#Blessed: Mercy— 9/13/20

Mercy is love in action. It’s more than feeling sorry for someone; it’s getting involved—doing something. We encounter strange people in life. They are strange because they are different from us, but remember they are thinking the same thing, so who’s the strange one? Showing mercy means accepting those who are different from us, as well as those who rub us the wrong way. Getting to know a person, finding out about their background, and understanding who they are helps us to be more accepting and more merciful. Mercy and patience go hand in hand. Knowing someone’s joys and sorrows connects us and helps us realize that we are not as different as we first thought. We become more patient and caring. Patience leads us to be more forgiving. How many people get stuck in unforgiveness. They keep another person on the hook for something that happened years ago. Christians, God forgave you and continues to do so daily; be merciful and let go of whatever unforgiveness you are holding. Mercy moves. It does not see a need and simply feel bad for the situation. Mercy moves us to help those who are hurting. Mercy extends to our enemies. “Love your enemies, do good to them.” (Luke 6:35) Tough stuff, but that’s what mercy does. Loving your enemies makes it harder for them to continue being antagonistic towards you; it shifts the playing field; it kills them with kindness.

Ps 145:8; Pr 11:17; Mt 5:7 18:32-33, 25:40; Lk 6:33, 35; Col 3:13; 1 Th 5:14; Js 2:13; 1 Jn 3:17-18

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” (Mt 5:7) Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. (1 Th 5:14) Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other… (Ro 15:7) Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Col 3:13) There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (Js 2:13)

And why should we show mercy, other than the fact that Jesus told us to do so? Well, there’s a very big payoff! Those who give mercy will receive mercy. In fact, you have already received mercy if you’ve accepted God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. God patiently called you, accepted you, forgave you, and continues to help you each day. Because we have received mercy, we must give mercy. In James we are told that when God judges us on Judgment Day, we will receive mercy if we have been merciful; but there will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. That’s motivation enough for me!

How accepting are you of those who are different than you? Do you try to get to know them or dismiss them? How patient are you with those you don’t know? With those you do know? Do you tend to carry a grudge or forgive easily? Do you want to get involved when you see a need or do you feel bad for the situation, but keep your distance? There are so many needs in this world, so how do you sort out the needs you can meet and the ones you cannot? Do you have enemies? If so, why do you say they are an enemy? What have you done to show mercy to them? What steps do you need to take to increase your mercy quotient?

Choose someone in your life that you need to show more mercy. Decide how you will begin to be more accepting, patient, forgiving and helpful in this person’s life. Ask God for strength and guidance.

Prayer – Dear Lord, only with your help can I become the merciful person you want me to be. I know how much mercy you have given me, and I want to be a person who extends mercy to those around me. Help me to see others with your eyes and to recognize each person’s value to you. Bless my efforts that I might make a difference for you in the lives of those around me. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.

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