Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Red Words in Scripture

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7 You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being care-full, you find yourselves cared for. The Message

What is merciful? It’s not a word we use much today but it occurs many times in the Bible. Lloyd Ogilvie says merciful is his favorite word to describe God’s nature. There are so many synonyms for merciful. They include: compassionate, forgiving, kindly, gentle, gracious, sympathetic, unselfish. These are all aspects of God’s nature. Think about this: God became mercy incarnate to show us his loving heart. Do we get this? Psalm 103 gives quite a description of God’s mercy. Here’s a section of it.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, all my inmost being praise his holy being, praise the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

Barclay says the practice of mercy unites us with God; the failure of mercy separates us from God. So the ending of this beatitude is both a promise and a warning. Wow!

You are a God of mercy. You’re not remote or aloof. You know us, love us and care for us. Your compassion knows no bounds. Your mercy is unending. From the beginning of time we have disobeyed you, ignored you and abandoned you over and over again. Then you came to earth as Mercy Incarnate. You came and lived with us and died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. You showed us the merciful heart of God.

Even so I walked away from you for decades – yet you were merciful and forgiving and welcomed me back. I don’t deserve forgiveness. I don’t deserve your favor. Yet you shower me with it. Your mercy, forgiveness and grace inspire me to be merciful to others. Show me any area where I am not compassionate or forgiving. Help me see others as you do and be merciful.

Blessings, Dottie

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