God's Exquisite Garden


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The word mercy means compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or any person in one's power. A second definition is the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing. Another meaning of the word mercy is something that gives evidence of divine favor, blessing.

We read in Matthew 5:7," Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

A Biblical example is that of the Pharisee and the tax collector. This story is found in Luke 18. The tax collector attested to his sins, wanting the forgiveness of the Lord and to be seen by Him as if he had no sin. Jesus said, " And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ' God, be merciful to me a sinner!'" Luke 18:13

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The Pharisee on the other hand was filled with pride. It is hazardous to become holier than thou or self-righteous. If we are proud we will not have the mercy of God.

Jesus said of the tax collector," I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14

We learn from these lessons that we are to be merciful as God is. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. " Luke 6:36

Another Biblical example of someone showing mercy toward another is that of the master to whom money was owed. He had different servants, but one of them owed him a large sum of money. This entire story can be read in Matthew 18:23-35.

"Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. " Matthew 18:27
That servant then went to a fellow servant and showed him no mercy. Once the master found out, he became angry. " Then his master, after he had called him, said to him,' You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'"Matthew 18:32-33

Imagine a case where someone had embezzled funds. Once this was found out, the person feared the loss of his job and possible legal steps. After the discovery, he walked into the boss's office. He was asked to stay at his present job, and also he was asked if he could be trusted again. He accepted and said he could be trusted. When he asked why he was given another chance at this position, the boss said he himself had been in the same situation. He was shown mercy and wanted to show mercy to someone else.

A third Biblical example is the Good Samaritan. This story is told in Luke 10:30-35. A man went down a road, was overtaken by thieves and they left him half dead. Three men walked by and saw him. The priest and the Levite walked by on the other side. The Samaritan saw him and had compassion and cared for him.

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" Then Jesus answered and said: ' A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.'" Luke 10:30-33

So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, And wait on your God continually.
Hosea 12:6 (NKJV)

For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy, Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:13(NKJV)

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.
Zechariah 7:9(NKJV)

Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart,
Proverbs 3:3(NKJV)

The justice and mercy of God are combined together in God's love for us as sinners. But, amidst all the attributes of God, mercy shines brighter. They are all equal, but we would be lost without the Mercy of God.

Christians are to be merciful toward others. Mercy is a characteristic of saints.

The Lord has shown us mercy, we need to show mercy to others. Even though we continually sin against our Lord, he has mercy on us and will forgive us of our sins.

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" Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."
Romans 12:6-8 (NKJV)

The prophet sums it up for us in Micah 6:," He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? "

Discussion and study questions:
(1) How do we participate in displaying mercy to others?
(2) Why is mercy so important?
(3) How does God show mercy toward us?

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Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence

Lessons in this Series

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Lesson 1

Lesson 2
The Mind of Christ

Lesson 3
Imitate Christ

Lesson 4

Lesson 5
Taming the Tongue

Lesson 6
Our Legacy

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13
Improper Language

. .

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19
Strength to
Endure Suffering

Lesson 20
Grieve Not
The Spirit

Lesson 21

Lesson 22

Lesson 23

Lesson 24
Purity in Heart

Lesson 25

Lesson 26

. .

Lesson 27

Lesson 28

Lesson 29

Lesson 30
Inner Peace

Lesson 31

Lesson 32
Our Example

Lesson 33

Lesson 34

Lesson 35
Testing Of Our Faith

Lesson 36

Lesson 37

Lesson 38
Problems Concerning

Lesson 39
Practical Results

. .

Lesson 40
Good Works

Lesson 41
Women Teachers
in Bible Times

Lesson 42
Women Teachers

Lesson 43
Good Friends

Lesson 44
Choosing a Husband

Lesson 45
Choosing a Wife

Lesson 46
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 1

Lesson 47
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 2

Lesson 48
The Ideal Mother
Part 1

Lesson 49
The Ideal Mother
Part 2

Lesson 50
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 1

Lesson 51
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 2

Lesson 52
. .

Lesson 53
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 1

Lesson 54
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 2

Lesson 55
The Virtuous Woman
Part 1

Lesson 56
The Virtuous Woman
Part 2

Lesson 57
The Virtuous Woman
Part 3

Lesson 58

Lesson 59

Lesson 60
Pride & Haughtiness

Lesson 61

Lesson 62

Lesson 63

Lesson 64

Lesson 65

. .

Lesson 66

Lesson 67

Lesson 68
Infinite God

Lesson 69
Holiness of God

Lesson 70
of God

Lesson 71

Lesson 72
of God

Lesson 73
of God

. .

Photos courtesy Pitts Theology Library, Wikimedia, and Heartlight images