"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.Luke 6:36(NASB)
As children of God, we are called to follow Christ's example and to be imitators of Him. Jesus was the holy One of Israel and we are called to be holy, just as Christ was holy: "Be holy, for I the Lord Your God am holy," we are challenged. "Love as I have loved and be perfect, for I the Lord Your God am perfect."
We are instructed to be perfect in understanding, thoroughly furnished for every good work. We are to be faultless, entire, wanting nothing, and we are to be joined together as one in understanding with the mind of Christ - in the unity of the Spirit.
We are set apart for the service of Christ and are commanded to walk in the way that God desires us to walk... and one of the many attributes that we are instructed to imitate is mercy: "Be merciful, as your Father in heaven is merciful," we are told. Be merciful; sympathetic, tender, responsive, forgiving, and full of compassion in exactly the same way as your Heavenly Father has shown mercy to you.
Mercy is one of the many attributes of God which we are instructed to imitate. It is one aspect of His unconditional love that we are to mirror in our daily lives. However, He is perfect God but we are imperfect man, so how can an imperfect man imitate God's eternally perfect mercy? How can we be like Him, when we inhabit a fallen body with a sinful nature which falls far short of this godly characteristic?
Well, we cannot be merciful in our own strength or effort. To be merciful is a supernatural act that is impossible for any member of the human race to effect. However, with the enablement of the indwelling Holy Spirit and as we walk in spirit and truth as God's children, we can reflect this beautiful characteristic as we die to self and live for Him.
Godly attributes are only possible as we look to Christ and away from our own fleshly self. Only as the Word of God dwells in our heart richly and we are empowered to live as Christ lived, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, can we be merciful as our Father is merciful.
His strength and His mercy is perfected in us when 'king Self' is disabled. When we are weak, it is His mercy, not ours, that flows through us. It is through the power of His Spirit that we are enabled to be merciful - so that it is not I who am merciful but the mercy and grace of the indwelling Christ living in me, that empowers me to be merciful - in the same way that God is merciful.
God knows that mercy begets mercy, just as judgement generates judgement and condemnation leads to greater condemnation. We cannot train ourselves how to be merciful by applying certain rules and regulations. When the godly attribute of mercy or any other spiritual characteristic is manifest in a life, it is through the enabling power of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of a believer who has died to self and has submitted their life to the Spirit's leading and guidance - so that the beauty of Christ may be seen within.
God knows that when we start to come to terms with the unfathomable mercy that He has shown to us - in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us so that by faith in Him we might be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life - that His perfect life will be formed within and we will be enabled to diffuse mercy to others because of the mercy that our Heavenly Father has so graciously bestowed on each one of us.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the mercy and grace that You have shown to me and to all who trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Thank You that You reached down in mercy to lift me up from the miry clay and placed my feet firmly on Christ, the Rock of my salvation. May the unfathomable mercy that You have so graciously bestowed on me, flow through me to others so that I may be merciful just as You are so merciful to me. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.