(A pleasing sacrifice unto the Lord)
"What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micha 6:8
What is Mercy?
Mercy is the fruit of Love, it is the combination of an understanding, patient, and kind heart. Mercy is known to lift up instead of tear down. Mercy is the opposite of judgement. Mercy teaches and instructs with all the patience and kindness that springs up from a thankful heart. Mercy extends forgiveness and a helping hand to the poor, needy and miserable. Think of Mercy as the connection in between our mind, heart, eyes and hands.
First, our mind is filled with the knowledge a Glorious God. Then, as this knowledge travels down to our heart, it prompt our heart to change through a series of convictions. The first convictions are profound shame and remorse; as we compare our heart to God's. The second pair of convictions are deep sorrow and grief as we come face to face with the understanding that we bankrupt before a Glorious God (this is why John wept in the book of Revelations). The third conviction is overwhealming repentance as we turn away from evil, to accept God's incredible love, sacrifice, and forgiveness for our sins. Once our heart undergoes this transformation, mercy is born into our hands through a humbled and thankful heart. When mercy is born with it are born: compassionate eyes- that can see people as God sees them, a brand new heart that aches for the lost, and a brand new set of hands that yearn to reach out in Gods love. When the fullness of this spiritual transformation is accomplished mercy is birthed right into our hands, ready to be given unto others.
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,afor the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.4God blesses those who mourn,for they will be comforted.5God blesses those who are humble,for they will inherit the whole earth.6God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,bfor they will be satisfied.7God blesses those who are merciful,for they will be shown mercy.8God blesses those whose hearts are pure,for they will see God.9God blesses those who work for peace,for they will be called the children of God.10God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about youc and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way."
God's Glory can be seen in that of His Lovingkindness, which is another word for being merciful. He stoops down from HIs glorious throne to reach down out to us. He took off His glorious robes, to put on the robe of the servant. He who is King and has authority over all, is willing to do for us what we are not willing to do for each other. This is mercy: that he loved us, that he did not destroy us, that he served us, that He cleansed us, that He puts up with us. That He was willing to be spit upon, rejected, and beaten for the sake of showing us His love.
God's glory can be seen through the works of his righteous, loving, caring, forgiving and merciful nature, while our depravity can be seen through our unwillingness to be like Him. When we compare our life to His our actions fall short of the Glory of God.
When the glory of God shines on our actions we have a couple choices: either we fall to our knees in repentance and accept our broken needy state, walk away ashamed feeling separated from God, or we try to cover up our sins by staying away from his light. We also have the choice to look at God's Glory and scoff at it, so that we could continue to walk in our sins unashamed and unmoved.
Which one will you choose? Just know that whatever you choose mercy and forgiveness is also extended to you. There is no depth or darkness that God's mighty arm cannot save you from. yet it is your choice for although He is God, He has given you free will to stay or walk away.
Looking At People Through the Eyes of Compassion
The Bible says in Proverbs 20:12 that; The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made both of them (NASB). The NLT bible explains it like this: "Ears to hear and eyes to see--both are gifts from the Lord."
The word has made in this passage, is translated into accomplished. In other words the Lord has accomplished in us our ability to hear and to see.
So if it is God who accomplishes this work in us: the ability to understand (see) and the ability to obey (hear) why do we boast about our hearing and our seeing? Why do we complain about those who cannot see or hear? Shouldn't we help them instead? Shouldn't we extend to those who are blind a helping hand that guides with all patience?
Thats why God says that Salvation is a free gift from the Lord, so that no one may boast. Instead of boasting we need to be helping. Going to the thorne room of mercy and asking God how we can assist along the work of the kingdom, so that others can receive the same gift that we have received.
May we remember where God took us from. May we remember that our deliverance did not and does not spring up from one day to another. May be ever so understanding that it is by grace alone that we have been saved, and not by our good works. May we truly understand that it is God's compassion that sets us free. And may we have that same compassion for others.
Mercy is Never Useless
Sometimes our work can seem so useless; Isaiah himself said,
He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”
I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
I will trust God for my reward.”
Yet God encouraged and strenghened him with these words:
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
God encouraged Isaiah by telling him that he would be a light to the Gentiles. We shine Gods glory and light in our life as we imitate our Father in Heaven. The Bible says in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." These good works are an extension of God's mercies for us. God's kindness is meant to lead us and others into repentance.
Is Rejection Useless
What if our works and extended hands are rejected? Will our efforts have constituted themselves as useless? No they are not useless. God says that just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. Our works and warnings may seem useless when is not heeded, but when we are sent to do God's work, His work is never useless because He still accomplishes something in us that will resort for future glory. Moreover, Isaiah's work is an example to us that God can accomplish things beyond our expectations- he can do far beyond what we could ever think or imagine (Isaiah 55 and 49:6). Isaiah tought that his work was useless yet he had no idea that God would use his work all over the world and many years after his death. In the same way, our work for God always accomplishes something first in us and then in others.
1 Corinthians 15:58
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.