Merciful God (Proverbs 28:13) – PART 1
Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
The Bible teaches us that God is a God of mercy. Mercy, by definition, means “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power.” This has the idea of God’s goodness toward those in misery and distress.
Throughout the Bible, we see that the character of God is merciful. He delights in forgiving people and being merciful to those who don’t deserve it. How should God being merciful affect us?
1. God’s mercy should compel believers to seek God’s forgiveness for their sins.
I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This verse is abounding with mercy. Confession of sins implies acknowledgment and repentance. As we therefore come to God and acknowledge our sin with a repentant spirit, He is faithful and just (righteous) to forgive our sins. John is touching upon day-to-day forgiveness which interrupts our fellowship with God. It is seeking to restore strained fellowship. Furthermore, this confession grants cleansing from all unrighteousness. There is no sin too great that God will not forgive. He desires to give mercy to sinners.
Many saints walk around with condemnation about something they did or did not do in the past. This is because they don’t truly have an understanding of God’s great mercy. For that reason, they instead listen to and accept the condemnation of their flesh and the devil. Some have stopped going to church, some have stopped praying and reading their Bibles. They feel too guilty. Jesus took the penalty for our failures and our sins so that we could receive mercy. If we truly have a revelation of what Christ has done for us, we will run to the throne room of God constantly to receive grace and mercy in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
2. God’s mercy should compel believers to pray for mercy over others.
If we understand God’s mercy, it should cause us to seek and plead with Him for mercy over others. At the cross, Jesus prayed, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...” (Luke 23:34). He asked for mercy towards His persecutors. The Lord’s Prayer says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” as it ushers us to seek forgiveness for, not only our sins, but others sins as well (Matthew 6:12).
Do you ever ask for mercy over the sins of others? This is the same thing we saw the prophet Amos do for the nation of Israel (Amos 7:1-6). It is the same thing Moses did as he constantly asked God to forgive the nation of Israel for their sins (Exodus 32:9-14). It is the same thing Stephen did as he asked for forgiveness over those stoning him (Acts 7:60). It is the same thing that Christ prayed for on the cross. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). It is the same thing we must constantly do for those around us. God has called us to make intercession for people who are far away from God (I Peter 2:9; I Timothy 2:1-4).
Prayer: Lord, in spite of the fact that I don’t deserve Your lovingkindness or tender mercy, thank You for forgiving me of my sins and saving my soul. Help me to utilize these truths for the purpose of ministering to others. Please show me how I can actively and passionately engage in the ministry opportunities You have sovereignly placed around me. Give me eyes to recognize these opportunities, a heart dependent on You, and a desire to come alongside people in my life to help them to grow into a deeper relationship with You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.