The Call To Be Merciful

This is what the LORD Almighty says: `Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’ — Zechariah 7:9 (NIV)

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. — Hosea 6:6 (NIV)
The Old Testament prophets understood it, but the Pharisees did not.  Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 in Matthew 9:13.  God calls us to be merciful.  To show mercy means to show compassionate forgiveness towards someone who has wronged us.  This is how God treats us.  Psalm 103:10 (NIV) says, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”  He treats us with mercy, not punishing us in the way that we deserve to be punished.  He takes pity on us because we truly don’t know what we are doing.  If we knew how our sins hurt God and hurt others, we would act differently.  But we can be so self-centered and self-absorbed that we often don’t realize just how hurtful our sinful actions truly are.  God understands this.  So He compassionately pours out mercy on us.  Then He expects us to do the same.
When someone hurts us, God says, “Be merciful.”  When someone sins against us, God says, “Forgive as I have forgiven you.”  He desires that we learn to forgive others more than we learn to give offerings to Him.  We can get so legalistic about a tithe and yet forget about that which is most important — loving and forgiving others.  I believe that God wants us to know that relationships matter the most.  We need to come to a better understanding of how great is the mercy of God that we may be like Him in our forgiveness of others.  If Jesus could forgive those who were crucifying Him, we can forgive those who hurt us.  If almost no sin is too great for God to forgive, then no one who sins against us is not worthy of our forgiveness.  May we be merciful, just as God has been merciful to us.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I pray that You will have mercy on me, a sinner. Help me to show mercy to others today when they wrong me or sin against me. Help me to forgive those in my life whom I have had a hard time forgiving. Thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness, grace and love. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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