God Is Merciful
"I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?" (Matthew 18:32b-33)
"She was rolling her eyes at me!"
"He hit me!"
"He wouldn't share his cookies with me!"
The same boys and girls who had been quietly listening to a Bible lesson only minutes before were now filling the air with angry shouts. What had the Bible club leader just said?
"God is merciful. He sent Jesus to die for us when we were still sinners. He did that so that we could be saved from all of our sins. He promises to forgive our sins when we come to Jesus."
Forgiveness. Love. Salvation from sin. God offers us all of these things freely. There is nothing we could ever do to earn our salvation. We could never deserve forgiveness and love. What if God had thought only about how much we had hurt Him by our sin? What if He had not returned love and kindness for our hatred and rebellion? We are saved only because God has been merciful to us. (See Titus 3:5.)
Since God has been merciful to us, how do you think He wants us to treat others? He wants us to treat them just as He has treated us--with mercy. Mercy reaches out to others with compassion, with forgiveness, with love. Mercy means not returning evil for evil. Mercy means refusing to roll our eyes back, hit back, or be unkind back. Mercy means forgiving. Mercy means thinking about someone's needs rather about how that person hurt us. Mercy means treating others as God has treated us.
God is merciful, and He wants us to show mercy to others.
» Am I treating others in the same way God has treated me?
» Do I see others' needs, or do I only see how they hurt me?
Truth In Real Life
“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
Oswald Chambers was born into a pastor’s household in Aberdeen, Scotland, on July 24, 1874. When he was in his teens, after hearing Charles Spurgeon preach, Oswald was walking home with his father. He told his father that, had he been given the opportunity that morning, he would have trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His father stopped walking and led him to the Savior right there on the sidewalk.
At first, Chambers had no plans to enter the ministry. Instead, he studied at the Kensington School of Art, and then he attended the University of Edinburgh, where he studied fine arts and archaeology. While in college, he felt called to the ministry and transferred to a school where he could study the Bible. Unfortunately, he became bored with the Bible and thought it was “dull.” He did not feel that God was really with him anymore. He would continue to feel this way for four long years before discovering his true problem.
What was wrong with Oswald Chambers? He realized that he had been seeking God’s blessing and power so that he could live a happy and wonderful life – not so that he could please God. Once he realized this total selfishness, his attitude changed; and he began growing in his love for Jesus Christ and the Bible again. He traveled the world and told everyone about the Gospel. He started a school and shared many wonderful devotionals whenever he was invited to speak.
His wife took careful notes on each of his devotionals and made the decision to publish them into a book after Oswald Chambers died. The book is titled My Utmost for His Highest. Thousands have grown closer to God with the help of this God-centered book.
Do you enjoy your Bible reading, or do you find it boring? What might be wrong with your heart’s priorities?
Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.