Where to listen
The Devotion is Based on:
This verse is part of the Beatitudes that are found in Matthew 5.
5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What does it mean to show mercy?
The Free Dictionary tells me
mer·cy (mûrs)n. pl. mer·cies
1. Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one's power; clemency.
2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy.
3. Something for which to be thankful; a blessing: It was a mercy that no one was hurt.
4. Alleviation of distress; relief: Taking in the refugees was an act of mercy.
to be Merciful is Full of mercy; compassionate: sought merciful treatment for the captives.
So a person who is merciful is a person that shows mercy. So what one shows, is what one receives.
Kind makes sense right? God tells us in his word that we are to treat our neighbours like we would want to be treated, so if we want to be treated in a merciful manner, we need to extend that mercy to those around us.
Well now....how often do we really do that? Seriously? How often to we show compassion and care for those we can do that with? or how often are we simply selfish, wanting our own way or to do our own thing?
The Beatitudes do a good job of reminding us just who we are to be. We are to be a people who poor in spirit, mournful, compassionate, meek, hungry for God, pure in heart, peacemakers, AND willing to be persecuted on God's behalf. We aren't given a partial list of things we should attain to....like if you do this it's all good. But God tells us BLESSED are those who do this and this and this....If we do these things we are blessed. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be more blessed than less blessed, and this of course, gives me more of an ideal to shoot for. How can I include these attributes in my daily life?
It happens like that sometimes, doesn’t it? You can probably think of an event from your own life when things got heated, the pot began to boil over, and the next thing you knew, the damage had been done. There was no going back. The words someone said, the reactions that occurred--they forever changed your life. But when asked if he had forgiven the opposing player for the punch that ruined his playing career, Tomjanovich responded, “Someone once told me that hating him would be like drinking poison and hoping someone else would die.”
Like drinking poison and hoping someone else would die. That’s a powerful word picture for what unforgiveness is like in the human heart. Though it may feel right, though it may seem justified, though it may appear to be the only option available to us, it is destructive and deadly—primarily to the one who drinks it. The very weapon we use to inflict pain on our offender becomes a sword turned inward on ourselves, doing far more damage to us and to those who love us than to those who have hurt us. Only God’s way—the way of forgiveness—holds out any hope of healing and rescue from the inevitable troubles we face in this life. And only those who walk this way will experience the reality of God’s grace and mercy for their own sins.
Have you drunk the poison of unforgiveness? What have you been hoping to accomplish by clinging to your resentment, by holding on to the right to “punish” your offender? What blessings might you be forfeiting by withholding mercy? Excerpted from Nancy’s newest book, The Quiet Place.