“Mercy – compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm,” as defined by the dictionary. For the Christian, we learn of mercy through the cross of Christ. Because of God’s compassion for us, He offered us the forgiveness of our sin with the shed blood of Christ instead of punishing us for them. Jesus sets the example for us to follow in how to be merciful. We are called to show mercy to all people as if we are showing the compassion to God Himself. We see this idea in Matthew 25:40; “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
The crowd listening to Christ would understand mercy from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. In chapter 58, and the Book of Tobit, he gives us a picture of the works of mercy. They are:
1 Feed the Hungry
2 Give drink to the thirsty
3 Clothe the naked
4 Shelter the homeless
5 Comfort the imprisoned
6 Visit the sick
7 Bury the dead
Imagine how different our world might look if we all practiced mercy daily. Also, notice nothing is telling us to perform these works only for those who deserve it. Everyone needs us to be merciful. God will reward us by offering us mercy to the extent we showed mercy to others on judgment day.
Acts of pure love are carried out without any ulterior motives. We seek to gain nothing when we act with a pure heart. I believe it is scarce for anyone to operate in such a way, without expecting something in return. I think of all the times I became upset because someone I helped did not even offer me a thank you. I wanted the mercy I gave to be recognized, so the deed was no longer done with a pure heart. The rarity of a pure heart comes with the greatest of rewards for accomplishing it; they will see God. When we review the Bible, the indication is that only a tiny number of people saw God and even in those situations, it is not clear if they did or did not. So the gift of “seeing God” gets attached to something that is difficult for any of us to accomplish.The pure in heart are the only ones who can know what it means to be supremely happy. Click To Tweet
I loved the beautiful way Billy Graham described someone who is pure of heart. “The pure in heart are the only ones who can know what it means to be supremely happy. Their hearts are pure toward God and, as a result, are pure toward their fellowmen. They are happy because, in possessing Him who is All and in All, they envy no man’s worldly goods. They are happy because they envy not another man’s praise. Because they are the enemy of no man, they regard no man as their enemy. The result is peace with God and the world.” (https://billygraham.org/devotion/pure-in-heart/). Something for all of us to strive towards in our Christian walk.
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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