It is written in 2 Chronicles 16:34, O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.  In today’s society, everyone wants things fast, so here’s a fast description of God for you: good and merciful.  If those were the only characteristics of God, those two alone would be enough to get me to run to Him and worship.  Think of it: how many people do you know who can be described today as good and merciful?  If you know someone like that, you want to spend as much time around them as you can.  Why?  Well think of the alternative: would you want to spend your time hanging out with someone wicked and ruthless?
 Yet today, we have a church on almost every corner, people are staying away by the thousands.  What or who are they avoiding?  Are they avoiding God, who is good and merciful?  Or are they avoiding the church people who say they know Him, who claim to be following God, yet are not imitators of God in being good and merciful?  Let me tell you, I’ve heard many “Turn or burn” sermons in my day, and they didn’t do much to get me to fall in love with God.  If anything, they turned me away from God.  Why would I want to know a God who was perched upon a cloud with a giant fly swatter, just waiting to smack me like a bug if I messed up?  The truth is, I didn’t see much future in that. 
Many people in churches portray God as having an anger problem, who can’t wait to bring fire and indignation upon His adversaries.  No wonder there are so many empty seats in the churches today.  I wasn’t interested in meeting that God.  So I went shopping for a god more to my liking, hoping to have Him on my terms, I will call it a “Burger King” mentality.  For those who haven’t read my writings, let me explain the “Burger King” thing.  You can go there and have a hamburger any way you want it, and there is no wrong way, anything you can dream up for your hamburger is the right way, even if you want clams and whipped cream on it.  Of course they don’t have the clams and whipped cream, but if you wanted to bring your own and put it on your burger, that would be ok by them.  Just do it your way, and they’re happy.  So people go to church, desiring to have God “their way”. 
Religious people dream up all these rules for God to abide by in some churches, for example, they say God will only save you if you’re a member of their denomination or church.  So He’s pretty limited where He can save people.  Others say God can only heal you if you jump through certain hoops first.  And being a member of their church doesn’t hurt, of course.  I can see why He doesn’t show up in some churches, there are too many rules for Him to obey.  And some of them are misrepresenting God so badly that He wouldn’t recognize them as His church, anyway.
Now, let’s don’t get in the ditch here, God IS a God of justice, and there is going to be a judgment, and we will all appear before the Lord to give account for what we’ve done with this life.  Then one of two things will happen:  we will hear “Well done”, or we will BE “well-done”.  Do I make myself clear?  The choice is entirely up to us, and God does not determine that for us, nor will He override our will.  He always gives us liberty, whether to love Him or not.  God seeks those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.  And if we really knew the truth about Him, we couldn’t build churches fast enough to hold them.  So therefore, I know people believe lies about God, that’s why they avoid Him.  And if I didn’t know the truth about Him, I would still be running from God myself.  Today I’d like to introduce you to the God you may not ever have known on a personal basis.
I went to church like most people putting in my two hours a week and thinking I was doing God some kind of special favor.  There was no real desire in me to know the Lord because, personally, there wasn’t much there to interest me, I’d heard enough fire and brimstone and “hook ‘em and cook ‘em” messages to last me a lifetime.  Yes, God has resorted to that a few times, but only after His mercy was refused and stomped into the dirt.
God demands justice on every front, and the penalty for sin is death, and there is no escaping it. By all rights, we should be required to pay for our own sins, because we’re the ones who committed them, and the blame falls upon us entirely.  But because of God’s great mercy, we are not crispy critters.  Because of God’s great mercy, the payment for our sins has been made in full by the One who created us, because we could not pay it and live.  One day I was preaching in Nebraska, telling the people that God the Father loves us as much as He loves His Son Jesus, and I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, Jerry, that’s not entirely correct.  Wanting to rightly divide the Word of Truth, I said, Lord, I don’t understand.  He said, Did I sacrifice YOU that My Son might live?  I replied, No, Lord, You sacrificed Your Son so that I might live.  He said, Then, whom did I place the higher value on?  Tears poured down my face as I realized, perhaps for the first time in my life, the very love and mercy of God toward us.  How could God love us so much?  WHY would God love us so much?  Then it occurred to me:  O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.
God just can’t help it!  He is good and merciful, that’s just the way He is, and He’s locked into that mode forever, ages without end.  No longer do I wonder what eternity will be like with God, for it is written in Ephesians 2:7, That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  It is written in Exodus 33:19, And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.  So what is the name of the LORD?  Evidently it must translate to Grace and Mercy.
Before you get hung up with “Well, what if He doesn’t want to show Himself gracious and merciful to me?”, let me tell you something: He can only show you grace and mercy if YOU will let Him.  Notice it says in that verse “to whom I will”.  If you will give God His way, He will show mercy to everyone, every time.  He made salvation’s payment for you thousands of years before you were ever born.  So how can you think He is not willing to be gracious to you?  It is written in 2 Peter 3:9, The LORD is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
What is repentance?  It’s turning from the attitude that God does not love you.  Once you experience His Love, you will lose the desire to sin, you will lose the desire to spend a moment out of His presence.  Every area of your life will change for the good, because His mercy endureth forever. Don’t give the excuse, “I’ll come to God after I clean my life up.”   Just come now, He will clean you up. He has the best stain remover in the industry, the Blood of Jesus that removes even the most stubborn sin stains, never been known to fail, and leaves you fresh and clean, shining like the sun.  Doesn’t sting the eyes, either.
Because of His love and mercy, your healing is just waiting for you to say, “Thank You, my Lord, I receive it now.”  The Lord Jesus bought and paid for it, so what are you waiting for?  Get rid of your doubt, quit thinking one day you’re healed, and the next day you’re not, stop wavering and get it settled once and for all;. God’s mercy has not come to and end.  Nor has it been used up by someone else, no, there’s plenty for YOU.  Quit letting the devil feed you his lies, telling you that you can’t be healed because you don’t deserve it or that you’ve done something wrong.  Healing doesn’t have anything to do with what you’ve done or not done.  It has everything to do with God’s mercy and what HE has done.  Healing is a gift from God, you can’t earn it; you can only let Him give it to you.  And He’s giving right now.  Are you receiving?
I would go so far as to say this: if you aren’t walking in the mercy and grace of God, it isn’t His fault, it’s yours.  That may not be what you want to hear, but I’m not going to lie to you.  God has made it abundantly clear that His mercy is available to whosoever will ask for it.  Are you a “whosoever”?  Sure you are!  If you seek God with all your heart, He says you will find Him.  I found Him and say,. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.  Now it’s your turn.  Pray with me:
Father God in heaven, I give You thanks, for You are good, and Your mercy endures forever.  Thank You for extending Your goodness and mercy to me.  I joyfully receive Your love, eager to know You better, longing for Your presence every day in my life and thanking You with all my heart in Jesus’ name.  Amen.