Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

Comments, questions or discussion can happen on Facebook

Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.


When we fail, we need mercy if we are going to be able to try again.  In our dealings with others who fail, there is a tendency to evaluate whether we can trust the person to come through next time round.  We assume that the Lord has the same attitude to us, and many cannot believe that He would have patience with our constant failure.  Amazingly, His patience is way beyond ours, and we can look to Him for mercy in every step of life.

Bible Zone

The zone below looks at three passages.


God of Mercy

Jesus ministry was characterised by mercy to the crowds of people who came to Him.  Here is an example from Matthew 9.

  1. How did Jesus respond to the needs around Him?
  2. What state were the crowds in to evoke such emotion?
  3. What course of action did He suggest to His disciples?
  4. How could you be involved in the needs around you?

Matthew 9:35-38   35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness.36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.37 He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few.38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields."

Challenge of Mercy

It is hard to see a child of mine failing, and letting them fail.  We are God’s children.  He loves us and hurts to see us fail.  Yet the Lord knows that to intervene too quickly leaves us either unaware we had a problem or thinking, we will always get away with it.

Jeremiah 31  shows the Lord’s heart and His desire to show compassion.

  1. How does Israel’s view of itself differ from God’s view of Israel?
  2. How does God’s heart for Israel differ from Israel’s thought on how God views it?
  3. How does this compare with your view of how you see God looking at you?

Jeremiah 31:18-20   18 I have heard Israel* saying, 'You disciplined me severely,   like a calf that needs training for the yoke. Turn me again to you and restore me,   for you alone are the LORD my God. 19 I turned away from God,   but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity!   I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.'

20 "Is not Israel still my son,   my darling child?" says the LORD. "I often have to punish him,   but I still love him. That's why I long for him   and surely will have mercy on him.

We are ignorant of how God views us.  On the one hand we fail, and think that God does not care.  Alternately we become aware of shortcomings and feel that God must have rejected us.  We isolate ourselves from God, either in complacency or in fear.

Refusal of Mercy

This next passage shows the Lord’s compassion in the face of those determined to ignore it and go their own way.  This is Isaiah 30.

  1. What solution does the Lord suggest for the people’s problems?
  2. How do the people respond?  What outcome will be achieved?

Isaiah 30:15-18  15 ..."Only in returning to me   and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.   But you would have none of it. 16 You said, 'No, we will get our help from Egypt.   They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.' But the only swiftness you are going to see   is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you! 17 One of them will chase a thousand of you.   Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill   or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop."

18 So the LORD must wait for you to come to him   so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God.   Blessed are those who wait for his help.