And let me say this today: that mercy is not shown to everyone! No, it's not. It's not shown to men who are rebellious, it's not shown to young people who are proud and say: 'I don't need the mercy of God' - for the word of God says in Luke 1: 'His mercy is on them that fear Him'! If you don't fear God, you'll know nothing of the mercy of God.
1. Mercy: what is it?
Listen sinners, Romans says: 'Not by works of righteousness, but according to His mercy He saved us. So then it is not of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy'! Do you know the mercy of God? If you don't know the mercy of God my friend, it's because of your proud, bold, sinful, deep dyed, damnable heart! This special mercy, God lavishes it upon whom He wills who has faith in Him. This is a sovereign thing, this is the God of all gods who says in Romans 9: 'For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth'.
This is a baffling thing, that the Lord harden men against Him? Now don't be confused about this, because men are very responsible for every single thing that they do - and let me say that God doesn't make a man evil, God doesn't make a man reject Him, that is given to your own individual choice. But let me say this: when God Almighty, the sovereign God decides to withdraw His influence in grace from your heart, your heart will harden!
Oh, that men would know this! That if God decided to take His gracious sunshine away from your heart, He wouldn't need to harden your heart It's like when the sun sets, the temperature goes down and the frost comes across the road. You wouldn't dream of saying that, because the sun has gone out, that the sun hardened the ground. Did the sun harden the ground?
But that gracious influence of God, that is why we say to you today - in the light of the Gospel - Pharaoh hardened his own heart! Because God took His grace away from him, his heart became hard - and God says to you today: if you hear His voice, harden not your heart!
How terrible that on that judgement day, if you should stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, and it would be the mercy of God that would indict you! Imagine that! The very goodness of God would damn your soul, because you rejected it! His mercy is in all life. Secondly, His mercy is in our circumstances. Now, you believers here today, this is for you. Psalm says: 'For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is [God's] mercy toward them that fear him'. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, is it not?
Indeed, I'm led to believe that there is a place in Sicily, and it's situated in such a geographical place that the sun never, ever is out of sight, never. That's like the mercy of God in our believing lives, God's mercy is never absent, God's mercy is never invisible, it's never empty - and what a humbling thing, that even in our trials and our tribulations the God of mercy has His hand in it.
Thirdly: you can witness the mercy of God in redemption. Imagine this: the mercy of God without the atonement of Christ. Can you imagine that?
I can't. The mercy of God is impotent without Calvary. It has no power, it's no good to you - and that means this: that sinners can't cast themselves on the mercy of God and reject Calvary! Oh, there's so many doing that! It doesn't matter what religion I am, we all worship the one true God, and if He's a God of love and mercy He'll let me in' - God has no mercy apart from Calvary! For it was the mercy seat.
In the Old Testament, the Ark of the covenant - the lid that was on top of it - wasn't it called the mercy seat? And that was the God-appointed place where Moses would commune with God, that's the place where the high priest, once a year on the Day of the Atonement, would sprinkle the blood, that was the place associated with covering and the removal of sin - through the blood God has mercy! The Lord Jesus Christ is His mercy seat. You see, Calvary is where God meets the sinner and extends mercy. Wasn't it said, prophetically, of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Psalms, 'Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other' - the mercy seat!
Have you been there? Have you been to Calvary? Oh, the hymn writers have put it well in all their different ways. One modern one puts it like this:. A penalty was paid and pardon bought, And sinners lost at last to Him were brought'. Thy blood the fiery sword must slake, Thy heart its sheath must be'. It's seen in all, it's seen in your circumstances, it's seen redemption - and let me say this very soberingly, and this has shook me as I've been studying this: God's mercy is witnessed in hell.
That's a strange thing, isn't it? Even, think of it, when the lost are cast into the lake of fire it is an act of God's mercy. It's not from your point of view, if you're not saved - but from heaven's point of view it is. You see, hell is the casting out forever of all sin. And is it not the mercy of God that in the new Jerusalem we read that there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination? Can you imagine walking down the streets of gold and hearing blasphemy in one ear, and hearing the name of the Lord thy God taken in vain in the other?
The mercy of God is towards the righteous - those who believe - so much that God won't have it, and every sin is damned in hell. Oh, it's mighty, isn't it? It's awesome to think, as we read in , that God overthrew Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea for His mercy endureth forever. How could anybody say the like of that?
