We have been talking about those who seek God’s mercy. Now let us discover how we may obtain this mercy from God? Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” We want to start with considering the Lord Jesus Himself. I want you to remember in your need for mercy, that you have a Savior in Heaven Who understands your dilemma. Jesus never did drugs, but he knows what it is like to have a craving that is almost overwhelming, a desire to escape reality. He knows what it is like to be tempted to go get drunk. He knows what it is like. Every temptation that we will ever face in our lives, Jesus faced a similar temptation, yet without ever yielding to sin. How could God have mercy on a sinner except God take on the form of a sinner and endure what it is like to be a sinner? That is how Jesus can be our merciful and faithful high priest. When you have need of mercy, you need to consider Jesus and run to that throne of grace.
Second, to receive mercy we must come boldly. Hebrews 4:16 makes it clear, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” This phrase means “to approach frankly, bluntly, candidly, truthfully, and with confidence.” I know we all have certain “canned” prayers. If I asked you to pray for a meal, and you pray for the meal, chances are next week if I ask you to pray for a meal, it is going to sound very much like the prayer you said last week. I am not being critical of those things at all, but when the Bible talks about coming boldly before the throne of grace, it means “to come with a transparent honesty.” This is a person who comes to God and says, “Life has brought me to the very end of my rope, and I’m losing my grip. I have no more mercy to give them. I need mercy from You, or I am not going to make it.”
I live on Riverside Boulevard, on the other side of Interstate 90 from our church. There is a bridge there that I think they have been rebuilding for a hundred years now. When you go eastbound on Riverside, there are signs up that say stay in right lane, lane closure ahead. When I get to McFarland Road, I have to get in the right-hand lane. I am following the traffic laws and I am in the right lane, even though there is more traffic there. Invariably, someone comes along in the left lane and tries to cut into my lane in front of me at the last second. What is the natural reaction? I want to give them a piece of my mind. I want to lay on the horn. I want to cut them off. What do I do? I flee to the throne of grace for more mercy! I do not want to give them any mercy at all, but I need to. That is the way my life is…and the way your life is. This illustration my not seem like that big of a deal, but the truth is, there are always going to be people around us who need mercy and then need more mercy.
What do you do when you run out? You stop and think about the wonderful Savior we have Who loves you in spite of who you are, or where you are and what you have done; and you go back to Him and you say, “I’m here, and I’ll admit to You that I don’t deserve anything from You but judgment, but I need a big dose of mercy today.” Come boldly to the throne of grace because the outcome is already settled; you can obtain mercy. The word obtain means “to accept with amazement.” It is amazing that we can give mercy to others, but it is even more amazing that God extends mercy to us in the first place.
Let me close with this analogy. We talked earlier about our tendency to loosen our grip and let things drift. We have been offered “grace to help in time of need.” This help is like taking a rope and tying our vessel tight to the moorings to stop our tendency to drift away.” When you come boldly before the throne of God’s grace, you will obtain mercy, you will find grace to wrap ropes tightly around your grip to help you stay tied to the moorings. So, where do we go when we run out of mercy? Go to Him. Go to that throne of grace, obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Have a wonderful day IN the Lord!
Dr. Paul A. Kingsbury