GROWING IN MERCY
2Peter 3:18 KJV: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Just as we are to grow in grace, we are also to grow in mercy.
Grace is God’s favour that results in a release of God’s life INTERNALLY INTO our spirits.
Psalms 30:5 KJV: For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Mercy is God’s compassion that results in a release of divine life EXTERNALLY UPON OUR SOULS, BODIES AND CIRCUMSTANCES.
Jude 21 NKJV: keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Psalms 145:9 NKJV: The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.
Lamentation 3:22-23 NKJV: Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
These scriptures give us a functional definition of the mercy of God: the compassion of God: capacity to feel our infirmities, weaknesses and limitations; this causes Him to release a measure of eternal life, through the air upon our spirits, souls, bodies and circumstances, to help us overcome the infirmity, weakness or limitation.
Since the mercy of God releases a measure of the life of God, we can speak of the mercies of God in plural, meaning the several measures of the life of God released upon us as a result of His mercies given to us.
So as we grow in mercy, greater and greater MEASURES of the life of God is given to us when God releases His mercies upon us.
In particular, there are 3 levels of mercy:
1. Mercy not to be consumed
Lamentation 3:22 KJV: It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
2. Mercy to be faithful
1Corinthians 7:25 KJV: Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
3. Mercy to triumph ALWAYS
2Corinthians 2:14 KJV: Now thanks be unto God, which ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
Romans 9:16 KJV: So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Many Christians only receive mercy at level 1 as shown in
1Corinthians 3:15 KJV: If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
This person is NOT CONSUMED, BUT IS NOT FAITHFUL AND SO SUFFERS LOSS.
How then do we grow in mercy to be faithful and ultimately to TRIUMPH ALWAYS?
By growing in honesty of heart.
2Corinthians 4:2 KJV: But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
2Chronicles 16:9 GW: The LORD’S eyes scan the whole world to find those whose hearts are committed to him and to strengthen them. You acted foolishly in this matter. So from now on, you will have to fight wars.”
The iconic example of this is Daniel whose honesty of heart caused him to receive mercy from God both to be faithful and triumph ALWAYS!
Daniel 1:8 KJV: But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel 6:4 KJV: Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
A good example of someone who at first was not committed to God but later changed and grew in mercy to become faithful, was Manasseh
2Chronicles 33:1,2,10-16 KJV: Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: (2) But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. (10) And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken. (11) Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. (12) And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and HUMBLED HIMSELF GREATLY BEFORE THE GOD OF HIS FATHERS, (13) AND PRAYED UNTO HIM AND HE WAS INTREATED OF HIM, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God. (14) Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah. (15) And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. (16) And HE REPAIRED THE ALTAR OF THE LORD, AND SACRIFICED THEREON PEACE OFFERINGS AND THANK OFFERINGS, AND COMMANDED JUDAH TO SERVE THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL.
This shows us that no matter how bad we may have been, if we honestly repent, God’s mercy will preserve us and make us faithful!