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Christianity 401: Be Merciful

Let’s continue to learn from some of Jesus’s toughest teachings - His relational commands, most of which are found in Luke 6, verses 27-38. Jesus’s next command centers on mercy: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). Mercy means not receiving what we deserve.  Jesus’s death on the cross was the greatest act of mercy in human history.   We deserved to spend eternity in hell.  But God, rich in mercy, sent His son to atone for our sins.  To die in our place.  He freely gave us the gift of salvation.  We didn’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, yet He gave eternal life to us anyway. Here, Jesus is teaching us to give mercy to others in the same way He has shown mercy to us.  And while we can’t atone for others’ sins, we can freely offer mercy to them in the same way we’ve received it. Think of all the times you have sinned.  Hurt others.  Caused harm.  What did God do to you?  Punish you?  Condemn you?  Accuse you?  Berate you?  Of course not!   God gives mercy to His children because of His great love for us (Ephesians 2:4).   “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7).  It’s the law of reciprocity.  Whatever we give out, we get back.   Be merciful!  You never know when you will need God to give mercy to you.

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