This is devotional thought number 42 in our devotional series, God’s Promises are Sure!
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
Let’s have a quick peek at God’s brand of mercy, shall we? The Bible says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). If you notice, godly religion reaches outside itself and shows compassion. Matthew 25:31-46 underscores the fact that those who say they are Christ’s followers are easy to spot. Those people show and live mercy. They open their hearts and hands to those who need food, clothing, encouragement, a visit, our time, our advocacy, etc. True mercy is active.
Another way mercy is enacted is when others have offended us and we relinquish our rights to hold it against them. Matthew 18 underscores this principle with a story of a king who forgave a man who owed him so much money he could not pay. The man and all his family were scheduled to be sold, with all his possessions, so a dent could be made in the debt. The man begged for mercy. The king gave it to him.
Then the man found a fellow servant who owed him next to nothing (comparatively). He choked the man and bellowed that he should pay him. The man begged for mercy (sound familiar?), but the recently forgiven man refused to forgive, and jailed him until he could pay the debt. How in the world could a jailed man pay a debt he couldn’t even pay when he was free? Suffice it to say, when others saw what we happening, they reported it to the king. The king summoned the ungrateful man he had forgiven, questioned him about his unmerciful conduct, reminded him that he recently received forgiveness and mercy, and then condemned him to be tortured. His forgiveness was rescinded.
When to impart mercy
God has been merciful to every one of us. It is only right for us to show mercy to everyone we can. When others have felt needs, it is our privilege to supply them (or facilitate the process) where we can. When those who have offended us have the need of mercy and forgiveness, it is our privilege to give it. Those who are merciful towards people, will be blessed and highly favored to receive mercy from God, so be merciful. Never withhold it. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.