An Opportunity For Mercy

mercy, grace. ChristmasMy family deals with a local business for goods and services a couple of times a year.  We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial arrangement for many years now and we’ve gotten to the point where we are on a first name basis with most of the staff.  This business relationship has gotten more personal as we’ve gotten to know each other and my trust in them has grown as they have proven themselves over the years.

But now, for the first time, we’ve run into a problem.  The single largest order that I have ever made with them for a part seems to be stuck in limbo.  Because they are a successful business they are in the middle of an expansion project and it seems like during their office move some records got misplaced and no one is quite sure if my part has arrived or where it might be.

If this was just a simple order and pay for it later type of thing then it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But because of the special nature of the part and the customization it required we were required to pay up front at the time the order was placed.  We were told it would take around two weeks.  It has now been more than a month due to the complications with the move.

I spoke with someone in the office recently and it seemed like the move and expansion was still under way.  And because it is now the end of the year and the Holidays are upon us, it may be sometime after the first of the year before they are able to deliver the part.  What should have taken two weeks will probably end up taking over two months.

I’ve been tempted to complain to the owner and make a bit of a fuss.  As a consumer it would be within my rights to do so.  But as soon as I had the urge a thought popped in to my head.  The thought was “well, here’s an opportunity for mercy”.  I can assure you this thought did not originate in my flesh.  My flesh knows only selfishness and the concepts of grace and mercy can only come from the Father through the Spirit.

Despite the fact that I could claim my right to ask for my money back or take my business elsewhere or even complain in any number of different ways the Holy Spirit has prompted me not to do so and to be patient.  And in doing so, I am reminded of what God did for me and for all mankind.  I am reminded that we celebrate Christmas because God had an opportunity for mercy and sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins and be the savior of the world.  I am reminded that God is patient with us despite our failings and our weakness.

In the end, as a child of God, I choose to forfeit my rights in favor of the better, more perfect will of Him who died for me.  But even as I make that decision I know that there will be more opportunities for mercy in the days ahead and not just for me but for all of God’s children.  My prayer is that we set our flesh aside and choose the path of grace and mercy because in doing so we show forth the attributes of our Savior.

 

Mercy The Beautiful

mercy, grace, offeringMercy.  What a beautiful word when heard and understood by the one who has sinned.  God’s mercy is completely inseparable from God’s grace and they can be thought of as two sides of the same coin.  Mercy is when we don’t get the punishment that we deserve and grace is when we are given favor that we have not earned.  So not only does God withhold sin’s terrible punishment he also blesses us with His favor and ultimately with His only Son, Jesus Christ the Savior of the World.  It is by grace through faith that we are saved and the opportunity for God’s grace to be shown is only because he first showed mercy on sinful man.

 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness..  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

God’s mercy never fails and never falters.  Were it not for His mercy this world and everything in it would be consumed and destroyed.  Not only does God’s mercy never fail it is also new and sufficient for each new day.  Whatever mistake or error we may find ourselves in, God’s mercy has provided for us a way back into fellowship with Him.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Mercy and grace are available from the Lord at all times and we are invited to come boldly before God in search of it.  God wants His people to trust and rely on Him completely and constantly.  There is never a time or a circumstance that can keep us from coming boldly before our Heavenly Father who loves us so much.  His invitation is open and He waits for us with arms wide open and angelic helpers ready to come to our aid if only we will ask.

Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:36)

Because we belong to God we are to imitate Him as His dear children.  And because He is merciful so to must we be merciful with those around us.  We must be merciful when we are wronged and we must forgive those who seek to harm us, be it physically, emotionally or financially.  God’s mercy is big enough to cover any sin that we lay at His feet and our mercy must be big enough to cover any sin that is done against us.

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

It is so important that we be merciful and forgiving that Jesus specifically said that we should be reconciled to our brother or sister before we make our next offering to God.  I believe this verse covers not only our monetary offerings but also our time and talents that we use for the Lord.  In other words we must do everything in our power to strive for unity among the brethren and take the initiative in making things right.  Only then will we be in a right place to serve the Lord with gladness and to receive His mercy with a clear conscience and a glad heart.