Monday, March 7, 2011

Mercy

At church, we are going through the Beattitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. We are doing this one at a time: one Beattitude a week. This week's was as simple and convicting as the others: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

I will not belabor the sermon, but there is something short that I thought worth sharing. Pastor Nick reminds us every week that the Beattitudes are not commands, but rather what the life of a genuine believer will look like as sanctification and growth progress. These are not impossiblities, but rather practices that we as believers need to do just that - practice.

Mercy is no different from these others. It is a quality of God himself, his motivation for our salvation is not only for his glory (which we say so much at church) but also because of his mercy. Because we have been shown great mercy, we are to express mercy in return. Here are some ways Nick gave us; they were all displayed first by Christ himself:
  1. concern for the eternal welfare of others
  2. active sympathy toward others who are suffering
  3. true forgiveness - especially for the truly repentant
  4. compassionate giving to meet the needs of others
  5. intercessory prayer (praying on the behalf of others who won't/can't pray for themselves)
  6. patience and longsuffering
  7. caring for the souls of brothers and sisters in Christ

Again, this is not a question of having the spiritual gift of mercy. We are all called to groom this trait in our lives by God's grace, and I pray that you will think on this today. Soli Deo Gloria.

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