Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011 … Being Merciful

Passage of the Day: Luke 6: 36 … [Jesus] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

My Journal for Today: If you are a saved Christian reading this, I would assume, like myself, you aspire to Christlikeness. Well, most certainly, when it comes to the quality of mercy, Christ, the God-Man, was our model of mercy; and in today’s verse, He flat-out commands His followers to be merciful like His Father was/is merciful.

Yes, being merciful was Christ’s “M.O.,” for sure. Often, in the gospel accounts, we read of Him healing those who came to Him (for example - see Matt. 20: 30, 34). And The Messiah also showed spiritual mercy by forgiving sins (see Luke 5: 18 – 25), which drove the Pharisees wild because, to them, only God could forgive sins; and they simply could not see that Jesus, proclaiming the forgiveness of sins, was truly God being merciful to save sinners. And of course, one of the clearest examples of Christ’s mercy came on the cross as He forgave those who put him to death, which, of course was you and me (see Luke 23: 34).

So, with Christ both modeling God’s mercy and commanding us to be merciful, we should reach out physically, emotionally, and spiritually when we see others in need and be merciful (see John’s exhortation in 1st John 3: 18

SCRIPTURE: 1st John 3: 18 Dear children [i.e., followers of Christ], let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

And one of the most merciful acts we can offer – especially to the lost – would be to witness and share our faith with them. Think about it! If we have an acquaintance, friend, or loved one whom we perceive is headed to hell, the most merciful thing we can do is to share the Gospel truth with our testimony; and God promises that we will have Spirit-given power in doing so (see Acts 1: 8). The lost must choose Christ; but we must MERCIFULLY share Him with them in love with the love of God (see Matt. 28: 19 - 20, the Great Commission).

And if we see a Christian who is clearly involved in a pattern of sin, blocking or damaging that one’s relationship with Christ, we are commanded to help restore him, mercifully and lovingly, to a healthy and growing relationship with his/her Savior (see Gal. 6: 1). It is God’s mercy, being doled out to others, Christian or non-Christian, which demonstrates the reality of Christ’s Spirit working in and through a true, born-again believer. Certainly, it’s easier for one to extend mercy when that one has the Spiritual gift of mercy; but as we read in today’s command from Jesus, it is the responsibility of ALL His followers to be merciful, especially as we are transformed into Christlikeness.

So, TODAY, will you join me in a pledge to be as sensitive as we can be to those who need God’s mercy, especially to the lost or those who are drifting away from Christ? Join me in a commitment to reach out and to be Christ, TODAY, to that person. Let’s pray, as I will do so below, for a divine appointment TODAY to show mercy from God, through us, TODAY. And perhaps that one whom God may bring into our path will find God’s mercy TODAY as we are enabled and empowered to share the Lord’s mercy TODAY.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I humbly pray that You would help me, and anyone reading here with me, to show Your mercy to someone this very day. Amen

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