October 9, 2023

Generous Mercy

Written by Boyd Bailey

Jesus’ lovers are never too proud to receive mercy and never too stubborn to give mercy.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 9, 2023

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8

Mercy is a grace we desire in generous bucket pours…but often offer in stingy syringe drops. Webster’s 1828 definition of mercy is robust, “That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.”

“The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty” (Numbers 14:18).

God’s great mercy is beyond what we can see and what a lifetime can experience. Deep and wide, present and eternal, the mercy of our Lord is an immediate application of His everlasting love for us. We run away; He woos us back. We drift away, He draws us back. We make our way back to Him, and He runs to greet us. We forget Him, He reminds us of His holiness and blessings. We sin and repent, and He forgives. We forgive others, He forgives us. Everything is wrapped up in the Lord’s mercy and grace…always accessible at His throne of grace. “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV). God’s mercy moves us to find grace in our neediness. 

Divine mercy explodes with meaning and application to all of us in need of its soothing touch. Spurgeon eloquently paints the great and rich application of mercy, “It is great mercy. There is nothing little in God; his mercy is like himself—it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then gives great favors and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God… It is rich mercy. Some things are great but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is a cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to your bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart.” 

Lord, be merciful to me; a sinner” is a good prayer for an unsaved soul. But, the best prayer for a saved soul is “Lord be merciful to me, a sinner, who has been saved by your grace, who you now call a saint.” Whether saint or sinner, both are in desperate need of God’s grace. No one ever graduates from the Lord’s school of mercy and grace. As my grandmother used to affectionately say/pray, “Lord have mercy.” If grandmothers need mercy, we all need mercy! God’s generous mercy is a gift to be gratefully received and generously given. Jesus lovers are never too proud to receive mercy and never too stubborn to give mercy. Our great God is great in mercy, patiently forgiving our sins and healing our hearts in like manner, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to do the same. Mercy is twice blessed by the giver and the receiver. 

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).


Heavenly Father, I come to your throne of grace by faith to receive your rich mercy and great grace through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Muse on The Quality of Mercy“, a speech given by Portia in William Shakespeare‘s The Merchant of Venice (Act 4, Scene 1).

Related Reading

Genesis 19:19; Psalm 94:18-19; Luke 1:78; Hebrews 4:16

Worship Resource

Don Moen: Great is Your Mercy


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