Mercy is falling like a sweet spring rain . . .
Show mercy . . . and do it cheerfully (Rom. 12:6-8)
Spiritual mercy requires neither great anointing nor external wealth and possessions. It lies within reach of each one of us to show mercy.
Jesus’ first action on the cross was to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). His next was to reach out in the mercy to the thief who hung next to Him, who was demonstrating the first all-important signs of repentance. God was demonstrating His love for us by allowing His Son to die on the cross; but each person is still responsible to coming to Him. God responds when we bring as much of ourselves as we can to as much of Him as we understand – and He makes good the shortfall!
Lord Jesus, in so many ways, this act of reaching out to someone in need – even going so far as to promise that he would be with You on that very day in Paradise – sums up the heart of Your ministry. Your tender mercy extends to those who fear You, from one generation to the next (Luke 1:50, 77-78).
Jesus, You acted justly and walked humbly, even in the face of the torrents of abuse that were hurled your way by threatened and fearful authorities. When I launch challenges, am I actively loving and seeking mercy?
You told us to ‘Go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”’ (Matt. 9:13), and yet I so often want to insist on the letter of the law rather than to allow the spirit of mercy to flow.
Truly, I do not want to harbour the heart of a Pharisee (Matt. 18:33).
Lord, You ask us to be merciful toward one another, just as You have shown mercy to us. Who would You have me extend mercy to now?
Listen to this rendering of the song by David Ruis and as you do so consider where you have allowed roots of bitterness to grow up in your heart concerning any person, group, church or even nation. Declare a blessing on them in Jesus’ name!