Father, we're depravity prone, selfish, and a hindrance to You being displayed in our lives. Would you please give us Your heart of mercy.
I'm in a small group at my church and we're going through this book called 'The Kingdom Experiment.' It's on the beatitudes and it's main purpose is practically living the beatitudes instead of just getting together and talking about what they mean (each week there are kingdom 'experiments' trying to get to the heart of each beatitude). This week we are on mercy. 'Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.'
We were discussing in what situations it is really challenging for us to be merciful and serve when we don't feel like submitting, and in times when mercy is questionably deserved. It was really interesting to see how each persons struggles in showing mercy were so different. From, "I can't stand that person, and I don't want to give surface-mercy," "When I'm drained and moody, I just don't want to, I just dont have the energy to push myself into being merciful," to "I resort to thinking, oh that's not my gift, another part of the body will take care of that."
Really, really different. But the same is that we all recognized that we get to a point where we are just not down for being merciful. Uniquely, we all have situations that totally DO NOT cater to us acting in mercy. And so the question went to, when we get 'stuck' in these positions of not joyfully showing mercy, how do we do it - when there is a clear call for us to push ourselves aside, forget about how tired or broke WE are, and be Christ (outside of circumstances enabling laziness), how do we live mercifully?
One of the girls in our group started sharing about what the Lord has been teaching her and it was such an amazing revelation.
At the core of it was looking at Jesus' heart in coming to earth. Earth and the cross were not in any way enticing. They were hideous - but necessary for our atonement.
How much must He have rather stayed in heaven. "Father, if there is any way, take this cup from me, but not my will but yours be done."
When He, sitting in Glory, looked down on our situation, foresaw His life, and decided still to dive into our mess. There is no greater example of mercy. Never has there been or will there be a more extreme example of choosing to be merciful when everything logical pointed to staying in Heaven. We didn't deserve it, and in order to make it happen, it was ALL Him and it was brutal sacrifice.
In meditating on Christ's mercy towards us, never do we have even the slightest situation that allows for complaining.
For my heart take even the slightest turn towards not gladly letting Christ's mercy for me overflow to the needy and undeserving is undermining the mercy and love of Christ sacrificing Himself for us.
When we recognize this, SO heightened is the NEED for us to STAY constantly in the Spirit, allowing His strength to pour through us to shine a light so bright that Satan trembles.
Please teach us this, God. We won't figure it out on our own.