October 21, 2014

Mercy

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Praise the LORD!
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?
Who can declare all His praise?
Psalms 106:1-2

According to the Random House Dictionary, the word mercy is defined as follows:

mer•cy

1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.
2. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.
3. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.
4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.
5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: It was just mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened.

I know what the Biblical concept of mercy is.  But, I wanted to know the actual definition of the word—compassion, kindness, favor, blessing.  This is what God gives us despite our actions, despite or lack of actually earning these things from Him.  We’re instructed to give thanks because of the fact that we have not earned them, and not only does He bestow the blessing of mercy on us but “His mercy endures Forever!” It isn’t a one-time occurrence, but forever.

I tried to search and see how many times the word mercy was used in the bible, my search came up with anywhere between 170 and 262; so, basically, a lot.  I didn’t find the actual count, but I did find something interesting.  The word mercy is often paired with another word—whether it is love, truth, or grace—but mercy is usually not found alone.  My search showed me something else as well (similar to not being able to find the total number of times mercy is found in the Bible)—I wouldn’t ever be able to tell someone how many times I have seen God’s mercy in my life.

Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?
Who can declare all His praise?

I couldn’t even began to try.  There are hundreds, even thousands, of times where He has bestowed His mercy on my life and on the lives of my friends and family.  Trying to think of the number overwhelms me, it shows just how much He loves me…how MUCH He loves us.  It sometimes worries me that I won’t have an answer if I’m asked what God has done for me—there is so much that I wonder if I would know where to start.   So I am going to try something, not just when someone asks, but I am going to start today…now.  I am going to thank God for what he has done today—for waking me up, for making sure there is a roof over my head, for life, mine and the lives of my family, for a sound mind, for a healthy body.

I want to make an intentional effort to thank the Lord…to acknowledge Him for the countless acts of mercy I have seen in my life.

Let’s Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, I don’t even know where to start when it comes to saying thank You, there is no way I could address everything You have done for me, but I want to be intentional in thanking You daily for what You do for me, for my family.  Your mercy is very present in our lives, and for this I thank you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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About Tonya Ellison

Tonya Ellison — Blog Contributor
Tonya comes to us from Rio Rancho, New Mexico where she lives with her four favorite people, three kids ages 4, 6, and 9, and her husband of seven years, Jamel. Her hobbies include writing and reading, crocheting, and spending time with her family. She earned her BS in Human Services/Management and works as a Bereavement Counselor.

Comments

  1. Clella Fox says:

    Thank you, Tonya, for this unspoken encouragement/challenge to make the effort to intentionally “acknowledge God for the countless acts of mercy I have seen in my life.” As I read, I was reminded of Matt Redman’s song, “10,000 Reasons” for my heart to find to bless the Lord for His great mercy. I need to start counting! :)

  2. I tend to be a person to hold grudges. Then the Lord reminds me of His unconditional mercy for me. Gets me every time!

  3. coleen hayden says:

    “what a merciful, merciful, merciful God…You ARE!” (i love that praise chorus!) thank you, tonya…we do have oh-so-much mercy to acknowledge and thank Him for! <3

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