A bit of fun

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

God blesses those who are merciful Matt 5:7

Mercy, forbearance, compassion, patience. 

Often when I am in bed at night God inspires me with thoughts, so much so that it can take sometime to switch off and go to sleep. It's as if He wants my last thoughts to be wondrous and to remind me that He has an incredible imagination that He, if I allow Him to, will open up my limited mind.  

Being merciful is for the open minded. Having forbearance, compassion and patience with others is a gift from Almighty God. How often have we needed these qualities to get us through our everyday life? 

It is interesting that we follow a God who has shown us a universe cupful of mercy, and yet we as a christian community can find it hard to share even a small amount of this mercy with our fellow Christians. 

When the Jewish people rejected Jesus Christ, he didn't stop there. He didn't say, okay my job is done now, because My people have hardened hearts and have turned their back on my Mercy. Instead he opened up the Gates of the Kingdom to everyone, including the Jews. God didn't reject the Jews for their rejection of Him, which, if we are honest we might have done as we do this often in our lives on this earth, instead He opened his arms for all mankind. Jesus took everyone's sin to the cross that Good Friday. He excluded nobody. 

So how do we fair in the act of Mercy, do we show forbearance, compassion and patience like Jesus does

God blesses those who are merciful.

It wasn't long ago that I stood next to a fellow christian praising God and singing my heart out in the joyous knowledge that God loves me. From the heights of Heaven I fell to the depths of sorrow in one quick moment when I responded to a question that the lady sitting next to me asked. The question? "Which church do you go to?" An innocent question on one level, but the answer separated us for the rest of the evening. My answer was St Joseph's. The lady looked at me shocked, "So you haven't been saved yet." She turned her head away and I received no smiles from her for the rest of the evening. It didn't matter that I had sung God's praises, prayed for her and asked God for healing for her arthritic pain, the fact that I went to the wrong church was enough to close the door on our new found fellowship. 

God blesses those who are merciful. 

Why are we so blind to God's calling, if he is merciful enough to love all Christians then why does it matter which church we worship in. I know that we have been saved by Jesus Christ, he forgave my sins the same day he hung on the cross for everybody else. I do not belong to a cult, just another tradition of God's church, and there are many traditions, many hands reaching out to bring souls to the Lord. Isaiah talks about the Lord's chosen servant (Isaiah 42) where the eyes of the blind will be opened and captives freed from dark dungeons. 

God blesses those who are merciful.

Are we not those lost souls if we are blind to our fellow Christians and believe that our tradition saves and not others. Who are we to say who is saved or not. Is this not the right of our Merciful Father?

My response to this lady's rejection was to continue to pray for her healing and to release her from her judgement on me and to ask God's forgiveness for her intolerance. 

I read an article recently that made me very sad, it was about a church which was enraged that one part of their country was in the hands of one tradition and not their own and that it was imperative that they retook those areas and brought the stray sheep back into the fold. Whose fold? If we are all Christians, why are we fighting for the saved? Is God going to ask which church won the most souls from the other. Have we lost the plot? 

Only God sees our hearts and souls. He knows and accompanies us on our journey, He has allowed all of these Christian traditions to be formed as He knows that we are all different. God's arms were open to everyone on the cross, his mercy is open to everyone who comes to him. He is in charge. His mercy is universal. 

John 10:7  "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep."

John 10:14-16  "I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for my sheep. I have other sheep too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock with one shepherd."

This call to unity is not about one church having all the sheep, it is about God embracing all of His sheep. It is about all of us raising our hands to say "Yes" to God's mercy, compassion and love. 

When God looks down on us does he see all of our churches and our traditions? When we look up at the stars do we say "Look there is a protestant star, and over there a cluster of Evangelical stars, oh and I can see a Catholic star". When God looks down on us does he not see his Jewels, the Jewels of His Crown, sparkling radiantly across the world? 

Malachi 3:16-18 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll or remembrance was written to record the  names of those who feared him and always thought about the honour of his name. "They will be my people", say the Lord of Heaven's Armies. "On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure, I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not."

These are challenging words. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall see through God's eyes and not through our own judgmental eyes of who and who has not been saved. Who are the righteous and who are the wicked? We need to be careful not to cross the line in our perceptions. Unity can happen when we live and love in Christ Jesus.

God blesses those who are merciful for they will be shown mercy.