For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
We are saved and kept by the mercy of God.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The mercy of God is a demonstration of God’s love that would prevent us from getting what we had coming. We don’t get eternal judgment and condemnation because of Jesus.
The grace of God is His blessing on our lives mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, etc..
Mercy deals with the past. It is meant to deal with the voice of condemnation that tries to drive us out of fellowship with God.
We are justified (made in right standing with God) by His grace. It makes us heirs to eternal life. Grace and mercy are both given to the believer the moment they accept Jesus.
Psalm 94:18: “When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.”
If your “foot is slipping” it is probably because you are walking somewhere you didn’t need to be. But, every minute of every day, God’s mercy keeps you.
When we first got saved, we had so much zeal and joy. But then weeks and years go by, and we can get to a place where we lose the joy of our salvation. We aren’t where we ought to be. We have to know that on our best day and our worst day, it is only the blood of Jesus that saves us. Don’t let where you’ve come to stop you from pressing in to where you know you should be. It’s not possible for you to get “too far” from God because its the same mercy that saved you that will be the same mercy that keeps you.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
“Follow’ means to be in pursuit.
Have you ever made a bad decision and gotten yourself into a situation that you thought you couldn’t get out of? Where you thought, “I made my bed, and now I have to lay in it.” Well, goodness and mercy have a role to play in that situation. When your mind is telling you that its over, goodness and mercy are saying it’s not. No matter what life may look like in front of us, God has our back.
God specializes in broken things. There is no life that He cannot restore. There is no situation you can get into that God cannot heal.
Jonah was told by God to go to Nineveh, a wicked city, to preach repentance. However, Jonah went in the exact opposite direction of the way God told him to go. As he fled by ship, a great storm arose. Jonah told the sailors it was because of him that the Lord caused such a storm. For this, they threw him overboard where he was swallowed by a great fish. Clearly this wasn’t a pleasant experience for Jonah. He compared it to being in hell.
Because of his disobedience, Jonah was in a situation he couldn’t get out of. But the moment he acknowledged the Lord in repentance, his situation changed.
Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly,And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
Don’t let your past disobedience keep you from turning back to God. When you are ready to turn to Him, He will be there waiting for you in love. The moment Jonah prayed in repentance, he was freed from the fish.
They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Don’t turn to other things because you feel like you’ve gotten too far to turn to God. To “observe lying vanities” is to turn to other things (pills, alcohol, anything…) to help you cope with the reality of your life. Jonah said that to do this is to forsake the mercy that could be yours. You may deserve condemnation and judgment because of your disobedience, but Jesus already paid the price for your sin. God isn’t looking to punish you. He is a God of restoration. The moment you are ready to repent, to turn around, His goodness and mercy will be right there to greet you…because they were following you, in pursuit, all along!