Mercy  092114

A Word about Mercy: In modern versions of the Bible, there are a lot of times when the word mercy in the King James Version is translated ‘love’, or ‘great love’ (or compassion) in the other versions.  And I guess mercy really is a facet of God’s love, but it is such a special facet of God’s love that it deserves some special attention.  In the dictionary, the word ‘mercy’ is defined as follows: 1 kind or compassionate treatment of an offender, adversary, prisoner, etc, in one’s power; compassion where severity is expected or deserved. 2 A disposition to be kind, forgiving, or helpful. 3 The power to show mercy or compassion: ‘to throw myself on his mercy’.  Antonyms of mercy are: harshness, severity, implacability, punishment, chastisement, vengeance.                                                            So you might say ‘mercy’ is love, or just like love,  but it has a depth of meaning that we don’t usually associate with love, certainly not what we humans usually think about when we say love.  Something about, ‘even though we’re worthless and don’t deserve anything but punishment, don’t deserve a thing except judgment and condemnation’, God says, “I don’t care.  Because I love them and I want them to love me, I’m going to be nice to them. It’s more than just regular, human love; it’s MERCY.   Psalms 100:6 (KJV) says, “For the Lord is good,  His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”  His mercy is everlasting.  To obtain mercy all you’ve got to do is accept it.  He’ll never quit giving it to you.  He likes being merciful because He loves us and He wants us to have a relationship with Him.  Right now, no matter what you’ve done; He’s standing there with His hand out, waiting for you to come and take His hand.  That’s mercy.                                             There’s a soliloquy from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare. (Public domain). It says,  “The quality of mercy is not strain’d,                                                                                                               It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven                                                                                                  Upon the place  beneath: it is twice bless’d;                                                                                                It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:                                                                                              ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes                                                                                                     The throned monarch better than his crown;                                                                                               His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,                                                                                           The attribute to awe and majesty,                                                                                                                 Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;                                                                                               But mercy is above this sceptred sway,                                                                                                       It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,                                                                                                           It is an attribute to God himself,                                                                                                                   And earthly power doth then show likest God’s                                                                                           When mercy seasons justice.”                                                                                                                     That’s mercy.                                                                                                                                            While we’re talking about mercy, we need to talk also about grace.  Grace is the way we act when we’re brought up right; when our mommas actually taught us, actually showed us how people are supposed to act when they act graciously; when they let you see what true manners are all about.  Not so much about which fork to use as it is about how to make people feel comfortable and at ease in your home.  Grace is a sign of how you really are down in your heart, when the Spirit of God is residing there.   Someone said that Grace is ‘unmerited favor’; God being nice to you, even though you didn’t do anything to deserve it; and mercy is God being nice to you, even when you deserve to be punished.  Grace and mercy are just two faces of the same coin, and the coin is God’s love.  Oh, you’ve heard that expression haven’t you?  God is love.  .  (and mercy  .  .  .  and grace).                                                                                                       What do you think . . .What do you do?                                                                                              1] What is mercy to you?                                                                                                                          2] What is it about mercy that makes it so special?                                                                                3] What is the definition of grace?                                                                                                            4] What is it to you?

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