Is God’s Mercy Automatic and Unending? This is a question asked by many individuals.We attempt to answer this question in this article.We are often told that God is merciful but He also punishes us when we disobey Him. This can be confusing for many, and often causes feelings of guilt and unworthiness. However, the Bible gives us many illustrations of God’s mercy when His people deliberately disobeyed Him.
Christians, therefore, should not walk around with guilty consciences when they sin. They should instead ask God to forgive them and move on. God’s forgiving nature is not a license to continue to sin. God’s word reassures us that we have hope when we sin. This article will address 5 things that can influence God’s mercy toward us.
An Unforgiving Spirit
Jesus taught His disciples to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matt. 6:12). As humans, forgiving others is difficult. However, God requires us to forgive so he can forgive us in return. We should bear in mind that we are not perfect. God looks past our own imperfections so we must do the same for others.
Many times, the same individual may offend us and we become weary with forgiving him or her. However, in Matthew 18:21-22, the Bible instructs us to forgive everyone as many times as it takes. God forgives us over and over, not because of anything good that we have done, but because we ask and he loves us. Let us, therefore, continue to receive God’s mercy by forgiving one another.
The Bible tells us that God is merciful but also shows evidence of God’s wrath toward disobedient Christians. In Ephesians 5:6, says that “the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Children of God often disobey Him because they are deceived by others.
Some even disobey because of ignorance. Whatever the reason for disobedience to God’s word, the result can be disastrous for the believer. Christians must study God’s word and pray earnestly so that they do not become disobedient.
As children of God, we should obey His commandments in order to release His many promises to us. Once we choose to go our own way, we have also chosen to abandon the promises of our heavenly father. We punish our children when they disobey us, our heavenly father does the same to us if we do not repent. God’s punishment does not in any way mean that He will no longer show us mercy.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hypocrisy as “behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.” As Christians, we must be different which is sometimes difficult. Most of us do not want to stand out in the crowd so we try to blend in by acting like everyone else.
Refusing to act as God wants us to, cause Him to withhold His promises to us. He says in Matthew 10:33 “whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my father in heaven.” Being denied before our heavenly father is a serious matter which could have eternal implications. We must, therefore, be true to our calling and profession of faith if we are to continue to receive God’s abundant mercy.
Whenever we find it difficult to stand for what we believe in we can always trust God’s grace to see us through. His word assures us that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). So, let us be bold for Christ and be willing to stand out in the crowd instead of being lost in the shuffle.
We live in a society where the common belief is that more is better and we should always be striving to accumulate more. Having more is not always bad depending on what it is we want more of. More of God’s mercy, wisdom, grace, and favor is always good to crave. However, only a few of us have that type of craving. The things we crave usually provide us with temporary pleasure at best and have no eternal value.
The Bible encourages us to be content and to seek for those things that are of eternal value. Hebrews 13:5 admonishes us to “keep our lives free from the love of money” and Matthew 6:25-26 & 32-33 tells us not to worry because our heavenly father is aware of all our needs and will supply them.
We should keep these promises in mind so that we do not succumb to the false teachings that encourage greed. Craving material possessions can cause us to lose our focus which will result in us missing out on God’s mercy.
Selfishness or Mercy
Human beings are naturally selfish because of our sinful nature as well as the culture in which we live. However, as Christians, selfishness has no place in our lives.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:2 that we should “look not only to our own things but also to the things of others.” This means that we should be concerned about each other. Romans 15:1 admonishes those of us who are strong to be considerate of those who are weak.
We are sometimes afraid to help others because we think that we may become afflicted with their weaknesses. As Christians, we need to remember that our strength comes from God.
Living for oneself only will preclude us from experiencing the fullness of God’s grace and mercy. It is by sharing with and caring for others that we can truly access the abundant blessings God has bestowed upon us. Brain Tracy sums it up nicely by saying, “Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
I trust that this article has encouraged you. Please continue to read God’s word daily and put it into practice. God’s mercy is free to all but it is not automatic. His mercy is unending but we need to ask and be fervent in our promise to keep from sinning. We have a responsibility to do what God has asked of us and He will, in turn, keep His promises to us. God bless you.
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