Friday, January 25, 2013

Blessed are the Merciful

The next entry on forgiveness was to be on "What forgiveness is not," but I want to add this message in here.  

Last night I was blessed to be a part of a 3 column study, in which one copies a text, word-for-word; then re-writes it as one's own personal paraphrase, and then in the third column lists actions one expects to take based on this teaching.  Last night's verse was this one: 
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." Matthew 5:7
Jesus teaches that those who show mercy - who are forgiving - will themselves be forgiven.  Do you understand this?  It can affect our motives.  Remember what Jesus said about the village sleaze in Luke 7: 
For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
I mean, this woman was promiscuous - and everyone knew it, and yet Jesus forgave her sins ... and not the good guys who played by all the rules!  

If we lay those two teachings together, it means that the more aware we are of our own sins, the more likely we are to forgive others, which in turn will bless us with the mercy we so crave.  

Gratitude, humility, mercy & love combined! 

What was cool about the thing last night was that we made it practical.  I have practical things to try this week, to be more merciful.  I'm going to pray every day for my 'enemies,' or those that have hurt me.  Already I prayed for bad feelings for things done to me by so-called family, friends and brothers.  I will make it my business this week to open my heart and fellowship to the people that I haven't forgiven from my heart - and next week, someone will ask me how I did.  And THAT is going to be awesome, knowing that someone loves me enough to care if I'm actually growing in Jesus - or not.  

I encourage all of you to do your own three column study of this, and if possible, partner up with someone for accountability.  Make an actual effort to obey Jesus, literally, daily, with determination ... and see if God won't make you grow.  

If you need more info about doing your own three column thing, put it in the comments and I'll help, or direct you to someone who will.  

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