“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-11 ESV)

Focus of the Month: Jesus Teaches: The Sermon on the Mount/Beatitudes

Getting something for nothing doesn’t sound right does it? I mean even when we receive something “free” it usually comes with some kind of strings attached or cost. I see signs occasionally for “Free Puppies”; oh how I love puppies! But I know it takes a lot of money to raise one through adulthood. That puppy isn’t truly free. It comes with a cost.

Do we look at the free gifts from God with the same skepticism as we do everything else? Are we putting ourselves on a level playing field with God? Acting as if He does things the way we do things. We must examine ourselves and stop this if we are. His way is always right; and if He says its free then we can trust that it is indeed free!

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

Mercy is a theme throughout scripture. Here are some other verses to ponder regarding this gift:

James 2:12-13 “So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.”

Proverbs 28:13 “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.”

Being merciful means showing forgiveness and compassion to those in need. Mercy isn’t given because it is deserved. It is given because we choose to give it. Biblically speaking – mercy can be seen when our sin clearly deserves punishment, yet God bestows forgiveness. How often do we put ourselves in charge of deciding whether or not another person receives this? How many times do we utter phrases like, “I hope they get what they deserve!” or “I could never forgive them for what they’ve done”? Who are we to make such bold statements? Oh wait, if we have made a decision for Christ to rule our lives…by accepting Him as our Savior – then we are forgiven, chosen, mercy receiving women!

What is stopping us from being the givers instead of just being the takers of mercy? I have camped in both sites.  I put myself in charge of deciding whether or not I think someone deserves it or not. But my loving Father has shown me mercy so many times.

Mercy, not just by the forgiveness I have received, but in other ways as well. The sweet blessings of answered prayers, the precious hugs from friends on a bad day, the safety of the arms of my husband when I am afraid of what’s coming next…so many times in so many ways.

Are you grateful for the mercy God washes over you?  May we let mercy, compassion and love pour from us to others, in Jesus name and by His strength!

Holding Fast to Hope,

Jen

Scripture References:  Matthew 5:7; James 2:12-13; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 25:16; Romans 11:30-32; Hebrews 8:12