REFLECT – Day 21:
Today we have another look around the art gallery and find another portrait of the Christlike life within “The Beatitudes”.
We have explored 3 phrases thus far:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’.
‘Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.’
Today we once again turn to Matthew chapter 5 verses 1-10.
Jesus puts a remarkable emphasis in his ministry on forgiveness through both his teaching and his actions. Perhaps, as you read or hear this you have some of this teaching spring to mind – we all should be aware of this emphasis and should hear it regularly.
Mercy in the Bible means strong and steadfast love from a stronger party in a relationship to a weaker one. It is shown first and foremost in forgiveness, which brings life and restores relationships, and then in acts of kindness and support.
God’s forgiveness of us restores our relationship with God and brings life eternal to those who put their trust in Jesus and declare Him as Lord. This then inspires us to give out much forgiveness, because we have received more than we could ever have imagined.
This beautiful attitude will be echoed in the Lord’s prayer: ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’
In Luke’s gospel, this saying on mercy is followed almost immediately by a teaching on forgiveness: ‘forgive and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.’ (Luke 6:36-37).
When Jesus demonstrates and lives out the mercy of God, he is speaking first about God’s willingness to forgive when we fall short and go astray. Jesus willingness to forgive should bring us great joy today.
‘Blessed are those who are willing to forgive, for they shall obtain forgiveness’.
Still your mind. Take time to listen to the words of Jesus and repeat them several times with the rhythm of your breathing:
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’
Begin a list with two columns: People whom you need to forgive and people from whom you need to seek forgiveness.
Be prepared to add to it during the next four days as you reflect on mercy.