Sunday, January 20, 2008

Showing Mercy

I realized recently that the way we respond when we feel violated will shine more brightly in the Kingdom of God than the way we act when everything's going our way. Therefore we can welcome any violations as an opportunity to show our true character for all eternity.

"Bring it on, Lord!" I said.

The next morning when I woke up I noticed that one corner of my guitar's headstock was quite heavily damaged; and the scratchplate had been pulled away on one corner from the body of the guitar.

This incident was only a sample - just one 'symptom' - of a whole series of injustices I had felt from a few influential people in my life, for a long time - like the tip of an iceberg. So perhaps a natural reaction could be to feel angry, to search-out who caused it and to demand that they pay for it.

Then I remembered, "Didn't you pray for an opportunity to respond to injustice?"

I turned on the TV, and I heard the words, "The meek shall inherit the earth."

Then on another channel I heard a sermon about not losing our joy because things don't go our way, and about how God can make all things work together for good.

I felt challenged in my spirit by the thought that the way I respond to this and other perceived injustices could reap eternal rewards. So I asked the Lord if this is so, and straightaway the Scripture came to mind:

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory".

I realized that to want to teach children the law of restoration is one thing - but to react in anger and without mercy is another.

Yes we are meant to teach children that "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper" but are we also willing to demonstrate that "whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy"?

"For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

"With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful".

While I was praying in tongues about this issue, I longed that God would send me someone with words to strengthen me to focus on eternity rather than the temporal. Within minutes I received an SMS from Adam Walker:

" 'An appetite for greatness isn't the same as an appetite for glory.' When the boys were arguing about who would be the greatest, Jesus had the perfect opportunity to rebuke them. But instead guided them with, 'Whoever wants to be the greatest, must learn how to serve.' Lord give us hearts willing to serve."

Praise God!

This calmed me down, and in the stillness,
I felt like the Lord Jesus Christ told me that He will pay for it.

And He told me to allow my parents to give more to one of my siblings than they might to me, because while my needs often are met through others, God might have chosen to provide for that sibling through my parents - so my parents can't be expected to be equal in their giving. They can be expected to be just, but at the same time it's okay for them to feel led of the Lord to have more of a ministry of giving to one child than to another - and that's not unjust.

My part is to be merciful and to give thanks in all things.

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