As soon the conductor announced that I was going to minister, I reminded the congregation, how the ministrations, since the year, had been on Grace and Mercy. It leaves no doubt in any mind that God is really what He says He is, the God of Grace and Mercy. We are beneficiaries of His Grace and Mercy. Our Theme is: Mercy saves. And really it does.
I am a living example that the Mercy of God saves. If Mercy does not save, April 16, 1972, would not have taken place in my life. God, as we know Him, judges motives. It does not matter how people praise us, when we do great things. God may not be interested because He knows why we do what we do. That April 16, 1972, He knew my evil motive, when I left my hostel at Enugu Campus of the University of Nigeria for Christ Apostolic Church, Enugu. He knew that it was not to worship Him but to gather bullets, with which I would challenge the people, who were claiming that Dr. [Mrs.] Evelyn Whyte was ministering there and cripples walked and the blind people received their sight. ‘Not possible in this modern age,’ I told myself. God would have ignored me or even punished me for daring Him. He did not. Mercy rather intervened on my behalf and I was saved.
The most annoying thing was that I even went there with my girl friend. Imagine what would have been His anger for entering His holy temple with an unlicensed-bed partner! Mercy, which overrides justice, interceded on my behalf and I was born-again that day. Mercy really saves! After surrendering my life that day to Jesus, for her healing prayer, Dr. Whyte said that the sick people, in the congregation, should hold their ailing part of their body. I obeyed her though I did not believe in what she said. The Bible is clear that without faith, we cannot please God, and therefore, we cannot receive anything from Him. Once again, Mercy pleaded on my behalf and I was healed of stomach ulcer! Six years later, as I was driving from Enugu to Lagos, at Ijebu Ode, it appeared as if a sword was pierced in my stomach. I did not reject it and the ulcer came back. Four years later, after a vigil, I threw away my ulcer drugs and without even quoting relevant Scriptures to support my position, Mercy took over and I was healed till today!
Our testimony during our Christmas crusade in our compound in Ovim was at stake one evening. Uncle Kanu, a member of a cult called, ‘Kill me you kill yourself’, had nothing to do with the Church. He took the microphone and told us to tell Jesus to bring his first son, living at Enugu, home that Christmas. His son had not visited home for many years. It was obvious to us why he did not give me the prayer topic privately but chose to do so in public. It was an open challenge to our faith since we had destroyed the idols in our compound and some people were bringing theirs from their houses for destruction. I took the earth and lifted my hand up and said, ‘Ony is standing on earth at Enugu, I want you to begin to burn his feet in such a manner that he will be uncomfortable until he packs his stuff to visit home in the name of Jesus’. We continued our crusade. The next day, my driver took me to Igbere, where the mother of our church member was doing ‘Igbota nma’ [Retirement ceremony]. A few metres to our compound, when we were returning from there that evening, we heard a great noise in our compound. Ony had returned! Praise God.
We should note that, had he not returned, God would still be God. Ony’s testimony was that each year, after packing his things to visit home, something would dissuade him. ‘Last night, I had an irresistible urge to visit home,’ he said. Mercy intervened. His dad surrendered his life and idols to Jesus and on Sunday, he and his large family members worshipped and joined the Assemblies of God Church.
John chapter 8 is a record of a woman caught pant’s down in adultery. The law had condemned her to death. Mercy saved her from death. Jesus could have given her life jail. Mercy pleaded for her. He could have given her ten years imprisonment but Mercy interceded on her behalf. He could have given her five years. Mercy pleaded for forgiveness. ‘Go,’ Jesus said, ‘and sin no more’. mercy saves.
Our discussion above has been on the saving grace of God’s Mercy. We have to see the attitude of man towards Mercy. David appreciated that it was God’s mercy that saved him from the hands of Goliath, the man-mountain of Gath. He also knew that it was God’s mercy that made him to be a king, when he was not from a royal family. Recognizing that, to whom much is given, much is also desired, he showed mercy to other people. He refused to kill King Saul, who mustered a large army, hunting for his head. The men loyal to David, gave him a false prophecy so that he would kill Saul. We should be careful about the counsels we receive from people, even from friends and close family members. If it is not scriptural, it is not from God. The much he did was to cut off the hem of his caftan and his heart later pricked him for doing that. A child of God must feel guilty if he commits sin.
It was the mercy of David again that saved the king during his second attempt to kill him [David]. One of his loyal men quoted God’s promise on his dealing with his enemies and pleaded with him for him to kill Saul. David refused. The king perished in the hands of the Philistines during another hunt for David’s head. David killed the man, who claimed that he killed Saul. Mercy does not give up. In spite of King Saul’s wanton aggression against David, David did not only refuse to kill him, but still regarded him as ‘My lord, the king’, the Lord’s anointed’. He even bowed before him from a distance. Mercy!
It is also important to see the attitude of the modern Christian towards mercy. Uncle Peter asked the Lord Jesus in Matt. 18:21, the number of times people would offend him and he would forgive them. ‘Seven times?’ he asked. That question is all revealing. It was not about forgiveness. It was not about mercy. It centred on retaliation, ‘When do I retaliate offences from people,’ he really wanted to know. I have seen that spirit in the family and also in the industry, people copiously retaliating offences meted out to them by others. It is in the Church in spite of the wonderful professions we make. Peter wanted a license for retaliating the offenses from people, not only from unbelievers but from brethren. ‘We are heirs, of the Father… we are family’, is not always sung from the heart.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471;[email protected]