And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. Luke 18:13
Read: Genesis 19:15-17
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
Since the fall of man at the Garden of Eden, the only factor that has sustained man in this world is God’s mercy. When a man receives God’s mercy, it would appear as if he is a genius or his righteousness has bestowed upon him some divine benevolence. This is not true. The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”
In our memory verse for today, we read of the mercy which brought justification to the repentant publican. Because he begged for it, his day of mercy came unhindered. Jesus said in Luke 18:14
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abase, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
One striking revelation in Christ’s assertion is that we can only obtain mercy when we acknowledge our sins and repent of them as the publican did. According to Luke 18:14, what prevents some people from receiving mercy from God is failure to admit that they are sinners and that they need to turn from their wicked ways. It is amazing that some children of God are in the habit of living in the world of relativism where what is right or wrong depends on the justification they have for it. This is not the gospel. When they are caught stealing, they would rationalise it by putting the guilt on the fact that they are jobless. Some ladies claim that they took to prostitution because they were jobless and needed to take care of their aged parents!
“Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
It takes humility to acknowledge it if we do something wrong against God or against our neighbour. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:13:
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Your appointed day of mercy comes when you humbly ask for it from the One who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). I appeal to someone using this devotional; if you have not repented of your sins through Jesus Christ, bring forth the day of God’s mercy into your life by calling on the God of mercy today for forgiveness. Or, if you are a child of God, but seem to be void of His mercy, call on Him like a child will cry to his loving father for mercy. Today is the day of the Lord’s mercy for you and your loved ones in Jesus’ name.
Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me and give me testimonies.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 8:19-10:16 and Proverbs 4:10-19
GOOD MORNING AND HAPPY SUNDAY.