I recently received this devotional below penned by Bernie James, a dear brother in Christ and friend. I find his message a powerful and inspirational reminder of what it truly means to be a follower of Christ.
I must have mercy on those who have offended me. But I am wired to hold a grudge – to forgive but not to forget. Worse yet, the memory of the offense controls my thinking and behavior. So, how do I have mercy?
I need only remember how many times I have offended Jesus – only to receive cleansing and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a cross, one that I must carry as I follow Jesus. Hanging on the cross is my pride – the true enemy of mercy, not the person who has offended me.
Jesus calls me to walk in a holy way – to a life abundant and free. Mercy is the price of this freedom.
— “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” – Matthew 5: 7.
— “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1: 8-9.
–“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” – Matthew 12:7.