Today's Word of Encouragment
THE QUALITY OF MERCY . . .
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7).
In verse 7, Jesus described the attitudes and actions of the saved, those who have become Christian. The words of Jesus were no longer antithetical - they were non-contradictory and reciprocal (you receive in order to pass along to others).
Mercy is the act of showing compassion toward another person, the foundation and motivation for which is love. Compassion is love in action. Christians have the means to be compassionate and show compassion toward others because they have been recipients of God’s great love and compassion.
This virtue in the true believer is mentioned first because all other attitudes and actions of Christians are borne out of God’s love indwelling them. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience . . . (Galatians 5:22-23). To His disciples, then and now, Jesus said, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).
It is interesting to note that Jesus did not call His followers to champion justice, which is giving a person what he/she deserves according to law. No, Jesus called them to champion mercy, which is not giving a person what he/she deserve. This has been His attitude and action toward us all along.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:8-14).
“Father, I am humbled that You would demonstrate Your love and compassion toward me in that while I was a sinner, Your Son, Jesus, died for me. Thank You for Your continued compassion toward me. I continue to struggle with the power and influence of temptation, and human and spiritual weaknesses. I know others do too. Help me to be merciful to them as You have been to me, to love and be compassionate toward others as You have been, and continue to be, toward me.” Amen.