May 19, 2023

Merciful, not Mad

Written by Boyd Bailey

Mercy’s refreshment fills a vessel emptied of self, so you can generously refresh others. A gift…that heals the giver…and the recipient!”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –May 19, 2023

And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory. Romans 9:23, NKJV

When I was a teenager, I totaled my first vehicle (a used car) only two hours after I drove it off the car lot. Fearful of what Mom might say, I braced for her reaction. But with a momma’s mercy, she asked, “Are you ok?” “No,” I stammered with tear-filled eyes; with no words, she held her “tough” sixteen-year-old son and gave me the gift of mercy and comfort in my time of embarrassment and pain. Physically, I was fine, but emotionally I was a wreck! I learned from Mom at that moment how mercy can be the beginning of healing for those suffering from shame. Peace made its way into my conflicted, fearful heart and captured my affection with God’s love. 

Paul reminds those of us who have experienced mercy that we are vessels of mercy, similar to how Peter must have felt after betraying his Lord and Savior. Jesus, now risen, locked eyes with the wayward disciple…still reeling from his sin, the Lord gave Peter the gift of mercy wrapped in peace, “Peace be with you.” Vessels of mercy have the largest capacity for mercy when they are conscious of their own experience of receiving God’s abundant grace and mercy. Spurgeon explains the purpose of vessels is to receive, “At one time, they [vessels] are full of themselves, but grace empties them, and then as empty vessels they are set in the way of God’s goodness, God fills them to the brim with His lovingkindness, and so are they proved to be the vessels of His mercy.” Beautiful, and once we receive God’s great mercy, we richly pour it out on others.

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

Stunningly, you are qualified as a vessel of mercy since you have been a recipient of God’s great mercy. When your life was a wreck bumping along over potholes of pride or feeling fear on a lost, dark, dead-end road of wrong choices…love became your light to the Lord’s abundant mercy. Mercy wiped away your tears; mercy healed your shame, and mercy invited you into forgiveness and the freedom of God’s grace. And the divine prescription is always accessible through a humble heart, so as life’s challenges continue to shower your life, you seek the throne of grace for shelter in the storm…for generous mercy. Mercy is love’s medicine to heal hearts. 

Like Joseph, when you experience jealousy…even abandonment…extend unmerited mercy, as mercy is not for the deserving but to be a bridge of love to bring another closer to Christ. Mercy is a relational magnet, not approval of bad behavior, but drawing a hurting heart back to a safe place of acceptance and healing. You may be one who has been hesitant to seek and receive mercy; if so, let go of the pride of not wanting to be needy…the need to receive. Rather, in humble gratitude, go to the King of all mercies and be touched by His scepter of love that replaces blame and shame with grace and mercy. Mercy’s refreshment fills a vessel emptied of self, so you can generously refresh others. A gift…that heals the giver…and the recipient! 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4, NKJV).


Dear Lord, thank you that you are the God of abundant mercy, who heals hearts and saves souls through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.


How do you need to show yourself mercy, and to whom do you need to give the generous gift of mercy?

Related Reading

Isaiah 55:7; Micah 6:8; 1 Peter 1:3; Jude 1:21

Worship Resource

Young & Free: Peace


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