Mathew 20:29-34 (NIV)
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
During the Daniel Fast, the Lord has really been speaking to my heart about my love for others. Our family has recently experienced a revival that has been too wonderful not to share. The Lord is doing many “new” things in us and around us. With exhilaration, there is a bit of anxiousness as I know change is often uncomfortable no matter how positive it may be. These new ideas and thoughts have been totally confirmed in my spirit, but as always my flesh is weak. There are certain aspects of His Calling that force me to abandon my feelings and emotions to step out on faith if obedience is my desire. I want to obey the Lord in all things. I want His Presence in my life completely and fully every day which requires that I follow Him.
I love people. I enjoy being around others and sharing life with them. On the other hand, I do not like drama. As a woman, this puts me in a precarious position most of the time. Over the years, I have shirked away from all television shows that are about conflict and drama. I hate soap operas. I have lived by the philosophy if you do not like the way your life is than change it. In the beginning of my life there was quite a bit of drama which creates insecurity and opposition. The truth remains that as there is human interaction there will be some drama. Christians are no different. I think churches get mixed up in it even more because it is one more social circle for it to churn in. So as you can see, I have a problem in this area. I do not keep up with the Kardashians. I don’t care about the housewives in all the other counties. In fact, I avoid it at all costs.
This has been a challenge in relating to other woman who often thrive on such things. Cultivating conflict is not the purpose but result. I think it is born of a need to connect and relate on a deeper level. Like the “breakup and makeup” syndrome of many couples today who cannot relate with the “monotony” of daily living so fight to create the opportunity for “honeymoon” phases. Love is commitment. Love is constant. To those who do not know any better, this is boring and unexciting. The world feeds these desires making a commitment to love like marriage a thing of the past. Even the concept of marriage has become convoluted in this age. One of my goals during the Daniel Fast is not to learn to tolerate drama, but to love others in spite of it. While I may still love the other person, once unnecessary highly emotional conflict comes into play – I am out. This is not what Jesus wants from me. I am to be His Light in a dark world. The very thing I despise is captivating the hearts of many people who I love. God gives me new mercy each day. Am I hoarding for myself? Am I only sharing with those I find deserving? Lord, help me to see beyond myself and personal comfort today to those who are hurting and need Your Love to permeate their life.
Do you struggle with dramatic and highly emotional relationships? The cry for mercy is a call for compassion rising up from inside the human heart. People do not intentionally stir up conflict. It is the need for love which stirs the atmosphere looking for change. Rather than offering it up freely, the church has kept it in for too long. Needy people are pushed aside and cast away. I am not talking about those who seek benevolence, handouts or money, but those who need unconditional love and constant attention to promote the Light making its way through the darkest part of their soul. In my journey to understand mercy and compassion, the Lord has brought me here to stand on the side of the road with the gathered crowd. Two men who are blind, which I believe represents spiritual darkness of a soul covered in sin, sit on the side of the road who have heard that Jesus is coming begin to shout for the Lord to have mercy on them. The crowd rebukes them telling them to be quiet stop making a scene. The two men shout louder and louder until Jesus asks what they would have from Him. “We want our sight.” What happens next is important. Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. What did they see? They saw Jesus. They saw His Lordship. They got up and followed Him. Isn’t this what our life as believers is all about? Helping the spiritually blind to see the Light of God’s Love and follow Jesus Christ?
Luke 1:76-79 (NIV)
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
You and I are called to be prophets to the nations. Maybe you are thinking, I am not a prophet. Well, I am pleased to inform you that you absolutely are a prophet of God if you believe in Jesus Christ, have called on His Name for salvation, made Him Lord of your life and are filled with His Spirit. You have a mission. A prophet is a person who speaks for God. If you hear the Voice of God, know His Word, and live His Way than you will have more than enough to share with others. God puts crazy, messed up, and overbearing people around you because you have light for their darkness. They are not trying to suck the life out of you but after the Light that lives in you.
Zechariah spoke these words over his son, John the Baptist. You will be a prophet. You will prepare the way of the Lord. You will give others knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of sins because of God’s Tender Mercy. This mercy is what those living in darkness are after. The mercy that we are provided day after day. God gives us new mercy each day. Do you live in the mercy of God? Do you graciously accept His Compassion and live in it?
Psalm 119:129-136 (NIV)
Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts. Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees. Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6) Jesus references this verse in the New Testament twice. Once in Matthew 9:13 when He was condemned by the Pharisees for eating with tax collectors and the second time in Matthew 12:7 when his hungry disciples began plucking heads of grain to eat them on the Sabbath and again the Pharisees pointed out they were doing something unlawful. As believers, mercy should be a mainstay in our life. When religion compromises our compassion for others, we have crossed the line back into sinful disobedience. God has shown us great mercy and compassion that is a gift to be shared with the world. Are we doing it? Do we pick and choose who we will show it to according to their worthiness? Do we withhold love and compassion from those who stir up drama, conflict or trouble in our life? See the only thing that Jesus requires of us is to love one another. In that one commandment alone the entire Law is fulfilled because if we choose to love others (ALL others) we will not conflict with any of the commandments. Love covers a multitude of sin. When we fail to love and it is an act of condemnation that completely conflicts with God’s Instruction.
Mercy is given to those who love His Name. (Period) You have the Mercy of God if you love His Name and the Name of His Son – Jesus. How do I know? Those who love the Lord will do the following: 1) Delight in God’s Word; 2) Desire spiritual understanding as a guide to life: 3) Hunger and thirst for right standing with God; 4) Direct each footstep according to God’s Commands alone; 5) Demand control of one’s flesh (self-control); and 6) Despair over sin…all sin and transgressions of any kind. (Proverbs 28:13) Mercy is given to those who call on the Name of Jesus to be saved and make Him the Lord of their life. Otherwise, one does not live in the Light of His Love. A constant need for affirmation, approval and acceptance of other people to maintain peace and happiness in life is a lack of faith and confident hope in the Righteousness of God. Continued sin with the intent of pulling the grace card will never achieve complete and total satisfaction in the Grace and Mercy of God that allows us to give freely and unconditionally to others. Sadly, the church of today has embraced compromise. It entertains sin. It shirks full obedience which makes it disobedience to God. It is time to erase the gray line because it simply does not exist. To follow Christ is an “all in” concept – you are or you are not. If you are all in, you have God’s Mercy as a gift given to you each day.
Lamentations 3:21-26 (NIV)
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (NKJV) As the Lord is reminding me today of His Tender Mercies given to me each day, it is with new understanding of what is required of me in our relationship. I love the Lord. I am committed to serving Him openly and unashamedly. This requires that I show new mercy for others each and that my compassion for the lost, hurting, annoying and even dramatic people around me continue without ceasing until the Light of His Amazing Love permeates the darkness that is driving them to reach out, call out, cry out and strain to find. We have it. It is with purpose. We are on a mission to share God’s Love with the world – all of it and everyone in it. Once our life is established on faith and confident hope, we must learn to give it away as freely as it is given. When the Lord is our portion, we have a limitless supply. Lord, teach me to love others as unconditionally as you do, give them mercy as freely as it has been given to me, and to extend the compassion I live in. Amen.
Matthew 5:6-8 (NIV) Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.