Standing Strong Through the Storm - Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE MERCIFUL

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

As we in humility recognize our “poverty of spirit,” God in His mercy forgives and equips us. Having received mercy, we are expected to show it to others.

The biblical term merciful is related to the word for empathy, which means the ability to get right inside another person’s skin until we see things with his eyes, think things with his mind and feel things with his feelings. This is what Jesus did for us in His incarnation. Thus:

Blessed are those who empathize with others until they are able to see with the eyes of others, think with their thoughts and feel with their feelings. The one who does this will find others do the same for him or her and will know that God did this for them in Christ Jesus.

How do we see our non-Christian friends? Can we see Muslims, for example, as real people groping in the semi-darkness, under the mere glimmer of light that a crescent moon provides, thinking that is all the light there is?

As we see them, mercy would be an appropriate word to describe our feeling and attitude as well as actions toward them. Just as we would go to the aid of a blind man heading in the wrong direction, so mercy should similarly drive us to go after them and show those who are willing to listen, the way to more complete light.

If we are secure in the knowledge that Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, then we do not need to prove anything but patiently and gently show others the way.

A relatively young man decided to work for the Lord in China. His father was not a Christian and very strongly opposed him. The son decided to attend a series of Christian meetings in one of the areas where he was serving. His father opposed so strongly that they quarreled before he left for the meetings. Then the son suddenly died while he was at the meetings.

The Christians there prayed and showed much concern. They knew that the news of the death would be hard for the father, so they asked a doctor to be there just in case the father needed him. When the father arrived and saw the love of the Christians, he gave his life to the Lord.

RESPONSE: Today I will see others as Jesus sees them and I will empathize with them as though in their skin.

PRAYER: Lord, help grow closer to You so that I will act like You, forgiving others and being sympathetic.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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