for mercy. God decides who He will show mercy to. The Love of Jesus calls for God’s Mercy in the lives of His People. If I have been saved and love Jesus then I must have mercy on all of mankind to avoid a double standard that separates me from God’s Best.

Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT)

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”

 

There are some clearly unjust people in this fight. There are Christians who appear to have lost their way locked in the bloody battle and bent on destruction. I fight the urge to judge them. Some days I am successful. Other days not so much. I must cry out for God’s Mercy to cover me those days that I cannot seem to help but judge other people. I do not want to be judged. I do not want my sin on full display for the world to see. Rather than crying out for justice, I must beg the Lord for mercy. Mercy for me. Mercy for others. Mercy for my enemies. Mercy for the meanies, the bullies and those who are bent on destruction. Why? Because I want, need and desire the Mercy of God in my life. Lord, forgive me for judging these people. Lord, I ask you to have mercy on us all.

Micah 6:8 (NLT)

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

 

I have grown to love this passage. I fine peaceful release in these words. What does God require of me today? The Lord wants me to do what is right. His Word will make it clear. His Spirit will guide me. My heart will be set on Him. I must LOVE mercy. To love mercy requires me giving up the notion of justice and demanding what I deserve to embrace the unfailing love of God and consuming compassion of Christ not only for me but extending it to every other person I encounter today. I am to walk humbly with my God. This world has nothing for me. It is not my home or reward. I must endure this life with all the pain, hardship, trouble and problems to be with Jesus. I endure it be having more faith in God then the details of today. By trusting Jesus above any other power or force that I encounter and letting Him fight my battles even those that are within. Christianity is not a complicated effort. It would be easy if there were no other people in this world. It is this friction that leads us to compassion and His Kindness that makes us choose repentance. I must love mercy to have it and hold on to it.

Psalm 51:1-4 (NLT)

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.

 

As I constantly pursue the mercy of God in my own life, I must strive to remember that my mission in this life and the only commandment that I have been given is to love others as Christ loves me. His Love is merciful or He could never love me in the midst of my sin. The mercy of Jesus is evident in the Cross. Today as I repent of my sin, I cry out for His Mercy to cover me. I cannot stop there. Rather than asking the Lord for justice or even to expose the sins of those who unjustly are persecuting others, I must ask the Lord to have mercy on us all. I can be angry at the situation but I am not to sin by demanding something for others that I do not want myself. I am called to love all people even those designated as enemies. This is a tough one. However, if I seek the Lord’s Mercy than I must be willing to have mercy on everyone else. After all the sins of others, like my own, may appear to be against others but in reality it is against God that we have sinned and it really doesn’t matter how it ends on earth but how it affects our heart. Lord, have mercy on these people today. Forgive me for judging them and I ask you to persuade my heart to cry out for mercy for them today instead. You are a Good God with Unfailing Love who everyone should come to know and trust. Lord, I don’t know all the details and desperation that have caused such a passionate and violent war among people but you do. Heal their hearts Lord. Show them Your Love today. And please, teach me to have mercy!

Psalm 86:15-16 (NLT)

But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Look down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant; save me, the son of your servant.

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