Tuesday, August 9, 2022
By Lexi Brooke, Journey Church Member
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Ultimately, we as believers are called to become like Jesus – the only perfect human to ever walk the Earth. We should strive every day to live more like he did. The Beatitudes (this portion of the Sermon on the Mount) show us clear traits of who Jesus is and who he calls us to be. The challenge, though, is actually living them out in our OWN lives rather than just admiring them in Jesus’ life. The beauty is he would never ask us to be or do something he is not or has not already done. So when Jesus communicates these words, we can trust him, as he is perfect in all of them.
As I read through these verses, one word really laid heavy on my heart. It’s the word “mercy”. What a powerful word that holds so much weight! I often read past this word as if it is just a word on a page, failing to associate it with the meaning it holds. Mercy means giving forgiveness freely and not getting the punishment that is deserved. Let the power of that sink in for a minute.
I desire to be more like Jesus, and Jesus is merciful. But giving mercy can mean forgiving a deep hurt or wound, or releasing the “an eye for an eye” mindset. Mercy is not an easy thing to give. If it were, we wouldn’t need so many reminders to give it (174 reminders in the Bible). Mercy comes at a cost, but it is worth it because of the reward that awaits us in Heaven. The reality is, we don’t deserve the mercy God gives, but he CHOSE to give it to us anyways because of his love for us. He showed mercy, so we should strive to show that same mercy to those who have hurt us. Why? Because it’s one of the greatest testaments to who our Lord is – having mercy on someone who doesn’t deserve it.
Judah Smith, a pastor I respect greatly, did a sermon on how God loves the often despised biblical character named Barabbas (Matthew 27:15-26). Concerning Barabbas, Smith says, “Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.” The truth is that we are like Barabbas – undeserving of mercy, but showered in it anyways. The mercy bestowed upon us was given at a great cost, but Jesus endured it for YOU…for ME. Jesus endured the suffering so he could show us mercy.
What is stopping us from enduring the suffering it might cost to have mercy on others? I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what could be holding you back from pouring out mercy onto others. Pray for God to help you take that next step.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I long to be more like you – to love like you, to give mercy like you, to be pure like you, to be a peacemaker like you, and to be made righteous through you. Jesus, I pray specifically that you would help me pour out mercy to those around me, especially those I struggle giving mercy to the most. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.”
Daily Prayer Initiatives
- Jesus to change more lives as we double the square footage of our Castle Pines location.
- Momentum as we launch our Highlands Ranch location.
- Someone you can invite to Journey on Friend Day (Sunday, September 11)
- One bold prayer you sense God is personally inviting you to pray during the 21 Days.
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.