Reflection Trusting in the Mercy of God - Daily Reflections on Divine Mercy
That's their song of praise! My friend, we read in Revelation 19 - and if you're not saved, you sit up and you listen up! John says: 'I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
And again they said, Alleluia.
And her smoke rose up for ever and ever'! That's like saying: 'Praise the Lord, the damned are damned'. Even the mercy of God in the likes of that? Do you know what that tells me?
If I was a sinner, without Christ in this meeting, it would tell me of the foolishness of those who believe that God's mercy will see them through the end. I've lived alright, I haven't done anybody any harm. I go to my church, I try my best, I'm good to my family - God would never cast me into hell!
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His mercy endures forever! God says: 'I will by no means clear the guilty'. He says: 'The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God'. Imagine a man or a woman, and they don't wash themselves, they don't clean their teeth and their teeth are rotten, they don't wash themselves and there are germs crawling over them - all over their hair and everything, under their nails - and they are getting diseased because of it. Do you think God would withhold disease from a man or a woman that lived in that condition? Not on your life! Do you think God will lavish His mercy on a soul that has heaped sin upon its own head?
I don't know what kind of a God that is, but it's not our God! Do you know something? You can make God's mercy your enemy. Like sucking poison out of a beautiful flower, you can have a deadly, deadly blow dealt to your soul! Thirdly: what difference does God's mercy make to you? What difference does it make? First of all, let me say to believers in this meeting, this is the difference: you ought to show mercy. That's what the Lord said in the beatitudes, isn't it? Matthew 'Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy'.
James 'For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy' - if you don't show any mercy in your life, God will judge you without any mercy. Luke 'Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful' - show mercy one to another! Secondly: you ought to trust God's mercy. Isn't that right? That's what the Psalmist said: 'I will trust in the mercy of God for ever'.
Will you please think about this: the mercy of God, right now, here and now, is a fountain open - and if you would just let your bucket of faith drop down, you could take a draught, and drink by faith of that well of salvation. If you're not saved, well, listen to me: God's mercy is open for you now - it'll not be open forever, but it's open now! It's open now and the Lord Jesus says, 'whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely'. Imagine going to court and there's a judge there, and the judge is pleading with the person in the dock!
Have you ever seen that? I've never seen it! The judge pleading with the person accused? But this is your Judge pleading with you to partake of His mercy. My friend, this is baffling! Imagine the fool that would refuse such a thing! God is saying to you, in His mercy: 'Allow Me to love you, be willing to let Me save you! But unbelief smothers it, and if you're not a believer here, the bowels of God's compassion are shut up for you, the wounds gaping and the sore of the Saviour that flow forth that medicine for all sin and shame and iniquity are closed over for you.
There is no compassion, there is no joy, there is no virtue in the wounded Christ for you! But if you would just believe, if you would just trust in His mercy, like Wesley you'd be able to say:. Shake off thy guilty fears, The Bleeding Sacrifice In my behalf appears. Before the throne my surety stands, My name is written in His hands. My God is reconciled, His pardoning voice I hear,. He owns me for His child, I can no longer fear. There's a kindness in His justice Which is more than liberty. There is a welcome for the sinner, And more graces for the good.
God's Mercy Brings Divine Healing
There is a mercy with the Saviour, There is healing in His blood'. Will you trust Him? Now come on! Will you? Such great mercy enduring forever! Will you partake of it? And finally, for every child of God in this place: you ought to obtain mercy. Yes, you can show it, yes, you can trust in it - but you know, we can obtain it. We can go in prayer to God and look at Him - not in robes of justice and robes of wrath, but we can see God clad and arched in a rainbow of mercy. Imagine coming to a God such as that, a God whose mercy is toward us - that should add wings to our prayers, to know that God is so great, God is so mighty yet God is for us.
We ought to come boldly before our God, knowing that He is merciful. Like the old puritan said, you wouldn't dream of coming to a fire that was lovely and warm and wondering was there any warmth in it for you - would you? No - it's blatantly obvious, and my Christian friend it should be blatantly obvious to you that if you come to God you will obtain mercy. It says of Samuel that on one occasion he took a suckling lamb before God - and every believer in this place, if you could take the Lamb of God in your arms, slain before God, into His presence knowing that it's through that Lamb that you come; if you would come to the throne of grace on His perfect merits and His finished work you would hear this: 'My child, you have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of your infirmities, but He was in all points tested like as you are - yet without sin.
