Monday, June 13, 2011

Beautitudes: Mercy

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." (Matthew 5:7)
Mercy is always undeserved. If it were deserved then it wouldn’t be mercy, it would be justice. Jesus stated a principle that runs all through the New Testament: Judgment without mercy is given to those who show no mercy.

The Bible goes so far as to say that if you refuse to forgive someone, then you are not receiving God’s forgiveness to you, either. You never want to minimize the forgiveness that God extends to you. Whatever someone else has done against you, whatever sin they have committed, no matter how awful, it is still far exceeded by the wealth God has given you in His forgiveness.

The wealth of the Lord's grace to you is so vast you are able to spare some for that person who has offended you.

The word Jesus used for mercy means "The ability to get right inside the other person’s life, so you can see through their eyes, understand in your own mind what they’re thinking and experience in your own heart what they’re feeling."

This isn’t just pity, or compassion. This is identifying with that person so closely it’s as though it were yourself. You experience together with that person what they are going through.

This kind of mercy is quick to forgive, and absorb the cost of the wrong.

Remember, there is a debt. Someone will have to pay it. Either you hold that person to the debt they owe you, or you forgive them, don’t expect them to pay it, and absorb the cost of the debt yourself. That’s what the king did, in the parable about the servant who owed money. Even though the king was wealthy, it was costly for him to absorb the enormous debt his subject owed him. But he so identified with the man’s misery in being poor, and unable to pay, that he completely forgave him.

When you long for righteousness, God satisfies you with Himself.
* He puts His own character in you.
* You’re rich now because of all the mercy you’ve received from God.
* You are wealthy enough to absorb someone’s debt against you.

--> Who have you refused to set free from their debt to you? Who do you need to feel pity for, from your heart, and show mercy to? They don’t deserve it. That’s why it’s mercy.

“Oh how serene and joyful, how emotionally and spiritually wealthy with God’s love and forgiveness is the person who identifies with other people, experiencing together with them what they are going through, and extends mercy and forgiveness to them; because the mercy that person gives that person will also receive.”

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