Be Merciful

Did you ever stop to think just how merciful God is toward us? He sent His son to die on the cross that we may have forgiveness of our sins and when we live godly, faithful lives, taking advantage of His grace fully by obeying Him, we can receive the reward of heaven for eternity. He didn’t have to offer this to the human family, but He did and that shows just how merciful He is and His great love for us.

We in turn should show love and mercy toward others and always be ready to forgive them if they commit some trespass against us. Matthew 6:14,15 says: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” So, we must forgive others if we are to be forgiven by God.

Sometimes this can involve forgiving something minor, but at other times it may be something major that another has done against us. Note that Jesus did not differentiate between a major and a minor trespass, but we must be willing to forgive both, just as God forgives us of major and minor sins alike. Sometimes it’s easy to forgive and sometimes it is difficult, but we must be able to do so on both occasions so that God will forgive us all, also.

This also requires mercy on our part. If someone does us wrong and does not repent or ask our forgiveness we must not seek revenge or otherwise turn against the individual, but rather leave justice in the hands of God. Romans 12:19,20 says: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

This is a hard thing to do. We are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us (Luke 6:27-33). This requires being merciful just as our Father in heaven is merciful toward us. If when we are tempted to retaliate toward another, we can think of that great sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf, calm ourselves and turn away from what we might have done, showing mercy instead of wrath.

This, of course,  is not an easy thing to do, but through practice we should be able to learn to show mercy toward others. There are so many things every day that irritate us and make us want to lash out or retaliate in some way. I have a problem with driving, as I often say things about other drivers as I negotiate my way through traffic. I think that since they can’t hear me it is no big deal, but it is bad. I should learn to be patient and not say things about other drivers even if they can’t hear me. If I don’t I am not being merciful as my heavenly father is merciful.

Jesus said: “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” and “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy (Luke 6:36, Matthew 5:7). If we can learn to be such, we will have learned a great lesson that will ensure our salvation and place in heaven as God will also forgive us. After all, we must strive to be as God-like as we can be to be acceptable to Him. If the world would learn this lesson, what a greater world it would be, but alas, that is what heaven is all about.

May God bless you and keep you until next time.

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