Be Merciful, as One Who Has Been Shown Mercy
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7, NLT)
God doesn’t want you to show mercy only to the people you like, or only to the people it’s easy to be merciful to. God wants you to be merciful to everyone.
Why? Because you need mercy to get into heaven. Jesus says, “If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15 NLT).
The only way you can get into a perfect heaven is by God's mercy and forgiveness through the death of Jesus Christ. But you cannot receive what you're unwilling to give yourself.
You cannot afford to burn the bridge you need to walk across in order to get into heaven. If you won't show mercy, why would you expect God to show mercy to you?
Someone at some point is going to need your forgiveness -- because we all sin and are sinned against. When that person comes to you, asking for forgiveness (and even if they never do), how you respond to them will reveal what you believe about God’s character.
There’s going to be a Judgment Day. You need not live in fear, but you should live as if what you say and do matters. Your words and actions count both here on earth and when your life is done. The Bible says, “You must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment” (James 2:13 NCV).
Jesus says it another way in the Beatitudes: “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NLT).
God offers mercy -- to you and everyone else who calls on his name. If a perfect God can do that for a sinful world, then you can do it for the person who sins against you.
Talk It Over
Why do you think God wants you to show mercy like he has shown mercy to you? What does it say to a watching world?
What keeps you from forgiving someone who has hurt you?
In what ways does God bless you when you are merciful?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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