God’s Great Mercy
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (Luke 15:3-4)
Our Savior came to save. Of all the different religions in this world, Christianity is the only one where God condescends to come down to man–seeking him at his own low level. Think about Adam and Eve right after their sin in the Garden of Eden. Prior to their disobedience, they had the unique experience of literally walking with God–totally naked, yet not ashamed. Then sin comes into the world, and they hide from God:
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
But God is still seeking!
Jesus actually demonstrates this seeking with Zacchaeus a bit later in Luke:
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)
What mercy the Father bestows upon His lost sheep! Charles Spurgeon suggests that we “meditate for a moment on the mercy of God.” I believe it will encourage our hearts today. He gives us these important adjectives regarding the mercy of God:
It is tender mercy: With gentle, loving touch, He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of His mercy as in the matter of it.
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 favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God.
It is undeserved mercy: As indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner’s part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom, and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself.
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.
It is manifold mercy: As Bunyan says, ‘All the flowers in God’s garden are double’. There is no single mercy. You may think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of mercies.
It is abounding mercy: Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted, it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever.
It is unfailing mercy: It will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend, mercy will be with thee in temptations to keep thee from yielding; with thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with thee living to be the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.
Take It to Heart
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)