Posted by: bellissimanh | December 1, 2010

Mercy Me

Joel and I started a Bible Reading plan this week. We’re hoping to read through the Bible in a year, but also willing to stop and chew on things if the Lord calls us to. The plan we’re using takes us through four passages each day, so there’s plenty of variety (cuz let’s face it… if I were just reading straight through, I’d get to Leviticus, stumble on all those laws and just quit). Having a brand new study Bible is making the journey even more vibrant for me… LOVE it!

It never fails that each day the Lord speaks loudly through one of the passages in particular. Yesterday it was Genesis…. Today, He called from the pages of Matthew.

“The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.” (Matthew 1:18-19)

What struck me about this passage is the connection between Joseph being “righteous” and his desire to save Mary from public humiliation. Bear in mind that he made this decision before the angel appeared to him to let him know that the Child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. His decision to spare her disgrace was not based on knowing that this baby was sent from the Lord… it was based on his character and integrity. It was rooted in righteousness.

While worldly wisdom would expect Joseph to shun his betrothed, and demand that Mary’s presumed sins be exposed, righteousness made the decision to offer compassion and mercy.

“He has showed you, oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Righteous. I want to be righteous, for His sake. Because He has made me positionally righteous through the blood of Christ, I want to display that righteousness through my actions. As I live work out my salvation with fear and trembling, my and desire is to be like Him.

And then I heard Him whisper to my heart today, “You want to be righteous, Heather? Then be compassionate… be forgiving… be MERCIFUL. I’ll bless it.”

“Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled. The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:6-7)

  • Mercy means I act with kindness when my flesh wants to be mean.
  • Mercy means I don’t demand my own version of “justice”, but instead love on those that I perceive have wronged me (because often my thinking is faulty).
  • Mercy means I choose to be compassionate and reach out to others, even when I’m rejected over and over again.
  • Mercy means I forgive, even when the person I’m forgiving doesn’t think they NEED it.

“Mercy is not the silent, passive pity that never seems to help in a tangible way. It is genuine compassion with a pure, unselfish attitude that reaches out to help.” ~John MacArthur

Help me to be righteous, Lord… for Your sake. Fill me with Your compassion and mercy. Empower me to walk in this, Your will for me. Thank You for revealing to me through Your Word the ways in which I’m falling short of Your glorious standard, and for prompting my heart to obey. Thank You for choosing me to be Your daughter, for calling me to Yourself, for loving me enough to not let me remain as I am. Give me specific opportunities today to show grace and mercy to those around me. Help me to accurately reflect Your character and glory to the world around me. Make me merciful, Lord… mercy me. I love You.

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Responses

  1. Oh mercy….no pun intended. The Lord is working me up one side and down the other about this issue. I so long to be righteous and He is working that out by dealing with the issue of grace. I just finished reading Philip Yancey’s book ‘What’s So Amazing About Grace’. For the love of Pete….I do not do a good job at showing mercy or grace. So, I’ve got a lot of work that the Lord and I need to do.

    Thanks for a great post!!

    Leah

  2. Great post, Heather. Your “Mercy means…” quotes were great. And pretty convicting! I started a Bible reading plan this month too! I started December 1st with the intent to finish by the end of 2011 – I figured I needed at least a month or so of wiggle room!


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