Mercies

I was reminded of one of my favorite hymns this morning at church: His Mercy Is More, by Sovereign Grace Music. I’m slightly partial to any song that can manage the word ‘lavished’; it’s a lovely tune… and it reminded me of this post I’ve been meaning to write for several days now.

What does “His mercies are new every morning” mean to you (Lamentations 3:22-23)? Or “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6)?

It’s obvious, right?

I read these verses, take a deep breath, and think, “Yes, I should be more merciful towards” — whomever the target of my wrath, pity, or disdain is that week.

We read the Bible for us, not others — right? Every pastor I’ve ever heard says so. So, I took the brunt of these verses and applied them from the inside-out: I needed to be more merciful. And, true enough, I wouldn’t advise reading them only to think of someone else’s lack thereof (of mercy). That never does us any good.

Still, on a very blue Tuesday that felt like a Monday, while begrudging the sight of yet more dross in my life finally surfacing, I realized I had been missing one very important feature of these verses —

Namely, that it was God’s mercy in spotlight and that I desperately needed them to be new — for me.

There was no song or dance to slay, no epic prayer-poem to recite, no amount of self-berating or self-pity I could offer upon the altar of my existence to please God. He knew the sin; I knew the sin. It had floated all the way to the top under pressure, and I had already repented… but I still felt bad. And I knew it had to go, but I also knew I couldn’t remove it alone; it was too heavy for me.

What then?

It was then that these verses came back to mind by the Spirit of Grace, and I remembered that I too was an object of God’s mercy, in need of that mercy every day. No more or less on a blue Tuesday than on a sunshiny Sunday.

His mercies were new for me.

His heart desired mercy for me.

And He desires it for you.

We can only extend our arms to receive God’s divine mercies upon our souls after we have let go of that other thing we were holding (sin). Mercy is not getting away with something; mercy is the full pardon God extends to us after we repent and realize that we fully deserved the mess we found ourselves lying in — like the prodigal.

Mercy is being able to go home to the Father after you blew it. Mercy is the Father looking you in the eyes afterwards and still seeing a son or daughter — not just a scoundrel or sinner. Mercy is a grace true repentance won’t trample underfoot…

It wouldn’t dare.

Because in repentance we remember that mercy is the lifeblood of Jesus’ sacrifice and the heartbeat of our Father.

Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think one deserves to be punished who has trampled on the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 

Hebrews 10:28-29

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…

John 3:16

When you repent, receive His mercies. They are for you (too) in Christ Jesus.

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