Hidden Treasure #2- Rich in Mercy and Agape Love
** But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he loved us, ** Ephesians 2:4
In this series on our Hidden Treasures in Christ, I just can’t write a post without touching again on this blog’s theme verse. It is not only the central theme for this blog, but, also for my own life. The more I realize how rich we all are because of mercy, the easier it is to write about it. The more I understand the riches of His mercy towards me, the easier it is to be patient with others and their shortcomings. Because if the Lord can be merciful to me, knowing who I really am, I owe the same to anyone I meet.
In our last post, the Riches of His Grace, we talked a little about Moses, Abraham, Paul and others and how the Lord used them to further His kingdom in spite of the sins and crimes they committed. He poured out His grace on them and made them vessels fit for His use.
We can look again at these same characters and see the mercy that the Lord covered them with. If we know the Old Testament law, we know that murderers died under this law. It was the kill and be killed law. The Lord could have required that Moses or Paul be killed for their sins. But His mercy had better plans for them.
Not only did the Lord shower these men and women of the Old Testament with grace ( good things that they didn’t deserve), but He also showed them mercy. He didn’t give them what they did deserve. He didn’t give them: Isolation. Rejection. Death. He allowed each of them to live a useful life, having a purpose and a higher reason to live. This allowed them to be given another chance to have their story end positively instead of negatively.
The word rich can be defined as having an abundance, having more than is necessary to survive, or having so much that there is something left over that can be shared with others.
As we receive the hidden treasure of mercy richly…we can and should give it away to others in the same way. It is given freely, so we must give it away freely and abundantly.
We should also remember that God is merciful with the merciful. (Matthew 5.) It is a wise person who chooses to treat others with mercy in order to protect the Lord’s merciful presence in their own lives. If we want to be forgiven and escape the consequences of our own mistaken behavior or words or attitudes, it is best to choose mercy with those who offend us with these same things.
If we choose to hold others to give account of their sins to us, then the Lord will hold us accountable for our own. This wrong perspective obligates Him to take a measure of His mercy away from us and experience the absence of it. Eternally we still can count on His mercy and forgiveness, but this life will be harder on us than necessary if we are not merciful with others. We need to be careful to not be happy to be rich in mercy for our own benefit, and then be poor in sharing it with those around us.
Lastly, our verse also tells us ** But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he loved us, ** (emphasis mine)
The Hidden Treasures of Grace and Mercy are an outpouring of God’s overwhelming, unconditional and perfect agape love. A love that is patient with us as we learn of Him and slowly begin to manifest His grace and mercy to those around us. This love is kind to us even when we have yet to learn to be kind. It is a love that is not boastful, arrogant, prideful or envious. It is humble and pure and tender with us.
God’s Hidden Treasure #2- Rich in Mercy and Agape Love is a reminder to learn, practice, study, meditate and live in His agape love. It is to walk in mercy as a manifestation of that love. To receive mercy and to give it is to show agape love to others.
These two treasures, mercy and agape love, should not be kept hidden. They should be shared, even showered on those around us. We should spend all that we have been given, because as we spend it, the Lord will fill us up again and again.