October 06, 2013

Have Mercy!

Matthew 5:7-9

“Blessed are the merciful …”
—Matthew 5:7


A trip to the grocery store can reveal something about our heart. I’ve caught myself observing what people buy or do—and jumping to conclusions about them. “What kind of person buys that much junk food?” I wonder. Or I think, “I would never take my kids to the store this late at night!” Sadly, we find it easy to make quick judgments about other people, and our conclusions are almost always negative.

Such an attitude does not fit with the way of life Jesus wants for us. Jesus wants us to treasure mercy as a quality of life under his authority. He wants us to embrace compassion and empathy for people who are broken, hurting, and sinful. He wants us to do what we can to alleviate the needs in our fallen world—stemming from hunger, poverty, and racism.

True mercy begins when our hearts are stirred by the pain and suffering that taint every corner of our world. When our hearts are pained with the way things are and we long for the way things are meant to be, we see the world as God sees it. God’s love for a sinful world is what prompted the greatest act of mercy ever. At the cross, God displayed supreme mercy as Jesus willingly took on our punishment so that we could be free from condemnation.

God’s mercy to us gives birth to a heart that loves to show mercy to others. To whom will you show mercy today?

Father, we confess that we do not deserve to be called your children. Yet, in your mercy, you adopt us into your family. Help us show your mercy to others. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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