God designed us to be stewards of his grace by serving one another in his name. Since each of us is difficult to serve, we all need to be motivated to overcome these difficulties. Moving beyond ourselves, out of our comfort zones and into the messy details of one another’s lives, takes great confidence that we will have the resources necessary to meet the needs others present. So God gives us promises that help us fine tune our faith so we can heartily be the hands of God in our communities.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7
We are full of mercy when we see the desperate condition of others, imagine how we might feel in their place, and move out with grace to serve them. Being merciful is more than just having an affection in our hearts; it is a perfection of the soul. For example, Jesus learned obedience during his sufferings as a child of God who anticipated the heavenly joy set before him. As a result of this perfecting process, he is able to be merciful to us as we follow him in the obedience of faith. His example is compelling. As his did, our mercy flows from a heart that’s full. It is one of the signs of confidence that our needs will be met. It signifies our certainty of being loved, and our freedom from fear that serving the needy will place us in a position of greater need. Mercy, then, is a product of our faith in a merciful God. So when our faith moves us to forgive, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to love our neighborhood enemies in countless different ways, we can expect to keep on receiving Christ’s mercy. When we enter a danger zone to serve someone, we can go in with joyful grace and merciful love, because he goes with us in exactly the same way.
Merciful God, I have received an abundance of your mercy, grace and love. Don’t let me keep it bottled up. As you have been merciful to me, be merciful through me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.