A Faith that works when life doesn't Part 5 (Day 11)
Be Merciful, as One Who Has Been Shown Mercy
God doesn’t want you to show mercy only to the people you like, or only to people who make showing mercy to them easy. God wants you to be merciful to everyone.
Jesus says, “If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15 NLT).
The only way you can get into a perfect heaven is by God's mercy and forgiveness through the death of Jesus Christ. But until you receive the mercy and forgiveness God has shown you, you won’t be willing to show mercy to others.
You cannot afford to burn the bridge you need to walk across in order to get into heaven. And one way you can show God just how thankful you are for his forgiveness is by extending forgiveness to others.
Someone at some point is going to need your forgiveness—because we all sin. When that person comes to you and asks for forgiveness (and even if they never do), how you respond to them will reveal what you believe about God’s character.
There’s going to be a Judgment Day. You need not live in fear, but you should live as if what you say and do matters. Your words and actions count both here on earth and when your life is done. The Bible says, “You must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment” (James 2:13 NCV).
Jesus says it another way in the Beatitudes: “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NLT).
God offers mercy—to you and everyone else who calls on his name. If a perfect God can do that for a sinful world, then we can all follow his example and do it for each other.
Talk It Over
- Why does God want you to show mercy like he has shown mercy to you? What does the act of mercy demonstrate to curious unbelievers?
- Is something keeping you from forgiving someone who has hurt you?
- In what ways does God bless you when you are merciful?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.