No Longer Just a “Benchwarmer” – A Journey to the Heart of God
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7 (ESV)
Is it possible to show mercy without having experienced mercy? No.
You must receive mercy if you want to be able to extend mercy. Mercy cannot be earned. Mercy is extended. The more I experience and share God’s Mercy – the more I will find my heart is in a place to receive more and more mercy.
Titus 3:5 – “he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
What is mercy?
“Mercy is God withholding from me what I deserve; Grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve.”
This simple definition is written on the inside cover my Bible. I wrote it down many years ago as I was struggling with understanding what God’s Mercy and Grace was all about – I am not able to give credit to anyone for those words.
As I stand at the bottom of the staircase that leads to the fifth red heart-shaped door, I see a bench that is positioned to the right side of the door. I can’t help but wonder what is the purpose for that bench? I notice people sitting quietly and waiting – each appearing to be in their own little moment of waiting.
I think – how long have these people been sitting on this bench? How long will I have to sit with them? What is the purpose? Will I be able to open this door as I have done before along my journey to the Heart of God?
I start to ascend up the steps pondering whether I should sit or open that red door?
What have I done before?
- I have acknowledged that I was poor in spirit and I have accepted the invitation to the Kingdom of Heaven.
- I have spent time mourning over the goodness of God and I have discovered much comfort in His Presence.
- I willingly humbled myself before God and I have desired to be more like Him.
- Then I remembered that feeling deep within my soul – that hunger and thirst after righteousness and I realized that I had indeed been filled.
Oh Poppa! You have shown me love, compassion, mercy, and grace.
Have I been living from a point of counterfeit mercy? I started to realize that I probably had. I want the real thing. I want to be the real thing. I want to live out of the Grace Point of God’s Mercy.
If I continue to sit on this bench, I will never get to practice what God has shown me through His Great Mercy for me. Light bulb moment! I don’t want to be just a “benchwarmer.” I want to play – I want to be a part of the first string team.
I stand up knowing deep within my heart that I am ready to open that red door; I am ready to start showing others the mercy that has been shown to me. I reach for the doorknob and I open the door – the “Door of Mercy.”
James 3:17 – “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (ESV)
I have been trained in God’s School of Mercy. There have many times throughout my life that I messed up on relationships with others and I found myself coming to my Heavenly Father asking for forgiveness and He graciously forgave me and purified me. God has lavishly poured out His Mercy and Grace upon me and has shown me the ways to handle hurts in my life – to handle difficult circumstances that I come upon along the path of my journey to His heart. There is power in God’s Mercy and Grace that helps me to grow up, to learn how to not be tossed to and fro in the waves and winds of the counterfeit schemes of the evil one.
Have you been trying to give out mercy to others that comes from a counterfeit mercy? If so, maybe you have been sitting outside that fifth door on a bench just waiting. When you try to give mercy from your natural side – it will never be given from the overflow of God’s mercy that has been extended to you.
It might be time for you to stand up and go through that Door of Mercy.
Counterfeit mercy always inflates the ego of believers, but true mercy humbles them and gives God the glory.
I don’t know if you have noticed yet on this journey to the heart of God, but we have been walking up the beautiful staircase and opening red doors in God’s House of Grace! Isn’t that exciting! Each door that is opened, I am becoming more and more like Him.
We are Kingdom Builders! We are becoming Lovers of souls. Hungering and thirsting to give what has so graciously been given to us from our Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning in praise and worship thanking you for the mercy you have shown me all these years. Father, how much you have loved me – loved others. My prayers this morning as I finished this post is that others could start to see you as the God of Mercy. I pray that each one of us will seek to grow up in the ways and thoughts of the Lord. Father, may these words touch other hearts and if they are lingering on that bench by the fifth red door – that they will desire to get up and walk on through that Door of Mercy – and learn in your School of Mercy. I ask this in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.
Remember, we walk through that door of mercy because we have hungered and thirsted after righteousness and we have been filled.
We joyfully give from a merciful heart because we have experienced mercy from the Mercy Giver.
MY SONG: We serve a God of Mercy. He shows us how to love. To live. To give. To be.
Scriptures and Resources:
1 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. (ESV)
Ephesians 4:14 – So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (ESV)
Merciful – NT:1655 – Eleemon (el-eh-ay’-mone); from NT:1653; compassionate (actively): KJV – merciful. New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Mercy – NT:1653 – Eleeo (el-eh-eh’-o); from NT:1656; to compassionate (by word or deed, specially, by divine grace): KJV – have compassion (pity on), have (obtain, receive, shew) mercy (on). New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)