Summary: First part of a 5 part course to help you get to know who God is
The Merciful God
Read Deut 4:28-31
We all need mercy. I don’t need to tell you that we’re all sinners. It’s a simple, sad fact of life (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Rom 3:23). With this in mind, how can a pure, righteous and holy God allow us anywhere near Him?
He is merciful
Let’s look at two cases of El-Rakhoom in the bible. To prove to you that God doesn’t change (another one of His wonderful traits) we’ll take one story from the Old Testament and one story from the New Testament:
Jonah (read Jonah)
As you’ve just read, Jonah disobeyed God and tried to run away from Him. Eventually he realized his mistake and repented of it. Because God is merciful, He gave Jonah a second chance. Then, later on, after Nineveh had repented, God showed mercy to them as well, giving them a second chance. Jonah wasn’t very happy with God. He couldn’t understand why God would forgive Nineveh, even after God had shown mercy to him first. Once again, God taught him a lesson and forgave him.
In our lives, it’s not often that we get a second chance, let alone a third. If I’m writing an exam and answer a question wrong, the teacher’s not gonna give me a second chance!
Thankfully, God is different.
Peter (read Matt 14:66-72)
Imagine that your best friend is being mocked and beaten up. If the people doing it know that you’re this person’s friend, they’re gonna beat you up as well. How would you react? Would you deny the fact that you know your friend or would you stand up for them?
Peter was faced with this very situation. Unfortunately, he messed up big time. Not only did he deny knowing Jesus but he denied Him 3 times! Not only was Jesus his best friend but Peter also knew that He was God!
Yup, I think we can all agree that Peter royally messed up.
But (and here’s the cool part) let’s take a look at what happened to Peter after he repented of this major sin:
Read Acts 3, 4:1-31, 5:15-16
The anointing was so present in Peter’s life that his mere shadow would heal the sick! Because of him, thousands came to believe in Jesus. Wow, if that isn’t a great testimony then I don’t know what is!
Read Eph 2:4
It’s not enough to just know about God’s mercy. It’s up to us to take hold of it and claim it. Read Rom 10:11
Notice that it requires a physical act on our part before God saves us.
Many times Satan will tell us that we’re too bad to come to God. That there’s no way God can love us after what we’ve done. This is a lie straight from the pit of hell! Yes, it’s true that none of us deserve to go to heaven but that’s why Jesus came and died on the cross! If we repent and turn our backs on sin, God is faithful and will forgive us. Don’t ever let Satan make you feel guilty. Remember:
Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. Condemnation is from Satan.
Read 1 John 1:9
I’ll leave you with this quote:
“Our sin doesn’t change God’s power. His mercy is always greater than our sin.” - Anonymous