Seeking Jesus First - Sept. 13, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - Sept. 13, 2023

“Have mercy on us.”

It is a very powerful prayer to the God of Mercy.

Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,” (Exodus 34:5–6, NKJV)

Mercy is a covenant word. I believe all of God’s words are covenant words because He cannot lie. When God declares that He is merciful and gracious, abounding in goodness and truth, we can know that God is offering to be our covenant partner. We enter in by faith, hope and love.

keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.” (Exodus 34:7–8, NKJV)

The Lord God gave Moses a warning with his name. While He forgives, He does not clear the guilty.

The prophet Ezekiel prophesied a new way. God would deal with each person individually, not based upon the actions of their parents. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20, NKJV)

Jesus went much farther and made a way for removing the guilt through His blood, but it is the faith of the person that brings them into God’s grace. We actually receive His righteousness simply by trusting in Him. We repent. We receive His way of thinking. We receive His loving word. We become as He is, in faith, hope and love.

In Christ Jesus, God did not clear the guilty. God punished Jesus who received all of our guilt on the cross. The guilty has been judged and executed on the cross.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:7–10, NKJV)

God is still The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abounding in goodness and truth. Jesus is full of grace and truth. He is merciful.

Here are three times that people came to ask Jesus for mercy:

  • Two blind men: “When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.”” (Matthew 9:27–30, NKJV)
  • A non-Jewish woman whose daughter had an evil spirit: “And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:22–28, NKJV)
  • A man whose son had epilepsy: “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:15–20, NKJV)

Being merciful is sharing your authority and power with someone who needs it.

Being merciful is looking on someone’s low condition and lifting them out of it.

Being merciful is recognizing that you have the power to help and then helping.

Loving-kindness is also mercy. Mercy is the act that is motivated by compassion.

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.” (Lamentations 3:21–25, NKJV)