November 23: God is Merciful so Must We
The fifth statement of the Beatitude states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7). This is a spiritual blessedness, a divine satisfaction that comes from a right relationship with God. To be merciful is to show forgiveness and compassion to those in need. Jesus frequently spoke of this trait. In the Lord’s Prayer, He says, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). In Matthew 9:13 Jesus instructs the Pharisees, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
We are blessed if we live a merciful lifestyle because God Himself is full of mercy. God’s mercy is the withholding of a just punishment; it is His compassion on the miserable. Deuteronomy 30:3 says, “The LORD your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you” (NLT). The psalmist writes, “Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy” (Psalm 28:6). Jesus Himself often showed mercy, as we see in His healing of the man freed from demons: “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19).
We have received God’s mercy. Romans 11:30 notes, “You who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy.” Paul shared that his ministry was given to him by God’s mercy (2 Corinthians 4:1). He also saw his salvation as an act of God’s mercy: “I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). Our salvation is also called an act of God’s mercy: “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5).
As Peter expressed it, “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). God’s children reflect His mercy and are therefore merciful themselves. The merciful in this world are blessed in the sense that they know God’s joy. The person who is merciful will be eternally happy because he knows God’s mercy.
Note: Anyone who cannot afford to treat others with mercy should not expect to enjoy God’s mercies. It’s just like in forgiveness; if you cannot forgive your neighbor, then God, your Father will not be happy to lavish His favor forgiving you.
Let’s pray: Our Father, forgive all our inadequacies. Give us Your grace to enable us be merciful so that we can continue to obtain mercies from You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s reading: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5
You Sow Mercy and You Reap Mercy.