Blessed are the Merciful

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Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Mt. 5:7

Here we see the principle of reaping what you sow, although in a more positive sense than often used: those who sow mercy will reap mercy. However, it is important to note that the mercy expected here is not mercy from men, but mercy from God. The reality is that wicked men often requite mercy with misery. But God remembers the deeds of the saints, not as a ground of their salvation, but as fruits of his grace, and "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Heb. 6:9).

In what ways does this mercy come? It can often come through the instrumentality of men, of that there is no doubt, but the promise does not depend upon men for its fulfillment, but upon God. And since it comes ultimately from God, we can be sure that the mercy which meets us will find its way to us at precisely the right point of need and at precisely the right time. This is mercy aimed by the wisdom of God only-wise and sweetened by the love of God in Christ.

How are we to be merciful? We are to show mercy as we have received mercy. As the apostle writes, "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Tit. 3:4-6). God's mercy is his kindness and grace to those who are miserable. In the same way, we are to be kind to the destitute and to show grace to others, and thus mimic the mercy of God to others.

Let us therefore go out and be merciful, not for the sake of getting mercy back from men, but because we know that God has already promised mercy in his grace to those who hope in his Son.

By: Jeremiah Bass