Mercy is the action of love and charity. Mercy is much more than just not condemning someone when they deserve it, though that is a big part of it. I cannot explain the infinite depths and beauties of mercy, but I will talk about a few of its aspects to get you started on a study of your own. These short studies that I am giving you are not sufficient, on their own, to compensate for a lack of follow-up study and reading on your own. What you learn between you and God from His Word is more precious than any sermon.
To start off, how important is it to God for you to show love? How much of a priority should it be in your life to seek to find God’s love in your life, that it may flow out and shine through you to others?
I John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
I John 3:14-19 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God,] because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
I Corinthians 13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor,] and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.
John 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
John 13:34-25 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Study diligently and prayerfully the whole book of first John.
Not only is seeking God and His righteousness not an option for a believer, but demonstrating that love to others must follow. If you have the love of Christ in you, you will practice that love to others.
Mercy is, in essence, the showing of love to others no matter what, specifically to their needs or wants. The greatest sin you can commit, some have said, is to refuse to show mercy to others when you have received mercy unfathomable from God. You who have been shown mercy, dare not to not pass it on!
There are many ways to show mercy in little and in big ways. If you diligently seek the Lord and His mercy you will find ways to do it, but only as you humble yourself to others. One of the most powerful ways of showing mercy when you are struggling with sexual sin is mercy praying.
Mercy praying can be done for anybody, anywhere, anytime, so it is constantly available to you when you are in temptation. It is also amazingly effective: you cannot lust after a girl if you are praying mercy for her or anybody else! Pray fervently to God to show His mercy to her until there is not even a hint of inclination to lust after her, then go pray mercy for somebody else or pray thankfulness and praise for your deliverance.
Specifically, here is what you can pray mercy for somebody for:
- that they would be humbled gently before God so that they can see their need of Him and see His glory;
- that they would be molded and fashioned and strengthened to God’s will so that they could be blessed by being a mighty tool in His hand;
- that they would be blessed in all that they do, that those they care about would be blessed, and that they would see the mighty providential hand of God;
- that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit of God, strengthening, guiding, and encouraging them;
- that they would come to a beautiful knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of God’s kingdom;
- that they would be filled with God’s love and mercy for others;
- and etc.
All of these things applies to everyone, including yourself, Christians, and non-Christians. You can even pray these things for somebody who is further along in their walk with the Lord than you! If they are not saved, you can also pray for their salvation.
I have used this and prayed my way right through crowded downtown, filled with lustful images and opportunities for failure. I prayed mercy for hours in those temptations, and by Christ’s spirit in me, I triumphed.
With love, prayer, and mercy in Christ,