Living, Heartfelt Compassion (Matthew 5:1-7)


Part of being blessed in Christ is the happiness which follows mercy.  Mercy is one of those concepts which lacks depth in the 21st century.  The standard dictionary definition describes mercy as “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender.”  So society sees life imprisonment as merciful when compared to death.  Or perhaps when a police officer lets a speeder off with a warning instead of a fine or ticket.  The definition found in the bible of mercy, is always related to the righteous and just nature of God.  For we are warned in scripture to fear not those who can destroy our lives, or livelihood, but to fear God who can destroy the body and soul in hell.  Biblical mercy is defined as not receiving justice, but blessings, goodness, kindness or MERCY, from the one Just, Holy and Righteous God.  To live life defined by mercy, we must follow the example of Christ, who showed the depths of compassion toward those who despised and rejected him.  Paul described the practice of living such a life this way:

Colossians 3:8–15 (NKJV) 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (emphasis added)

Elder Matthew Davis
Covenant Reformed Church
at Grass Valley

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