“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:6
“Let your hands be so busy catching blessings, that there is no room to hold on to a grudge.”
All of us like to be shown mercy, but when it comes to others, we want to see them get what they deserve. In this verse Jesus is reminding his listeners that God has been very merciful to them and in turn they should show mercy to others.
David cried out to God for mercy because he knew he needed it. “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.” Psalm 25:6-7.
Paul reminded the Ephesian church of the great mercy of the Lord. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Ephesians 2:4-5
So, Jesus is teaching that if we want to be blessed, we must offer mercy to others, even though it may not be deserved. We should never hold on to past grievances and hurts. We did not deserve grace, but Jesus has extended freely it to us, so we in turn must extend it to others.
Jesus demonstrated mercy when He was on the cross. First of all, He prayed for those that were crucifying Him, asking God to forgive them for they did not know what they did. He also extended mercy to the thief who hung on the cross beside Him. This man was being punished for sins he had committed against others, but because He recognized his need, he cried out to Jesus, and the Lord showed mercy upon him.
We realize that if we want Jesus to continue forgiving us when we fail, and offering His grace so freely to us, we must show mercy to those who may have wronged us. That will ensure that we will continue to be part of the kingdom.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus, for the mercy and grace which you have freely given to us. Help us to be merciful and forgiving to others.
Devotion by Anne Johnston