What is mercy? Mercy is replacing punishment with kindness—when someone gets someone else out of trouble at his or her own expense. Mercy is undeserved kindness. Mercy isn’t fair because it involves receiving unfair benefits, blessings, or rewards that we don’t deserve at someone else’s expense.
Mercy is: “That… tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.” —Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Both truth and mercy are very important in understanding the gospel; one must know the truth that Jesus is the only way, and must recognize that he/she is guilty and ask the Lord for mercy. Truth tells us the trouble that we face as sinners; mercy frees us from it. When we know the truth about our condition, we must ask for mercy. God is just—meaning He must punish sin, but He is also merciful—He does not want to punish sin. Jesus became our substitute, taking our punishment and satisfying God’s justice. Now God can extend mercy to us.
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
It is so easy to repay evil for evil without even thinking about it, but God calls us to be merciful to others – to have an attitude of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness toward those who have hurt or wronged us. It takes mercy to repay evil with good. It takes humility and meekness (not weakness!) to extend mercy to those who have wronged us.
Evangelism requires mercy. Unbelievers are saved by asking God for mercy. For belivers, it takes an attitude of mercy to share the gospel with others. Many people don’t seem to care and don’t do anything about those who are lost and dying in sin. An attitude of mercy will motivate us to share the gospel with others.
When we realize that we have done something wrong and are in need of mercy, what is the best way to get it? We need to admit the truth and ask for mercy with a humility and sincerity. Each of us stands guilty and helpless before God—we are totally unable to pay the debt we owe. The more we recognize the exceedingly great mercy of God, the more we will love Him. If we look at ourselves as “pretty good” we will only love the Lord a little, but if we see the seriousness of our sin as He sees it, we will love Him much!
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
God’s mercy is given to us daily. It is new every morning. It endures forever. The more we understand how utterly dependent we are on the Lord’s mercy daily, the more we will appreciate His incredible kindness and gift of salvation. It is important for each of us to recognize the tremendous mount of mercy we’ve been shown.
We finished the lesson with reading Psalm 136 together
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:
To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever;”
For our activity time, we acted parables that illustrate the concept of mercy. As always, the girls were creative and loved coming up with their parable “skits”. See you all at our next meeting!