Manifestations of God’s mercy – Part 1
Acceptable acts of mercy follow the spiritual experiences Christ taught in the first four beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-6).
Grace and mercy are not fruits that grow out of the heart of the natural, sinful, fallen man. Love is not a natural fruit, either.
A fallen natural man begins to receive the grace and mercy of God when he turns away from his sins. It is repentance that brings God’s mercy to the heart of man.
Christ’s message reveals that mercy shown before poverty of spirit, mourning and repentance, meekness and lowliness of character, thirst and hunger for righteousness cannot get anyone to heaven.
Mercy shown before entrance into the Kingdom of God has no recognition by God. You can only show acceptable acts of mercy after you have been filled with God’s righteousness through repentance and faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Mercy that manifests from a righteous character is different from that shown by a natural man. Mercy shown to maintain good relationship with others or in the process of child training, and in almsgiving though necessary, cannot take anybody to heaven, except it is rooted in God’s grace.
This beatitude, mercy, follows the blessedness of: (i) kingdom benefits for the poor in spirit; (ii) divine comfort for the mourners; (iii) the inheritance of the meek; (iv) imputed and imparted righteousness for the hungry and thirsty.
This is mercy manifested as a fruit of the Spirit from a heart made righteous by the divine hand of God. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). We must possess the mercy and truth of God.
Then, we must demonstrate it, live by it, act it out and walk in the mercy and love of God. When we, as believers, stretch out the hand of grace, love and mercy to other people, we will find mercy and favour in the sight of God and of men (2 Samuel 22:26,27; Proverbs 3:3,4). The mercy that emanates from a righteous heart has a divine pattern to its full essence.
The life of Christ is the interpretation of His message. He demonstrated all the messages He preached. And as believers, we need to read and watch Christ to see and follow a pattern of how He showed mercy to people. This will help us to refrain from sentiments in most of our dealings with people. Christ related with people differently including His disciples.
God shows mercy to those who repent of their sins. Following God’s pattern, the believer does not give to sinners the money they need to continue in their evil.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
The reason He shows us mercy at salvation is because we could not pay the price. When we come to God, pleading with a repentant heart for forgiveness and mercy, He forgives. The forgiven sinner is created unto good works.
As such, God does not expect him to return to the old lifestyle of sin. The mercy of God is available to those who repent of their sins. God’s mercy does not just come to us. We must seek and look for it because His mercy is not cheap or meant to be wasted.
God’s manifestation of mercy begins with forgiveness and salvation. And it continues and increases, as we faithfully serve Him in obedience to His Word. He always grants us mercy according to His truth. God never contradicts His truth so as to show us mercy.
Christians must hold to this truth and pattern revealed in God’s Word in showing mercy to others. This will guide us into wholesome manifestation of mercy, as well as prevent us from falling prey to the enemy who might take advantage of our ignorance.
Many references of the Scripture connect and associate mercy with truth to reveal God’s pattern to us. They include: (i) Psalm 25:10 – the mercy of God is for those that keep the truth: you cannot abandon the truth while seeking the mercy of God if you are following His pattern; (ii) Psalm 57:3 – we cannot deviate from the truth in order to show or emphasise the importance of mercy because there exists an inseparable connection between mercy and truth; (iii) Psalm 61:7 – it is mercy and truth that preserve the church: mercy alone cannot do it; (iv) Psalm 85:10 – we show mercy on the basis of truth; (v) Psalm 89:14 – we must be guided by mercy and truth – special blessings are for those who obey the truth. And we cannot show mercy in isolation of the truth of the Word of God; (vi) Proverbs 16:6 – we don’t abandon the truth and allow the spread of evil in the church while trying to show mercy; (vii) Proverbs 20:28 – mercy and truth uphold the leadership of the church. Thus, we cannot dissociate mercy from truth. Mercy always goes with sound doctrine, pure worship, righteousness and holiness.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 5:7; Isaiah 55:6,7; Proverbs 28:13; Ephesians 2:1-4,10; 1 Peter 1:3; Luke 1:72,77,78; Deuteronomy 13:17,18; Jude 20,21; 2 Timothy 1:16-18; Hebrews 4:14-16; Matthew 5:7; 1 John 4:10,11,19-21; Ephesians 4:32; 5:1,2; Romans 12:1,8-21; Colossians 3:12,13; Luke 6:36; 2 Chronicles 19:1,2; Matthew 5:7; Proverbs 3:3,4; 11:16,17,25; 21:21; Psalms 37:25,26; 41:1-3; 112:4-9; Isaiah 58:10-12.
No comments yet