for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5:6, NASB
For a child of God who has experienced grace, gentleness is only the beginning. Now we have grown past the spiritual infant stage into childhood. As we grow, we truly hunger and thirst for a right relationship with our Father. An unquenchable hunger drives us to feel our Father’s hug and see his smile. Disobedience then is disloyalty to the love relationship that we are building.
As God’s children, our relationship is far more than following rules and regulations. Instead, through the Spirit, God himself lives inside us and works his way from the inside out. The Holy Spirit, active in us, enables us to live a righteous life as a response to God’s love. The whisper of God calls us, “I love those who love me; and those who seek me, (will) find me” (Prov. 8:17, NIV). The disciple will grow from spiritual infant thirsting for milk and comfort, to child of God hungering to learn of him in mutual love and trust.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Matthew 5:7, NASB
As we move into older childhood in God’s school of spiritual maturity, the challenges get tougher. Life itself and the people in it can be very annoying. But God’s eyes are eyes of mercy. A growing child of God will see others through his eyes. Things that bring tears to his eyes bring tears to ours. A disciple learns to look, feel, and respond with mercy. The characteristic that began as gentleness matures into mercy. Mercy is a must if we have any hope of being effective on mission.
Just a few minutes after this teaching, Jesus told those assembled: “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing” (Matt. 6:14–15, HCSB). Mercy prevails at the judgment seat of God. Mercy must prevail in daily discipleship. My pastor, Ed Carney, at Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., says of Jesus’ statement, “Do you think Jesus is fooling around when he says if we don’t forgive others God will not forgive us? Is he joking? No! He means exactly what he says: Forgive everybody, everything, every time.” — Mark Powers
P.S. – I did not post last week due to the SC Baptist Singing Churchmen *Sing N’ Serve Mission Trip* to Cleveland OH with the North American Mission Board. Our group recorded 46 spiritual conversations, 32 presentations of the gospel, and 2 people who accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.