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Do you want justice or God's mercy? - James C. Bell

There are many references to both justice and mercy throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, and rightly so, for God expects His people to "act justly and to love mercy." (Micah 6:8).

Please look this verse up in your Bible, read it and memorize it so that you can recall it often. This is one of my favorite verses because it tells us plainly how we are to treat other people and states that this kind of living is what the Lord requires of us.

I think some people today have read a different meaning into this word "justice." The word actually means, "the administration of what is just, right, legally and morally, fairness, correctness."

Some associate justice mainly with the law and feel that those who break the law should get their just punishment. But their lives show they ignore the "morally right" and the "fairness" meaning of this word. I'm afraid we all are guilty, to some degree, in feeling we must be treated fairly, and even with special care, because of who we are, or who we think we are.

We have allowed misguided pride, and even greed, to guide our lives, thoughts and actions. "I'm worth it' and "I'm going to get mine, regardless of who gets hurt" is the attitude of many. They say they want justice and fair treatment, but what they really mean is they want special attention and treatment, even if it is at the expense of others.

They are quick to take offense and quickly resort to name calling, arguments and violence. Our courts are filled with frivolous suits that clog the administration of true justice and cause great waste of time and money.

Do you really want "justice?" Some can answer this question positively, because of some crime or severe mistreatment against them or their loved ones. And I agree. We must have law and order and a fair system that metes out punishment that suits the crime.

But think of Justice in the moral sense and according to God's expectations of human behavior. So many of these people, who cry for justice, go through life ignoring God and mistreating others in preference to themselves. Unfortunately, all of those people are not outside of God's church.

One doesn't have to be a Bible scholar to know the Lord's teaching about having such attitudes. In the sixth chapter of Matthew, versus 5-14, Jesus tells us how to pray, and in the 14th verse, He says, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

We must forgive to be forgiven! Please read also Matthew 5:38-48, for more instructions on how to treat others.

Do I want justice or God's mercy? Brother, I can tell you I surely do not want justice, but I pray for God's mercy. Dear God, be merciful to me, a sinner. Yes, I am a sinner and so are you. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

We must recognize and admit our sin, asking our merciful God to forgive us in the name of Jesus Christ. To feel we deserve special treatment, that we deserve to go to heaven because of our goodness is a sin against God! No one is, or can be, good enough to go to heaven! We are sinners, either lost and without God, or sinners saved by grace. Praise God that He Loves us (John 3:16) even when we are so unlovable, so sinful.

My friends, please listen to the best advice I can give you: Recognize God and believe in Him, admit your sin and pray for His forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 8:12 says, "For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more." See also 1st John 1:9. Yes, God will forgive us. Praise Him for His great mercy!

Please call us at 770-603-PRAY, and allow someone to pray for you. Ask for me, Brother James, and leave your name and phone number. I will call you back, and together, we will discuss what the Bible says our relationship with God should be.

May God bless you!