Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
As a tax accountant, I had to learn many things about the U.S. tax law. One of the things I thought was odd was about debt forgiveness or cancellation. In some circumstances, the IRS requires a person to add as income a debt that was forgiven or canceled. Really? So, the one you owe shows mercy but IRS does not?
Thank goodness the kingdom of God doesn’t take examples from the IRS. Once we ask Jesus into our heart, our debt of sin is erased forever.
Mercy is at the heart of God. He granted us mercy through the death of His son Jesus. We cannot earn His mercy. He provides mercy before we even ask for it.
“Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.” Eph 2:4-5
How do we respond to such great mercy? The only way we can is to offer ourselves to Him. We must offer our whole being: spirit, soul, body, mind, will, and emotions.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Rom 12:1
Jesus tells us how to have mercy – forgive. The basis of mercy is forgiveness. Jesus told a parable that demonstrates mercy to us in Matthew 18. A man owed a huge sum of money and could not repay the debt, yet the lender forgave him. This was an act of mercy. But, instead of being thankful, the man immediately went out and found someone who owed him a small amount of money and when that person couldn’t pay, he put the debtor into bondage.
Jesus instructs us:
Matthew 6:15 “…if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
James 2:13 “Judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
When we forgive and let mercy flow through our hearts to others, it removes hatred, anger, retribution, and guilt. Mercy wipes away stain and sin. Mercy removes the repayment of the debt. Mercy does not remove the memory of the offense, but it removes the weight of that offense from our heart and mind. When we forgive and show mercy we can then approach God without hesitation.
Heb 4:16 “Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so we can receive mercy and grace in our time of need.”
As mercy flows from the heart of Jesus to us, we must let mercy flow from our heart to those who have offended us. This act of forgiveness and mercy must come from our will to submit ourselves to Jesus. Once we decide to forgive, then the healing begins and mercy will do its work to restore our heart.