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From Mercy To Love

It’s been quite a week! Coronavirus rising and the number of deaths climbing. We watched uncontrolled anger and frustration turn into an assault on our Capital. We witnessed government officials rise above the chaos to keep our republic moving smoothly. We continued to feel the impact of the virus on our finances, our minds, and our ability to live normally. And we are dealing with everyday trials and situations. We need mercy and love.

As we all struggle to figure out how to respond, hearts are challenged at every level and understanding escapes us. It is overwhelming and makes us want to hide under a rock until the world gets its act together. But I tell you, if we are true believers, we can’t hide. The Lord knew this would happen and He placed us here for a reason, for such a time as this. He needs us.

Jesus is the only answer to it all. He’s counting on His followers, you and me, to rise to the challenge and carry the cross. He did for us and now it’s our turn to be the light to the world. The world is struggling to be merciful and loving, but we the church should show the way even in the midst of our own struggles.

When Jesus walked the earth, it was chaotic too, both politically and religiously. Every day people like us were caught between the merciless, oppressive Roman Empire and the merciless, compromised religious establishment.

So Mercy Himself came to show us a better way to be human. Jesus knew we could never give mercy until we experienced divine mercy. If you don’t possess it, you can’t give it away. Jesus, the One who is the endless fountain of mercy, was sent to earth so humanity could come and drink the living waters of His mercy. As He extended mercy, Jesus taught us to be merciful.

According to Jesus, merciful people love their neighbors and encourage hope and love. But this isn’t a sentimental love; this is a kind of mercy that looks like the cross of Jesus. You know who He expects to show mercy and love in tough times? You and me.

Our relationship with Jesus should always cause us to be merciful. Love is not walking past pain. Love is the outcome when mercy meets human pain and suffering, even when it’s not comfortable. Mercy isn’t afraid to touch and enter human suffering. Mercy isn’t afraid to cross ethnic, cultural and religious barriers. Mercy is compassionate and bold. Mercy sees through the eyes of Jesus and no one else. Mercy is the true action of love. Mercy costs us something.

Can you imagine how different the world would be if we showed love across economic, political, cultural, ethnic, religious and generational lines? If we loved our enemies? We are called to be the light in the darkness, just like Jesus. That’s our hope and we must share it.

Next time you see someone in need, remember how you felt in the same circumstances and show mercy. Next time you speak to someone who thinks differently, show love. Listen for understanding. If we call ourselves believers of Jesus Christ, we cannot put our head in the sand just because times are hard. We must walk like Him, see what He sees, act like He acts. He walked, saw and acted in love. He requires no less from us. Are you being Jesus with skin on? That is our duty. That is our hope for changing this world. It all starts with mercy and love right where you and I are.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:13-14

Prayer

Lord,

Your Word says that whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I will not let any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. As one of Your chosen people, holy and dearly loved, I clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I will not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, I will repay evil with blessing, because to this I was called so that I may inherit a blessing. For this very reason, I will make every effort to add to my faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. Amen!


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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