Day 12

March 26, 2021

James 3:13-18

          Hello, Hello! We’ve made it to the fifth characteristic of divine wisdom, full of mercy. So, lets discuss mercy. Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen defines Mercy as “the compassion and kindness shown to someone whom it is in one’s power to punish or harm. It is an act to relieve someone of their suffering. It’s undeserved kindness. “In order to respond to it we must recognize others need and our own for it and be grateful that as a sinner what we have is from God and no one else, especially ourselves. According to Conversation.com Mercy Matters, the core of mercy is forgiveness but goes beyond just that. Jesus loved us enough to die for us so we can respond with that love to other’s human need in unexpected ways. I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

          For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners. (Matthew 9:13 NAS bible). “Literally I take this as acts of mercy mean more than just your sacrifice, religion, rituals, and ceremonies. My Dake’s bible for this verse quotes. “If your religion makes you exalted and self-righteous and you consider yourself to be defiled by associating with sinners your sacrifice has been done in vain.” Let me add I believe it makes Jesus sacrifice for nothing too. William Farley writes this, “If you have never been deeply scandalized and offended by the cross, you may have never really heard its message.” What is this offense you may ask? Its how deep and repulsive our sin was that Christ would still die for you. That is what is so vital for you to remember friends. Oh, how He loves you so. That’s why His love is four dimensional; wide, long, deep, and high. It reaches us more than just one way.

          How do you think Jesus showed mercy? Blessed [happy, to be envied, spiritually prosperous-with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation regardless of their outward conditions or circumstances] are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7 Amplified version). The Greek word for mercy is “Eleemon” and means to show compassion or pity on (1 John 3:2). His desire is for your health to prosper even as your soul does. Jesus showed mercy to: the blind man when he could not see, a child who was dead but no she was just sleeping, a dead friend who had been dead for 4 days and would be raised again alive, a demoniac wounding himself repeatedly would be made whole and begin to heal; 7 lepers would be cleansed but only one would give accolades where praise was due, an adulterer He pronounced not guilty in front of many who wanted to cast the first stone but no one could, a woman bent over who desired to stand tall so she could look Him in the eye, and the woman who had been unclean because of an issue of blood He would cleanse her by The words he spoke. The list goes on Jesus had compassion on them.

          Jesus knows our need and its visceral-changing us from the inside out. The Pope’s Misericordiae Vultus first line reads Jesus is the face of mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement (James 2:13). Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. Because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Our non-partisan choice should always be mercy and to forgive so we too can be forgiven. Our sins may conflict against us but Jesus is our advocate so we receive mercy instead of the judgement we deserve. Shouldn’t we do that towards other people? What if you surrendered your judgement of others the moment you observe something you would rather criticize or alienate them when they do. This is our gradually impartial focal point for today. Jesus said it best: judge not, so you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1). I have experienced that what we judge others for is often what we see most wrong in ourselves but have yet to do anything about it. Do you want to be called a hypocrite for seeing the splinter in your neighbor’s eye when there is a plank in your own?

          Let’s prayLord, thank You for providing me a go between when I still am so separate from You in certain areas of my life. In those places I need Your mercy until I am ready to exchange my offense for the offense the cross provides. In that there are fences I have against myself and it comes out against others in alienation, criticism, and sometimes disdain. Jesus You died so I could be forgiven. In turn, I should do the same by giving others mercy even if I feel they don’t deserve it. Help to love and respect deep, long, high, and wide so that Your compassion surrounds me and those You bring across my path. In Jesus name, Amen.