Mercy Rule, Part II

“Be merciful as God is merciful” (Luke 6:36)

God is merciful and is full of love toward all humanity.

He loves you.

He loves me.

He even loves the people that intentionally hurt us.

That’s why He commands us to forgive and show mercy to those who hurt us.

But keep in mind that forgiveness isn’t for those who hurt us; it is for us.

God cannot reach the hearts of those who harbor envy, bitterness, or hatred, because they are too hardened.

It is like a wall has been built which will not allow the negative emotions to escape…and it refuses to make way for any positive emotions to get in.

Bitterness is more destructive than you could ever imagine.

Holding onto bitterness is like swallowing poison and expecting it to harm someone else.

It isn’t worth it.

Aside from robbing you of your joy, holding onto a grudge will have a disasterous effect on your prayer life. Jesus proposes that it prevents your prayers from reaching heaven. (Matthew 6:14-15)

God instructs us to “be reconciled” before we bring Him our gifts, praises, or requests. (Matthew 5:23-24)

Forgiveness is the most powerful weapon in the Christian’s supernatural arsenal.

With forgiveness, we can blast away bitterness, eliminate envy, and hurdle over hatred.

Tear down the walls bitterness has built around your heart. Sever the root – and allow God’s peace to be in command.

God’s joy is independent of your circumstances.

Only once you can forgive those who have hurt you will you be able to experience the fullness of God’s love.

Ask Him how to forgive and He will show you the way.

The first step is deciding to try.

Amen!

Mercy Rule, Part I

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy”
(Matthew 5:7)

Mercy is an interesting thing.

It has been said that mercy is not getting what you do deserve.

While grace is getting something you do not deserve.

For some, the reluctance to forgive comes from a slight misunderstanding. They think that to forgive someone is to “let them off the hook.”

But forgiveness is not letting them off “scot free.”

Nor is it “being weak.”

Forgiving someone who has caused serious pain is perhaps the hardest thing Christans are asked to do.

It’s not easy, but it’s not hard, either. It is impossible without the power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 19:26)

If you want to see someone’s true character, don’t just watch their actions – watch their reactions.

People can control what they say and do if they have time to think about it – but their reactions put them in the hot seat. On the defense.

Emotions like anger, envy, or contempt, can leak out involuntarily in any given situation.

You can try to conceal them, attempt to deny them, or even wish them away. But their revelation is rarely a choice. That’s the point.

You have to choose to forgive somebody – it’s never an accident.

It is horrible to be back-stabbed, betrayed, cheated, scammed, lied to, or otherwise hurt in any way – especially by someone you trust.

If that has happened, my heart goes out to you.

But understand that forgiveness is not for the one who has caused the harm.

It is for you!

The dangers of refusing to forgive run deep: emotions like bitterness and hatred are just the beginning – the repercussions are awful and you end up throwing away whatever joy you might have had.

When you choose to show mercy and forgive an affront, nobody will be able to question whether or not your faith is real. God’s love will be obvious in you and your testimony will be more powerful than any sermon could ever be.

Ask God today to help you forgive those who have hurt you and make an honest effort to move on.

Remember that it isn’t for them.

It’s for you!

Amen!

Purity in Sight

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”
(Matthew 5:8)

God’s justice is beautiful, honest, and fair.

When we repent of our sins, He grants full forgiveness and total cleansing. It is as if we had never sinned to begin with. (1 John 1:9)

This cleansing makes us pure and enables us to witness the glory of God in everything around us.

We can see the light through the darkness, the joy through the sadness, and the blessing through the unpleasantness.

It’s a matter of perspective.

It’s a matter of the heart.

The purity of Christ is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

In other words, you will never get into trouble with God by practicing these virtues.

In contrast: “As for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted… their place will be in the lake that burns with fire.” (Revelations 21:8)

Yikes!

This fate need not be yours, for purity is in sight…

Repentance produces forgiveness.

Forgiveness produces cleansing.

Cleansing produces purity.

Purity produces boldness and conviction due to an ironclad faith in God.

Greater faith in God produces the ability to see God – not only in heaven; but here and now, in all we do. (Colossians 3:17)

For what sins do you need to repent?

Be specific.

Ask God to forgive you, and He will!

Ask Him to cleanse your soul and purify your heart, and He will!

Ask Him to reveal Himself to you today, right now; and He will!

Amen!