“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” -Luke 6:36
Jesus is not a weak Savior begging us to be like God, but a mighty Lord commanding obedience. The King has purchased His people, and He claims complete ownership over you. As King, Jesus commands us to be merciful. What is the measure of how merciful we are to be as people? What example, definition, likeness are we to imitate and be merciful? King Jesus says, “as your Father is merciful.”
When I think about how God has been merciful to me a sinner, my heart swells. Oh, how ugly has my mind, my heart, my words, my actions have been! Yet, God has treated me with undue kindness. In my joyful obedience to the Father, the source of my own mercy in heart is to look no further than the merciful heart of God Himself.
God is “rich in mercy,” and by His great love for us He is rich in kindness and slow to anger (Ephesians 2:4, Psalm 145:8). The objects His rich mercy are sinners deserving quick anger. His merciful kindness isn’t simply in words, but His mercy is a relief to those in misery. In Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus described the Samaritan’s response to seeing the beaten man alongside the road as “being moved with compassion” (Luke 10:33) and proved to be in obedience to God’s command to love his neighbor having “showed mercy.” Then Jesus commands, “Go and do likewise.”
Do mercy by being a relief to those in misery. Be slow to anger toward those deserving quick anger. Be rich in kindness. Be forgiving. Be gentle. Be meek. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. These are the marks of the renewed heart of the one having put off the old and put on the new creation in Christ.
Are you a safe place for the miserable to find relief? Are you a safe place for sinners deserving your temper to find a rich kindness? Are you a neighbor showing mercy? This cold, dark world must have Christians with blazing hearts driven to glorify the merciful Father by showing His mercy! Display God’s perfect patience and be rich in kindness and mercy, dear chief of sinners, for that is God’s reason for showing you mercy (I Timothy 1:16).
Heavenly Father, forgive my prideful, arrogant heart of any boasting in my lack of showing mercy! Be a relief to my sinful, broken heart according to Your rich kindness. Relieve my heart to be merciful as You are merciful to me and to all sinners who seek refuge in the mighty Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.