Mercy has been defined as "kindness in excess of what may be expected by fairness." If God had been only fair and just with each of us, where would we be? But is there a harshness in God's mercy—like a doctor's frank diagnosis that precedes healing? Are there "conditions" for receiving God's mercy? Why do so many people refuse it? What happens to a person who truly receives the mercy of God?
Table of Contents
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 8:1–15; Psalm 51:1–2, 10–13; 119:21, 24; Proverbs 16:2, 25; Jeremiah 17:9–10; Daniel 2:1–23; Matthew 5:1–12; Mark 5:1–20; Luke 6:27–36; John 3:19–21; Acts 9:1–22; Ephesians 4:21–32; 1 Timothy 1:12–17; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Titus 3:3–8; Hebrews 4:12–13; James 1:21–25; 2:12–26; 1 Peter 1:3–5; Jude 1:20–23; Revelation 3:17–20
• The Issue
If God were only just and not merciful, what could each of us reasonably expect from him?
Have you ever experienced the harsh aspects of God's mercy?
What are some of the defense mechanisms many of us use to deal with guilt and avoid direct confrontation with God?
• The Scriptures
Proverbs 16:2, 25: Why is it so difficult for us to gain a true picture of ourselves from introspection alone?
Titus 3:3–8: How is receiving God's mercy linked with the power to live a new life?
• The Application
Sample application questions:
What personal experience stands out to you as a very meaningful example of God's mercy?
What do you feel are the keys to our having a greater awareness and experience of the mercy of God?
ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY
• When Mercy Hurts, by Clifford Williams (February 1989, 7 printed pages)
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