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299. The merciful shall be shown mercy.

"Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy." - (Matthew 5:7) Since God has shown mercy to mankind, he expects his people to show the same mercy to their fellow beings! Yet that seems to be the hardest thing for us to do! We want forgiveness but wouldn't forgive other men because of the wickedness of our hearts, as the parable of the unmerciful servant depicts. The master called the servant in and said, "You wicked servant, I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" - (Matthew 18:32-35) We humans always want to take matters into our own hands and exact vengeance because we feel that God is so slow in judging our enemies ! But the problem is that, "with the measure you use, it will be measured to you!" Therefore, "do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven." - (Luke 6:37-38) Let's remember to be merciful lest we be treated thus: 'In anger the master turned the wicked servant over to the jailors to be tortured ... This is how the heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.' - (Matthew 18:34-35)


But if we have truly understood the gospel, which is a proclamation of God's mercy towards mankind, then we would be inclined to be merciful to others! It's in the nature of God to be merciful, just as He proclaimed before Moses: "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin ..." - (Exodus 34:6-7) This self-description of God became for the Jews a profound summary of God's nature. The old testament quotes or alludes to this passage more than any other. David celebrated the mercy of God in his songs and wrote: 'The Lord is merciful and gracious ... he does not treat is as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.' - (Psalm 103:8-10) He was confident of the Lord's mercy towards him because he had not forgotten to shown mercy to others. So he wrote: 'Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble ... The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness .' - (Psalm 41:1-3) We cannot be confident of the Lord's mercy towards us if have failed to show mercy to others for 'judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.' - (James 2:13) God is merciful and blesses those who remember to be merciful. Amen.


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