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Category Archives: My God is Merciful

My God is Gracious and Merciful Psalm 86:15

Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

What’s the difference? 

God is gracious and merciful. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I use these terms interchangeably. I don’t know if I even usually think about the difference between them. I was thinking, if there wasn’t a difference, why would the Psalmist use both words? To be poetic? Possibly, but I think the words were chosen more deliberately.

Merciful – Full of Mercy

So what does mercy mean?

mer·cy

1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power;compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.

2. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.

3. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.
4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.
5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: It was just a mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened.
God is Merciful 
Again, I love the study of words. It is amazing how full the word mercy is when you look at all its meanings. Having a merciful God means that he has compassion on me. He is compassionate without me deserving it. I may deserve death, but God is merciful to me and changes my sentence from death to life with Him in heaven. He performed His biggest act of mercy or compassion on me when He saved me from my sins by sending His son Jesus to die for me. I deserved to go to hell, because of my sins that turned me away from Him, but instead he was merciful and provided me a way out so that I might not end up in hell, but in heaven with Him.
God is Gracious
So we know that gracious and merciful often go together, so what can be added by including gracious to the list of who God is? Well let’s see if the definition of gracious helps us figure that out at all.
gra·cious 

1. Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
2. Characterized by tact and propriety: responded to the insult with gracious humor.
3. Of a merciful or compassionate nature.
4. Condescendingly courteous; indulgent.
5. Characterized by charm or beauty; graceful.
6. Characterized by elegance and good taste: gracious living.
7. Archaic Enjoying favor or grace; acceptable or pleasing.
We see by the third definition that, yes, grace is closely related to mercy. Grace is to have that merciful nature, or should I say you can’t be gracious without having a merciful nature. I like the first definition of God being described as having kindness and a warm courtesy. Today I’m going to see my Great Aunt and Uncle. They have that gift. That kindness and warm courtesy. Maybe you know someone who has that too. How does it feel to enter their home. Are you uncomfortable? NO! They make you feel good and welcomed. God wants that for us as well. He’s not trying to make us feel bad, but instead he wants us to shed our old ways so we can have nothing standing in our own way from enjoying Him to the fullest.
It’s funny, while the other definitions may not seem like they are directly related to who God is, they too make a fuller, richer picture of what it means to be gracious, and all of those things are true about our Lord.
Merciful and Gracious
God is not only going to give us another chance at life, but He’s going to be gracious in the way He does it. Because of His mercy we are able to enjoy His favor and grace as He makes us acceptable and pleasing to Him. May we grow in grace and mercy for those around us as a reflection of the grace and mercy we have received.
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My God is Merciful Micah 7:18-20

Micah 7:18-20 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.

Who is a God like you

When I was studying this verse, I noticed in the notes that phrase might be a pun on Micah’s name which means “Who is like the Lord?”. It’s a good question. Who is like that? Not me that’s for sure.

You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

What a beautiful thing to know about our God. That He doesn’t stay angry forever. He has every right to, but he doesn’t. Sometimes I think a parents love is like this. We get mad. Boy, do we get mad. But we don’t stay mad at our children. We love them in spite of themselves. They may drive us crazy, but we love them. Ok – some of you may know this is not a perfect reflection (especially if you put one of those Dr. Phil cameras in your house – you know some problems never go away!).

God delights to show mercy

When is the last time you were delighted. Close your eyes and think about it. I can think of a time I was recently delighted. My friend Tara sent me a present out of the blue. It was a very special, encouraging present. It was unexpected and amazing. My heart delights when I think about it now. Delight is such an amazing thing.

Definition of DELIGHT  de·light noun \di-ˈlīt, dē-\

1: a high degree of gratification : joyalso : extreme satisfaction
2: something that gives great pleasure <her performance was a delight>
archaic : the power of affording pleasure
It brings God joy to show mercy. 
He does show us mercy, doesn’t he. I know when I was in college, I was stupid. I made a lot of mistakes. It wasn’t until later that I found out that my mother had been praying all those years for my sister and I. She was praying that God would not give us the full consequences of our sins. That He would show us mercy. And thank God He did.
Are you given the full consequences of your sin?
In Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We’re told that the wages (consequences) of sin is death, but that’s not what God gives us. By His mercy he gives us more than we deserve. He gives us eternal life, because of Jesus Christ.
Why do good things happen to Bad people?
I’m sure your friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, have asked “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. But the truth is, we’re not good people. We’re sinners. I think a better question to ask is Why do good things happen to bad people. The answer is the Mercy of our God through Jesus Christ. Because of Him we don’t get the full consequences of our sin. I’m grateful my mom prayed this prayer for me, and today it is my prayer for my family and you as well. May you never have the full consequences of your sins, but instead receive the mercy given you through the death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in My God is Merciful

 

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