v 8 …. to love mercy
How often we tend to think of the Old Testament as full of bloodthirsty tales of God’s vengeance on Godless nations; so much so that the word ‘Mercy’ rarely figures in our thinking! Yet the whole of the Bible – the story of God in relation to his creatures – is shot through with examples of mercy. From the Flood and the rescue of Noah with his family, through the Exodus from Egypt and the return from exile in Babylon, the coming of the Messiah, Jesus, right through to His return to wind up history as we understand it, the flag we follow is labelled ‘God is merciful.’ Without that notion propelling us forward life would be grim indeed. We know the kind of people we are and that God’s mercy is our one hope for eternity.
So here is the rub – God’s mercy is to be revealed, demonstrated for all to see, in the lives of His people. This is God’s purpose in changing your life for the eternal better – that you will love mercy as He does. That quality should underline our whole nature. When other people are grumpy or just plain awkward, we reflect mercy to them and don’t pay them back with sharp words or gestures. When they scratch your car, or jump the Tesco’s queue; whether they shout at you or cold-shoulder you; if they offer you nothing but verbal abuse or yes – physical aggression, you learn to walk in Jesus’ shoes and love mercy. That is what having a godly character means. Does that seem too hard? Of course it does, but God being your helper it is possible.
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