Summary: Let us build a bridge of mercy and extend the mercy we have received to the guilty.
Mercy. The gift given to the guilty. Mercy is a word you will hear used in the legal system. After the conviction has been made, the jury has unanimously declared your guilt, and the sentence is about to be handed down, MERCY is begged for. Your advocate may say, “We would like to throw ourselves on the mercy of the court. My client is a wife and has three children, we beg for mercy.
Mercy is not found in a state of innocence, nor is it sought before the sentence is sure. When an appeal for mercy is invoked, it is your only hope. There is no prayer that your defense argument will prevail, there is no hope that reasonable doubt will be established. The only hope is that the gavel will not come down with the sentence you have now been declared worthy of, that the judge will show mercy.
“The man who refuses to show mercy destroys the bridge over which he himself must cross.” is a quote from a great preacher reflecting the truth of this verse. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Yet we live in a time when hearts have grown cold and insensitive to the needs of others. As we become self-absorbed and not seeing our common plight in the needs of others. Take for instance, the current event that headlined with the Texan lady who ran down a homeless man and did nothing to help him, but ignored his pain and allowed him to die.
I. We must realize our constant need of MERCY
A. We are upheld by the mercy that brought us salvation
B. What it means to live under grace is illustrated by the life of John Newton.
Newton was born in London, half a century before the American Revolution, to a mother of superb spiritual qualities and a nondescript father. His mother died when he was six. Five years later he went to sea with his father who was a ship’s captain. He became a midshipman and for a time led a wild existence, living in utter disgrace. He rejected the God of his mother, he renounced any need of religion and he lived an irresponsible and sinful life. Eventually he became a slave trader, crossing the ocean several times as captain of slave ship, responsible for terrible human degradation among the captives he had crowded on board. But grace was always a factor in his life. He survived a deadly fever in Africa, and his ship survived a terrible storm which almost killed him.
Finally, dissatisfied with his life, he began reading the writings of Thomas a Kempis. Somehow, the Holy Spirit began stirring inside his soul, awakening him from sin, urging him toward salvation until he finally gave his heart to Christ. He was so thoroughly converted, in fact, that he felt a call from God to enter the ministry. He was eventually ordained in 1781 and accepted a pastorate in Olney, England.
You may have heard one of the beautiful songs written by John Newton, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. . .”
C. Our greatest need is for MERCY
"If our greatest need was for information, God would have sent an educator."
"If our greatest need was for technology, God would have sent a scientist."