Vine’s Expository Dictionary;
Encyclopedia of 770 Illustrations
Over the last several years we, as Christians have heard numerous messages about grace. In fact we should all know by now that grace is Gods unmerited favor. Now my question is what is mercy? Have we forgotten what mercy is? Have we even taken something that is indeed God’s mercy and mislabeled it a miracle?
Many who would say that a person walking away from a bad automobile accident was “a miracle.” But was it a miracle or God’s mercy at work? Consider Judas for example; Jesus fully knew Judas was going to betray Him.
Would you like to know what mercy is really? Lets look an Old Testament example. You may have read about this situation several times and never really considered it.
1 Samuel 26.1-11
And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?
Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.
And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.
Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.
Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.
And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless?
David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
Here we clearly see how easy it would have been to take out King Saul. Saul had been chasing David for one reason; that reason was not to invite him to the Thanksgiving Day feast to say the least. In truth Sauls plan was to kill David.
So what is Mercy?
ELEOS (ἔλεος ) As a noun the Vines Dictionary mercy is simply defined as “the outward manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it and resources adequate to meet the need of on the part of him who shows it”
While the above is a noun listen to what it is defined if it were a verb;
ELLEO (ἐλεέω) it signifies, in general, to feel sympathy with the misery of another, and especially sympathy manifested in act.
Mind you these are both Greek definitions
Does God show grace? Of course. He did so right at the cross! Does God show mercy? Of course. But as shown I believe mercy is not a miracle. Listen to the definition of what a miracle is and you can see how apart they are indeed;
DUNAMIS (δύναμις) power, inherent ability, is used of works of a supernatural origin and character, such as could not be produced by natural agents and means. Vines Dictionary If you hear of someone being healed of cancer or some other incurable sickness then it would or could be classified as a miracle.
However to show mercy to someone is to help them in their time of need. For example: in the early days of the church many were in need of various items. Then some would sell all they had so to help those with less.
So how important is it to demonstrate mercy? Should we should mercy at every turn of the head? I would hope that the following would assist you in answering that is question;
In each of my teaching I attempt to share an illustration that best fits the subject matter; Today seems to be a bit of the thoughtful side of life;
“He was only three years old when his father died. “So that,” he said, “I grew up under the care of my blessed mother. She developed my early talent for drawing and encouraged me in my visits to the machine-shops of the town.” Robert was a poor pupil at school, whoever, and the teacher complained to his mother. Whereupon Mrs Fulton replied proudly” My head, sir is so full of original notions that there is no vacant chamber in which to store the contents of your musty books.” I was only ten at that time.” Said Fulton. ”And my mother seemed to be the only human being who understood my natural bent for mechanics”
See even mothers know how to show a little compassion even when the world and others do not. Now picture how much more God has to demonstrate to you.
1st John 14-18
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
And also John 15.12-17
This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
These things I command you, that ye love one another..
To demonstrate how mercy has been applied to even my life allow me to share with you what transpired several years ago.
In the late 1990’s I was involved in a serious auto accident on the corner of Clarkson & Joslyn road, on the outskirts of Lake Orion. The pickup truck hit me hard enough to cave-in the roof to my newly restored 1979 Ford Fiesta. The thing that saved my life was my sunroof because when the roof collapsed the glass to the sunroof popped out enabling my head to come through. Because of the severity of the accident and the impact was so great that it actually broke my glasses. At that time I could not see a thing without my glasses and was pretty much confined to the indoor where I was staying. Because of Gods mercy a family from the church showed mercy to me and a fulfillment of scripture buy paying in full for my new set of glasses that I so dearly needed. I still thank the Lord for that family and all those who assisted in that time of great need.
While God is new every morning so is his grace and his mercy. God mercy is and should be shown to everyone as the Spirit of the Lord leads. You may ask why your needs are not being met by someone showing a little mercy. Perhaps the news has not gotten to the correct person who can help.
I know it took a while for the right person to arrive my direction when it came to regaining my eyesight. I had lost a good portion of site in both eyes due to cataracts. Legally, I was blind, and could not even read a book, cross a street or read the directions on a microwave box. In late 2006 God sent the right person my way that knew how to open Pandora’s Box. In the first half of 2007 I had five eye surgeries. Even the doctor at the Kresgee Eye Institute in Detroit said it was nothing less than a miracle that I regained my sight. For you see I was legally blind. Now I nearly do not need the aid of glasses only really for reading and to improve my sight for driving.
Perhaps you do not know this God of grace and mercy. Perhaps you are saying I too need a miracle in my life. But you just do not know the direction to take to get it all started. Well I have good news for you; today is and can be your acceptable day of salvation. All you have to do is reach out and accept the free Gift of God called eternal life.
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You need not work for your salvation. You do not even have to clean up your act. God takes you and accepts you as you are. No strings attached.
The choice is yours. No one can make it for you. Not your mother, father, sister, brother not even that person you call your best friend. The decision is and has to be all yours.
So allow me to ask you this very question; to who do you desire to spend eternally with?
See as it is written’
Moreover, John 3.17 says it best
For God sent nothisSonintothe world tocondemn the world; but that the world through himmight be saved.
That word world means you as well my friend. So will you accept Jesus as Lord of your life today? Are you willing to take the first step to a life eternal? Walking and talking with the saints of old? Or will you chose to walk the other way. The choice is yours and yours alone.