The more we understand God’s mercy—the more we are motivated to show mercy to others. This understanding goes back to Genesis when sin entered God’s perfect creation. Adam and Eve chose not to trust God and disobeyed him with devastating consequences. Their relationship with him was broken, and sin begins its hold on them and all people after them. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God shows mercy and compassion to all people by sacrificing his own son to bring us back into a relationship with him.
Peter’s call to respond to evil with blessing channels God’s mercy to us and echoes Jesus, who says, “But love your enemies, do good to them…and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35). We are to be merciful because God is merciful. Giving mercy makes us easily identifiable as God’s children. It makes us look like our Heavenly Father.
This is no small request for Peter’s audience, who were Christians experiencing area-wide persecution. It’s a challenge for us as well. It’s easy to feel like those who are mean and cruel to us don’t deserve our mercy, kindness and love. Yet when we give it, we look like our Father in Heaven, reflect his extreme goodness and make Jesus believable.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
In your journal, rewrite Luke 6:35-36 in your own words. Ask God to give you the opportunity to reveal his character this week by showing extreme goodness to someone who doesn’t deserve it.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
January is BIBLE READING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.