"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4

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TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, March 25, 2019:

MERCIFUL

DefinitionDEFINITION:

Compassionate; lenient; forgiving.

 

 

ScriptureSCRIPTURE:

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:7.

 

KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCEKNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:

This beatitude does not mean if you show mercy to someone that they in turn will show mercy to you. This is not the purpose of this beatitude. Some people may show mercy in return for mercy you give to them but not many. In some cases, people have been persecuted in return for showing mercy. The bottom line is that we can have no assurance we will receive mercy from those who do not know our merciful Savior, but what we can be assured of is God’s mercy.

Jesus showed mercy throughout His earthly ministry. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, made the dumb speak and the deaf to hear. He made the blind able to see and the lame able to walk. He raised the dead and fed the multitudes. He never failed to show mercy but did He receive mercy in return?  No, the Roman army, the religious leaders, and many of their followers joined efforts to put Him to death on the cross. They showed religious hatred for God’s Son, not mercy.

We are to show mercy to others when they need mercy. We need to show mercy even when we know that the recipient may never show mercy in return. We are to show mercy in the name of our merciful Christ, who Himself will reward us not only in this life but in heaven.

Those who never show compassion or mercy have never acknowledged how great the mercy is that God has shown for them. Those who have not accepted God’s great gift of mercy, Jesus God’s Son who died on the cross for their sins, will not receive mercy on judgment day. The acts of loving kindness that is done for others gives evidence of having received God’s mercy. Those who have received mercy must consider what it means to be merciful. The answer to that is given in Micah 6:8, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

During World War II a church in Strasburg, Germany, was totally destroyed. But a statue of Christ standing by the altar was almost unharmed. Only the hands were missing. When the church was rebuilt a sculptor offered to replace and reconstruct the hands but the congregation decided to leave the statue as is.

It was felt by the congregation that seeing no hands-on Christ it would remind them that here in this world we are the hands of Christ showing mercy to those who were in need. They felt that if they did not feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, entertain the stranger, visit the prisoner, and clothed the naked, who will?

Merciful means to have a forgiving spirit and a compassionate heart. It is a deliberate effort, an act of the will, to understand a person and to meet his or her need by forgiving and showing mercy.

The person who is merciful has a tender heart, a heart that cares for all who have need, both seen or unseen. The merciful do not hold back any kind of help, no matter the cost because they have the love of God dwelling in them. The person that is merciful also knows that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

You will be blessed by God when you care for others in their time of need. God expects us to care for others and at the moment that we do care for someone else you will find yourself being cared for by our Lord.

Jesus gave us an excellent illustration of mercy in the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-36. A lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” To answer the lawyer’s question Jesus told of a man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho who was robbed, wounded, and left half dead by thieves. A priest came by and saw the man but did not stop to help. He showed no mercy.

A Levite also came along, stopped to look, but continued on his journey. He showed no mercy. Not only did the priest and the Levite show no mercy, they walked by on the far side of the road to avoid the man.

But a Samaritan saw him, had compassion on him, and helped him without expecting anything in return. Jesus asked the lawyer, “So which of these three do you think was the neighbor to him who fell among thieves?” When the lawyer answered, “He who showed mercy on him” Jesus said to the lawyer, “Go and do likewise.”

When we consider how great is God’s mercy, He has shown for us, how can we not be merciful to others? Grace is when God GIVES us what we do not DESERVE. Mercy is when God does not give us what we do DESERVE. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23. We deserve death but He gives us eternal life.

 

LEARNINGLEARNING:

Our memory verse for this week is found in II Timothy 3:16-17.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

PRAYERPRAYER:

Give me a merciful heart filled with compassion for those who are in need that I pass by today. Help my family to be a merciful family that cares for one another and the many who do not know you.

Family Devotionals

These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International, and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family. Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily devotionals and is now available for only $10.

Ken & Dottie Phillips
kenanddottie@thehungersolution.org

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