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Show Mercy

Show Mercy

02 July 2009

Scripture:

20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. 21 Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins. (Jude 20-23 NLT)

Jude’s letter is short, but he refers to four Old Testament stories that emphasize his point about those who desert the faith, seek their own ambitions, think only of themselves. He also refers to three events that are not explained elsewhere in the Bible: The angels who sinned, Michael’s battle with Satan, and Enoch’s prophecy. How I wish we had more information on all these stories!

Jude’s application to our lives is very practical and relevant even if we don’t have all the details of Michael’s battle with Satan or an update on the Old Testament stories of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. Jude tells us to:

• Build ourselves up spiritually by regular and consistent Holy Spirit-directed prayer.
• Stay in the center of God’s love, ready to receive and give his grace and mercy – we all really need it!
• Show mercy: Be gentle with Christ-followers who are struggling in their faith.
• Rescue Others: Don’t get too busy or too self-centered to drop everything and go after those who stray from the pathway.
• Show Mercy: Be gentle – soft on sinners but not soft on sin!

What a challenging word!

Prayer:

Father, help me to keep myself spiritually recharged through Holy Spirit-directed prayer and help me to live in the center of your love and mercy. Keep my heart ready to show mercy, reaching out and giving a helping hand to those who stumble. May I be as gentle and patient with others as you have been with me. Amen.

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