Friday, April 16
(Matt. 5:7 NKJV)
The dictionary defines ‘mercy’ as compassion, pity, or benevolence, or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power.
Vine’s says the Greek word for ‘merciful’ means “not simply possessed of pity but actively compassionate, is used of Christ as a High Priest, Heb 2:17, and of those who are like God, Matt 5:7.”
To ‘obtain mercy’ means to compassionate (by word or deed, specially, by divine grace), to have mercy on, to succor the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched, to show kindness, by beneficence, or assistance, to feel sympathy with the misery of another, and especially sympathy manifested in act.
Who comes to mind of a modern-day servant of compassion? Mother Teresa! She has been dubbed “an angel of mercy.” She said, “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
And what did she do? She desperately and consistently tried to fill those needs. Her active mercy-compassion knew no bounds.
Was Jesus merciful and compassionate? Of course, He was. Scripture says, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them.” (Matt. 9:36 NKJV) Several other times, scripture says Jesus was filled with compassion for an individual.
So, how are we God’s hands of mercy to others? Are we actively seeking to be compassionate to all those that cross our paths? Do we go out of our way to show God’s kindness, sympathy, and assistance to one suffering in life? Sure, we may do so for family, friends, or even for some strangers. But what about our enemies, those who offend us? Hmmm, another matter, isn’t it?
As we are to follow Jesus’ example, we can apply to ourselves what Jesus said to Peter in a parable, “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matt. 18:33 NKJV)
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV)
In need of mercy? Reach out to another. As the verse says, those who are merciful will receive mercy.
William Shakespeare wrote…
“The quality of mercy is not strain’d;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”
May you and another be blessed as you spread mercy and compassion today!