Have Mercy on Me – Video from The Gathering

The first song I heard that I thought would be on our most recent album, The Gathering, was Have Mercy on Me. Co-written by Dale Bischof and Pat Sczebel, it combines grief over sin with an assurance of God’s mercy in Christ.

Even though as Christians all our sins are completely forgiven (Col. 2:13), we can continue to battle either ongoing condemnation or arrogant presumption. The first results in an attitude that binds us, discourages us, and makes us fearful of approaching God. The second equally dangerous mindset supposes that because our sins have been paid for by Christ’s substitutionary death, we don’t have to think about them any more. They’re not that big a deal.

The reality is, embracing the gospel leads us to an ever deepening awareness of our sinfulness, internal and external, accompanied by an ever growing grateful amazement that God has shown us lavish mercy in Jesus. This song helps us to express both.

Download the guitar chart. Download the lead sheet. Lyrics below.

I am a sinner, You’re blameless, Lord
My sins against You can’t be ignored
They will be punished, I know they must
Your laws demands it, for You are just
If You would count everything that I’ve done wrong
Who could stand?
But there’s forgiveness with You, God

Have mercy on me, have mercy on me
A broken and a contrite heart
You won’t turn away
Have mercy on me, have mercy on me
Because of Your steadfast love

Father of mercy, You gave Your Son
To make atonement for wrongs I have done
What You required Jesus fulfilled
I don’t deserve it, I never will
If You would count everything that I’ve done wrong
Who could stand?
But there’s forgiveness with You, God
Music and words by Dale Bischof and Pat Sczebel.
© 2011 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

David Mathis, of Desiring God Ministries, has written an excellent article on the importance of keeping both our sinfulness and God’s grace in view. You can read it here.


15 Responses to Have Mercy on Me – Video from The Gathering

  1. Trent Broussard January 24, 2012 at 11:01 PM #

    Thanks for posting the videos. Not only do they bring wonderful memories to mind from a very moving conference. They are useful training tools for our musicians. I remain grateful to God for the people of Sovereign Grace who give of themselves and their talents to bless the Church.

  2. Brandon Terrazas January 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM #

    The Gathering CD is a great collection of God glorifying theologically rich music. I do have a question however about the song, “Have Mercy on Me” in particular the line that says “Have mercy on me”. I don’t understand what is being communicated here. Why is a Christian asking for God to have mercy on him? God has already shown His mercy in the Gospel. I’m sure that everyone at Sovereign Grace would agree with this so could someone explain to me what this song is communicating?

  3. Beat Attitude (Hymnwriter) January 26, 2012 at 10:15 AM #

    You guys have got such a nice subtle touch when performing.

    What I like about this is the fact that the words are understated: there is a place for using florid and evocative language, but sometimes fundamental truths genuinely spoken serve the congregation so much more.

    the melody of the chorus is sweet. Good stuff!

    @Brandon: I think we say “have mercy” because we need God to have mercy on us, just like the publican in Jesus’ parable, or David in Psalm 51.
    He has shown us mercy, and will show us mercy, but we ask for it because in doing so we acknowledge before God who we are, who He is, and what we desperately need from Him because of our sin and His holiness. To ask for mercy is to say “I know what I deserve, and I know that you are entitled to give it to me, but please don’t…instead give me mercy”. It acknowledges the glory of God’s mercy, and magnifies Him, while mortifying our sin.

    I’m sure there’s a more succinct theological way to articulate that, but I hope it helps.

    Thanks for posting this Bob. I’m working my way through the audio from the Worship God conference at the moment, it’s a real blessing.

    • Bob Kauflin January 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM #

      @Beat Attitude and @Brandon, thanks for the encouraging thoughts. I agree with why we say “Lord, have mercy.” We see it in the Psalms (Ps. 51:1; Ps. 123:3), and it’s an appropriate acknowledgement of our constant need for mercy as long as it’s accompanied by expressions of gratefulness that God has provided mercy in Jesus Christ. This sums it up: “It acknowledges the glory of God’s mercy, and magnifies Him, while mortifying our sin.” Amen.

  4. videos cristianos January 27, 2012 at 2:30 AM #

    Great video, it reminds me the words of Jesus, if we have mercy on others then we will reach mercy as well. God bless

  5. Charles Specht January 31, 2012 at 4:28 AM #

    Love this song, and your ministry, Bob! Keep up the good work!

    Great stuff.

  6. Carri January 31, 2012 at 7:44 AM #

    Love, love this song! Brings tears to my eyes. Heard it at The Gathering worship conference in Huntington Beach last Saturday. Thank you for coming to Orange County! I was praying that you would.

  7. Craig January 31, 2012 at 10:18 PM #

    So thanks for God’s forgiveness and for the fact that we will not have sin in Heaven!

  8. Barry Joslin February 6, 2012 at 9:14 PM #

    Thank you so much for posting these videos from The Gathering. Incredible album. We have been doing several songs from it, and one of the ways we learn parts here and there is by watching these videos. They are pedagogical as well as worshipful!

    Are they gradually being released to YouTube? Specifically, we are beginning to learn “We Hunger and Thirst,” and hope there is a video to be released. It helps the guitarist, for example, to see fingerings and positions. OK, let me be truthful – it helps ME to see such things!

    Our church and my family are both indebted to SG Worship. Thank you for helping to shape our worship.

    Barry Joslin
    Louisville, KY

    • Bob Kauflin February 7, 2012 at 7:58 PM #

      Barry, thanks for your encouraging words! We’re releasing the videos weekly to give more attention to each one.

  9. Barry Joslin February 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM #

    Thanks so much Bob. The Lord will use this to teach patience. I just wish He wouldn’t take so long.



  10. Brother T March 19, 2012 at 4:11 AM #

    I would like to first say i thank God for you brothers & sisters in Christ! Though we have not met atleast yet here on this earth. One day we shall meet in heaven and there worship together before our King ,to Him ,there as we do here. Though there it will be even more special clearly because we will all be loving each other equally with no favortism for one of us more than the other. All loving God most with the same intense Love.
    I’m an anonymous song writer for the Lord ,that does it behind the scenes for His glory alone. God has put tons of songs on my heart often waking me in the middle of the night. My passion and love for Christ, has been strong and growing more for many years. Life has been filled with trouble and not easy at times with the attacks of the enemy but i know that i’m a blessed man forgiven and free,and that God ,has a hold of me not done with me yet.
    I would ask you Brothers to please pray for me to not give into any sin when discouraged lately. The enemy wants to keep me from reaching my potential for the Glory of God,and to further God’s Kingdom.
    Pray God would have His way if it be His will to make a way for some of the songs He gives me to reach the entire body of Christ so He alone is lifted up and glorified even more. Thank you! Forever In Christ! Brother T.

    • Bob Kauflin March 19, 2012 at 2:14 PM #

      Brother T, thanks for your heart to glorify Jesus and serve the church with your gifts!


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