Tuesday December 8th 2015
Memorise: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12
Read: Matthew 18:27-35,
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.
Bible in one year: Psalm 92-99, Hebrews 11:23-12:2
Mercy is an attitude of compassion, favour and care towards the unfortunate, afflicted and helpless. Mercy is an unmerited assistance that originates from the divine attributes of God, and it is grounded in His very nature. Mercy is a special prerogative of the Almighty God Himself, and therefore may not be properly defined in isolation of His person. Psalm 86:15 described Him thus:
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
Little wonder why in the Bible, acts of mercy are usually borne out of love, compassion, favour or grace. Several times, God’s mercy is also described as enduring forever (1st Chronicles 16:34).
It is important to note that from the beginning, God has always applied mercy while handling human affairs. It was mercy that moved Him to make aprons of Adam and Eve after their sin caused His glory to depart from them (Genesis 3:21). Because of His mercy, He preserved Noah and His family (Genesis 7). The same mercy located Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and the prophets. However, mercy was personified and more pronounced in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. In all His interactions with people, the Bible recorded that He was always moved by love and compassion whenever He saw their afflictions and misery. Matthew 9:36 says:
“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
In essence, we are who we are in Christ because of God’s mercy (Titus 3:5). Forgiveness, salvation, healing, deliverance, joy and everything we have in Christ are by the grace and mercy of God. So, as beneficiaries of His great mercy, we are commanded to show the same mercy to others. Luke 6:36 says:
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
God expects that His merciful dealings in our lives will move us to show mercy to others. Our Bible reading today paints a vivid picture of God’s expectation of us as Christians, in relation to the issue of mercy. The master was displeased with the wicked servant because he refused to show mercy to his fellow servant. Above all, remember that obedience to the word of God is always handsomely rewarded; therefore, be merciful.
Sweet Holy Spirit, fill my heart with God’s mercy, and let it flow from me to my neighbours.