Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7 NASB)
Oh how we need to hear this! After taking a big step up this stairway to heaven and stirring up a hunger and thirst for righteousness, what do you know, my spirit gets all, well, judgmental! I am a wreck. The more I see Jesus, the more I am amazed. Here is the one who never – ever – no never darkened a commandment with the slightest nod, but does he get all stirred up about sinners and their sin? Nope! He has lunch with harlots, and protects the virtue of adulteresses. He goes out to dinner with the drunkards, and hangs out with the worst vermin of all, tax collectors.
We have to get this. Have you ever used the line – I love the sinner but hate their sin? Are you aware that there is no chapter and verse for that? I have heard this used as an excuse for hate on more occasions that you can image.
If I am brutally honest with myself I wonder if I would have been the Pharisee in Jesus’ day. Is He talking to me when He says: “go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:13)
Have you read in 2 Corinthians 5:19 where Paul tells us: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” Do you read this the way I have for decades, “God is not counting Christian’s sins against them?” That’s not what it says. If it did we are all without hope. God is not counting anyone’s sins against them today! Today is the day of mercy and the day that grace is available! A quick comment about the difference; Mercy is the fact that God is not counting your sin against you. This is currently true for all men. You will have to give account in the last day, but today, there is nothing keeping you from approaching God. Grace on the other hand is the free offer of righteousness that is extended to everyman. It must be accepted or received.
So here is the deal, and it’s pretty straight up here. If you expect to receive mercy on any level, give it in the same measure you are expecting it. In this moment of grace, don’t impose condemnation where God is not doing it. [Tweet This] In the mean time we must keep up our pursuit of integrity, our submission to God’s voice, our honesty with God about our failings, and our humble spirit. WOW these beatitudes are not just kid stuff, are they!