Tuesday, September 2, 2014

“Matters of Mercy"

   Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ seek to relate to others not in accordance with how they act toward us, but rather by how God acts in us.  "The love of God is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Thus, we determine to bless those who bless us, and also those who curse us (Matthew 5:44).

   Our initial, natural inclinations often flow against the indwelling Spirit of Christ.  We still sometimes feel like smiting the cheek of our offender rather than turning our own.  In such times of temptation, we can be sure that our Lord moves within us to overcome bitterness with mercy.  Moreover, we must realize and affirm His loving way as the best way - the perfect way - for us to journey.  "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).   Our conflicting human sensibilities, as enticed by our spiritual enemies, provide opportunity to make the choice that life by faith so often presents.  Will we believe the Word of God, or the inclinations and emotions that contradict?  Is our Lord present and active in us to enable mercy rather than vengeance and bitterness?  And is His way the best way, the perfect way?

    Anyone who claims the life of faith to be easy has never tried it (particularly in matters of mercy regarding people).  It is more than atttainable, however, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  He ever works to convince us of His enabling presence and of the rightness of God's will.  Our calling is to consistently expose ourselves to the Word of God, whereby "faith cometh" (Romans 10:17).  Thus are we prepared for the inevitable confrontations with the world, the devil, and the flesh (both our own flesh and that of others).  No opportunity to know and reveal the Lord Jesus presents a more brilliantly illuminated path of glory than the matters of mercy we presently consider.  Again, we must purpose to devote ourselves to how God acts in us rather than how others act toward us.  This is the way of Christ's peace, as known in our hearts and in our relationships with others.

"See that none render evil for evil unto any man, but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves and unto all men."
(I Thessalonians 5:15)
"This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not grievous, for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.  And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:3-4)

Weekly Memory Verse
    I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
(Psalm 116:9)

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