Women in Christ (logo) Notes from Nancy

The start of a fresh new year is a common time to reflect on the past year. It is one of the seasons I personally use to take a deeper look at my life. In our continuing examination of James 3:17, we are reminded “the wisdom that comes from heaven is …full of mercy”. I have to admit when I look back at the year there were times I did not live up to “full of mercy”. The mercy Jesus Christ showed to me by his sacrifice on the cross was not at the fore front of my mind. If it had been, it would be so much easier to show mercy.

In our Bible Study we examine what it means to be Full of Mercy, with the Commentary reminding us Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment.

In Circle of Mercy, Scarlett states we are to show mercy toward others since God first showed mercy to us. God in turn will show mercy to us as we show it to others. I am not always confident I am applying this in its deepest meaning, especially when you look at it in the context in Jesus’ teaching in Luke 6:27-36:

  "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."
  "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

I have seen video clips of Christians in India who are being attacked while worshipping in their church for no other reason other than they are Christians. A man was saying a prayer for the man who was beating him without fighting back. Can I remember to be merciful to someone who has cut me off in traffic, has been rude to me, attacked me verbally or some other minor mistreatment? I should not get upset, perhaps muttering something under my breath about how rude they are, but instead say a prayer for the person and be willing to give them my "cloak and tunic."

What do your 'enemies' look like? Those of you reading this in other countries may have examples closer to those in India. Those of us in the United States are attacked in a different way, but we all have enemies whom God expects us to show mercy. How do you show mercy in your everyday life?

Volume 12 Issue 1 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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