Therefore, My child, come boldly unto the throne grace that [you] may obtain mercy! Let's say it again: [Pastor Legge:] O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good Now, let's bow our heads together. There are folk here that aren't saved - imagine not being saved, and in the very midst of the mercy of God!
Do you think you're going to get away with that at the throne, when the Lord says: 'You were in the Iron Hall on the 7th of January , and I opened up the windows of heaven and poured My mercy upon you and you walked out and refused it'? My friend, it's like the lead that comes out of the mine - when it's taken out of there it's very cold, but when it's put into the fire it's very hot.
If you come to Christ now, in the day of salvation, you will know the mercy of God - but if you reject it will be the very thing that will damn your soul. Will you come? Child of God, things are hard, things have been difficult - but whatever you do, throughout it all don't miss the mercy of God in it, for if we didn't have it we would be consumed - but great is His faithfulness. Rest upon it today, and if you're here broken hearted, reach out by faith to that throne boldly, and obtain mercy that you need. Father, we thank Thee for such a merciful God, tender, compassionate, loving and good.
And oh, Lord, You love and long to lavish Your mercy upon those that You've created - but Lord, Your mercy will never contradict Your justice and Your holiness. I pray today that every soul in this building this morning will be a partaker of the mercy - the special, saving mercy - of Almighty God, and that we all, children of God, may know what it is to boldly come and know the mercy of God to strengthen us in our need. The Son of God, when He became man, stripped Himself of His external glory through mercy, and died for us.
He was crushed like a grape under the feet of His enemies, yet He died with His heart full of love and compassion for them. A single mortal sin provokes His justice; yet see how His mercy endures! How many there are living forty, fifty, sixty years, adding sin upon sin, and living on the mercy of God alone! The door stands ajar; you can almost stumble through it into His mercy, as the good thief stumbled through it and fell into paradise, and as countless others have stumbled through it and are now in glory in heaven. And remember, He is constantly offended by all, either in greater or in lesser degree; yet He opens the door of His justice only under constraint.
Will not that win us over finally and entirely to His love? Can we still go on negligently and without principle, or must there be applied to us, in their own measure, the severe words of St. Dost thou not know that the goodness of God is meant to lead thee to repentance? See the tears it wrung from the very heart of Mary Magdalene, and the unbounded love.
It is she whom we find on Mount Calvary; not St. Peter, but the two great exponents of love, the one innocent, the other penitent, St. John and Mary Magdalene. And we would expect to see her there once more embracing those sacred feet, now pierced with nails, and bathing them with a fresh flood of tears. Mary had first experienced the immense charity of Christ in the banquet hall; here, at the foot of the cross, she is witnessing the sublimest expression of His divine goodness — she sees the price He paid for her forgiveness.
With Christ she was nailed to the cross; 15 and she who had been a sinner in the town was made worthy to wear a crown of eternal glory. Love does not prevent her departure but averts it, and this is the bridle that he puts upon her. God wants to be loved from a full and free heart; and therefore, in spite of all His longing for our love, if we nonetheless spurn Him, He will spurn us; if we depart from His embrace, He will suffer us to depart, but we shall find death.
The more wretched we are, in fact, the more we have a claim on mercy, for an infinite mercy seeks an infinite misery that it may forgive and heal. Are you conscious of having been ungrateful? If you are truly sorry, if you are earnestly determined to turn toward Him for the future, do not let the memory bear you down; your misery will only urge Christ to exercise a greater measure of solicitude in your behalf. These souls will shine like precious gems, and will form the crown of the divine mercy. Here, indeed, we can use the words of the Psalmist:.
Misery has been turned into glory, dust has become a jewel, the slave of the devil has become the eternal crown of God. What a transformation! What mercy on the part of God! Consider the following beautiful instance. It is the case of Nicola of Toldo, a Perugian knight who was condemned to death on the charge of high treason. He was a bantering spirit; he was ignorant of the catechism; he had not made his first Communion. Now he was condemned to death. As he raged against God and man, everything seemed to foretell that he would die the death of the impious.
But he called for St. Catherine of Siena. She hastened to him; she encouraged him; she exhorted him to virtue. After an ardent prayer she obtained for him the grace of making his first — and last — Communion. She induced him to submit to his death as an atonement for his past life. Now was the time to trust in divine mercy.
38 Bible verses about mercy and compassion
When the hour came, St. Catherine accompanied him to the very scaffold, stood beside him, received his severed head in her own hands. Then, in ecstasy, she beheld an indescribable scene. Jesus was on the scaffold, at once as Judge and Rewarder.