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  • Bob Wilburn, District Superintendent

Merit Or Mercy?



“Now they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me! Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!"

(Mark 10:46-48)


The scripture says that blind Bartimaeus sat by the road begging. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was coming, he cried out to Jesus. I don’t know if you have heard this, are aware of this or have been taught this but… Jesus is coming! Jesus promised and prophesied in John 14:3, that He was coming back to receive us (His Church) unto Himself. Conditions are ripe for His return. No mandate can stop it. No presidential order can stop it… He’s coming and He’s coming soon! Jesus…who was mocked, maligned and misunderstood…. Jesus, who was beaten and bruised and spat upon…. that same Jesus is coming on clouds of glory! God has already prepared an exit strategy for His Church. Ready or not… He’s coming. Lost or saved… He’s coming. Walking with God or running from God... He’s coming! The question is, are we ready should He come or call today?


That which Bartimaeus asked for is what we need: Mercy! We dare not approach God on the basis of our own merit. We have no merit in and of ourselves. Titus 3:5 says: “Not by works of righteousness we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”. Ephesians 2:8 says that it is “by grace we are saved through faith (in Christ) and not of ourselves.” Our merit or His mercy? I will choose His mercy every time!


God’s mercy should influence the way we worship. As recipients of His mercy, we dare not be silent and passive in our worship. No wonder David said, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalms 34:1). Without His mercy, we are forever lost, we will live without His Presence, and spend eternity in a place called Hell. When we understand that because of His mercy, we are saved, we have His abiding Presence; we have a Savior, a Healer, a Helper, a Refuge and a friend that sticks closer than a brother… When we understand that, it makes us want to get radical in our worship and extreme in our praise. Thank God for His measureless mercy!


God’s mercy also influences the way we treat people. Are we as merciful to other people around us, as God is to us? The mercy of God in us is to flow through us and influence the way we view people and treat people. Ephesians 4:32 says: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”


Not on the basis of his merit but, on the basis of God’s mercy, Bartimaeus asked Jesus to open his blinded eyes (Mark 10:51). Jesus granted his request and said “thy faith has made you whole”. The combination of God’s mercy and our faith brings about miraculous results!


Perhaps in faith, today, we need to ask God to have mercy on us, our wife, our husband, our children, our grandchildren and the people around us. The cry for mercy always gets God’s attention!

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