Sep. 10, 2015
From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
“Kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender Mercies, Blot out my transgressions” (Psa. 51:1).
“Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy… (I Tim. 1:13).
The Bible provides its readers, from Genesis to Revelation, many outstanding characters to emulate. Each person’s life, whether it’s Abraham, Samson, Sarah, Peter, Timothy, Mary, Barnabas, Samuel, Ruth, John, Esther, Jeremiah, Josiah, Hezekiah, Rahab, Daniel, and many others, offers lessons to make people better. Perhaps you can identify with one or more of the Bible characters, depending on the issue. But when it comes to being a recipient of God’s mercy; maybe each of us can related in some way to King David and the Apostle Paul.
All have sinned or transgressed the will of God (Rom. 3:23)! Maybe, you haven’t murdered anyone or committed adultery, but let’s not forget a sin is a sin. Possibly in someone’s mind, David and Paul committed sins which fall into the “horrible” category. Regardless of how their sins are classified, God showed them mercy.
Each one of us deserves the consequence of decisions, choices, and actions of our hearts, but God has granted us mercy. God has withheld from us what we rightly deserve, and has given us mercy. God showed David and Paul kindness and compassion in spite of their actions.
David was an adulterer, murderer, and liar. Yet, the Bible declares that he was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). How is this possible? God’s mercy made it possible. Psalm 51 is an aftermath of David’s sins. David acknowledged his sins (2 Sam. 12:13), and received mercy not justice. David became a great man for God and leader of God’s people, because of God’s mercy. Paul, informs Timothy that he saw himself as the worst of all sinners, but he was selected by God to preach the good news of the gospel (I Tim. 1:13). How could God use such a horrible sinner? Acts 9 describes Paul’s “eye opening experience;” after he discovered that his actions were against God – he changed. After acknowledging his sins (Acts 22:16), he received mercy.
The challenge today is twofold. First, be thankful for God’s mercy. God has not given you what you deserve but mercy; and secondly, display mercy in your encounters with others. Don’t give people what they deserve – be merciful!