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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



The phrase "Lord have mercy," though frequently misused, is a thoroughly Biblical idea. The New Testament records several individuals saying, "Lord have mercy." In Matthew 15:22 it was a Canaanite woman whose daughter was demon-possessed. In Matthew 17:15 it was a father whose son was suffering with epilepsy. In Mark 10:47 it was blind Bartimaeus. And in Luke 18:13 it was a tax collector smitten by the consciousness of his own sinfulness. Though from different people with different needs, there are at least two common elements in all these pleas for mercy. First, there was a sense of desperation. The people who begged for mercy faced problems and needs beyond the scope of human resources. No bank, doctor, pill, counselor, government program or formula could dispense the help they needed. They saw in Jesus a supernatural source of help unavailable anywhere else on earth. Second, in every instance where Jesus was asked for mercy, He gave it! There is no record He ever refused a sincere plea for mercy.

These days it is rare to see people desperately going to Jesus for help. Not that it is rare to see desperate people. Thoreau said we live lives of quiet desperation. There are desperate people all around us. Families are in crisis. There are marriages where one of both mates are desperate for more than a shared roof and a joint bank account. There are young people desperate for communication, relationship and acceptance with their parents. There are older people desperate for someone to just come by and say hello and stay a little while. There are single parents desperate for strength and courage in the face of the Herculean task of raising one or two or three kids without help from a mate. There are millions who are desperate for a sense of direction, meaning and purpose in life. 

Do you need the Lord's mercy? Are you facing sickness or aging or death? Do you fear the past, present, or future? Do you have sins for which you need pardon and from which you need release? Do you need strength to deal with a faltering marriage, an unfaithful mate, a wayward child? Have your hopes been dashed and dreams disappointed? Do you need to say, "Lord, have mercy on me?" The cross proves to us not only that God can help but also that He wants to help! Nothing rivals the cross for mercy. Ephesians 2:4 reminds us God is rich in mercy. What is your need? He will show mercy!

As children of God, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and f ind grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). LORD HAVE MERCY!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