Mark spoke from Jonah 3:1-10 this morning on the subject of the mercy of God. Jonah reluctantly gave God’s message to Nineveh (a succinct message of repentance or the city would be overthrown) and witnessed God’s mercy as the people (even the king) repented. He knew God well enough to know that mercy was what would happen (hence his previous reluctance to obey God) and he did not really want God to be merciful to this heathen people. Quite often, we like God’s mercy when it relates to us (Jonah’s rescue from the fish) but aren’t so keen on it being shown to others!

God loves to pour out mercy. He hears our cries for mercy (Ps 28:6) and is abundant in His mercy and pardon (Is 55:7). He wants us to be merciful in the same way that He is merciful (Luke 6:36), and we need to learn, therefore, to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

God desires mercy, not sacrifice (Hos 6:6). A relationship with God is more important than the legalism of sacrifice. He delights in mercy (Micah 7:18-19) and we cannot fathom it (see Rom 9:15-16), for it does not depend on our desires or efforts but on the sheer grace and mercy of God! God is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4-5) and we need to learn to come to the throne of mercy (Heb 4:14-16), where we find forgiveness. Like Jonah, we need to be willing to show that same forgiveness and mercy to others.

Mark concluded with Jude’s prayer: “Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (vs 2)