Read John 8:3-11. In Verse 11 Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” We all want mercy, compassion , kindness, & forgiveness; but so often we fail to give the measure we want in return. But we see that Jesus gave it, He still gives it today. It is quite obvious in showing mercy, Jesus was not condoning sin. He offered forgiveness, but then instructed the adulterous woman to sin no more. True compassion, kindness, & mercy does not avoid or condone wrong doing or sin, but it does seek to heal the broken hearted, and receives and forgives the repentant sinner. Mercy is the heart of God. He is full of pity and tender in mercy (Jam 5:11).
God is rich in mercy, and He loves us greatly (Eph 2:4-6). His throne is a throne of grace that we may confidently come to in the Name of Jesus and obtain mercy 24/7 (Heb 4:16). He is ever merciful and gives (Psa 37:26). God has shown us what is good. What does the Lord require of us? Read Mic 6:6-8. Verse 8 says, “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” We are to do right, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
There is promised blessing in being merciful. Matt. 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. In 2Sam 22:26 & Psa. 18:25, it says, “With the merciful, You (God) will show yourself merciful”. There is also the negative side, when you are not merciful. Jam. 2:13 says, “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has shown no mercy”. Give mercy – receive mercy. Show no mercy – receive no mercy. “Those who are furthest from giving mercy are furthest from receiving it.” - John MacArthur.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, because they had made a big deal about small things and had forgotten about the more important matters of God’s law – one of which is mercy (Mt 23:23).
In all of our obtaining of knowledge, may we not forget to be merciful! This is so important to God, Jesus talked many times about it. In Matt. 18, the Master was very angry at the servant, because after being forgiven an unpayable debt, he would not have compassion on his fellow servant (Mt 18:33). Will you not forgive a person a thing, though you were forgiven all through faith in Jesus Christ? The Bible calls that “wickedness”.
Let us not be like that servant. Own the fact you are a sinner in need of salvation. Acknowledge that it was your sin that put Jesus on the cross. Examine how much you have been forgiven – then you will be better able to walk in compassion and mercy towards others. “God’s mercy to us is the motivation for showing mercy to others. Remember, you will never be asked to forgive someone else more than God has forgiven you.” - Rick Warren.
The merciful man does good to his own soul (Prv 11:17). I believe this works in a couple of ways: 1. God is merciful to the merciful – as we have already seen. 2. It makes you feel good to be merciful (Prv 14:21). Being merciful is good for your health. Being merciful, kind, & compassionate will do your health more good than any bottle of pills!
As a Christian, mercy should emanate from our innermost being (Col 3:12-14). Yes, as Christians, we are full of mercy & compassion in our spirit; however, we must “put this on”, as Paul says. This means, we must let the spiritual truth be are present reality. We must live out of our spirit, and we will be merciful. It will bring forth a true joy, as we know we are imitating God. We should be kind, tenderhearted, and merciful to one another – and not become hard hearted legalist that have lots of head knowledge, but no practical fruit in our life. Let me explain the importance of this.
Take the story of the good Samaritan (Turn to Lk 10:30-37). It was the Preacher & the Christian, the people with the Bible under their arm, that avoided the hurt man. It was the Samaritan – the cult member – that showed him the compassion and mercy that he needed. The people with the right doctrine didn’t practice what it said. The person with the wrong doctrine did practice it. Now let’s ask ourselves this question: If that hurt man wanted to know about God, who is he going to talk to? That’s right – the cult member. Why? Because he showed him the mercy and compassion that the Bible people should have shown him. God help us – God help me – to show in my actions that I serve the most loving, gracious, compassionate, kind, tenderhearted, merciful Creator of all the universe. May God forgive me for misrepresenting Him on many occasions.
Humble yourself, and allow God to change your heart. If you are guilty of having a critical, judgmental, hard heart – confess it to God; turn from it and ask God to heal your heart. Practice “putting on” mercy, kindness & compassion. Thank God for His abundant mercy poured out in your life, then practice showing that same mercy to others. If we want God to remember us according to His mercy and goodness, should we not extend the same grace to others? (see Psalm 25:7). The answer is yes. Selah.