BOOK OF GOD'S PROMISES
J. Steven Lang
-- "Mercy's indeed the attribute of heaven" wrote an English poet. What
the Bible promises is not only that God shows mercy to people, but that people
can -- must -- show mercy to each other. Grudges and getting even are a
normal part of the world scene, but they have no place in the life of someone
who has enjoyed the mercy of God.
The Bible promises blessing for people
who can mirror God's mercy. It promises something else for those who refuse.
blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
There will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But
if you have been merciful, then God's mercy toward you will win out over his judgment
Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he
loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility,
gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and
forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must
forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love.
Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that
comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all
called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you.
Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and
he will bless you for it.
1 Peter 3:9
"Love your enemies! Do good to them!
Lend to them! And don't be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward
from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the
Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must
be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
"Stop judging others,
and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back
on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive."
The great illustration of mercy is Jesus' parable of the good
He asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied with
an illustration: "A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho,
and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat
him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
"By chance a Jewish priest
came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side
of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him
lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
"Then a despised Samaritan
came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the
Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the
man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next
day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of
the man. `If his bill runs higher than that,' he said, `I'll pay the difference
the next time I am here.'
"Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor
to the man who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.
The man replied, "The
one who showed him mercy."
Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."
See also God's Mercy, Enemies, Forgiving Others.
The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J.
Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.