Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.” (Prov. 11:17).
READ: Proverbs 11:16-18
God’s wisdom is full of mercy (James 3:17). Matthew 5:7 says it is the merciful that will receive mercy. This means that mercy responds to the principle of sowing and reaping. If you want mercy, show mercy to those in need and you will reap its harvest. No wonder Proverbs 11:17 says the merciful is only being merciful to himself or herself. Has someone offended you and you feel like descending on the fellow with all your wrath? Remember that if only you can restrain yourself and show him or her some mercy, mercy will await you at your point of judgement. A lion was asleep one day when a little rat which was playing, mistakenly climbed over it and woke it up. Annoyed, the lion decided it would have the rat for breakfast. But the little rat pleaded for mercy reminding the lion that it might be its turn to save the lion someday. The lion was surprised at that rat’s effrontery and released it. The following day, while the rat resumed its play, it saw the lion in a serious pain, caught in a net. So, it chewed up the net and helped the lion to escape. The saying goes: ‘One good turn deserves another’. That housemaid, driver, cleaner, or messenger you do not regard today, may be your saving grace tomorrow. How merciful are you?
Any advice or strategy that abhors mercy is not of God. If it emanates from God, it will bear the nature of God – mercy. This is another way of testing if a counsel is from God or not. In addition, the wisdom of God is full of good fruits. If you are full of God’s wisdom it will show in the overflow of love, gentleness, joy, peace, etc., that will be released to the outside world (Gal 5:22-23). If you have wisdom, you will retain your joy. If you allow the troubles around to steal the joy inside you, your loss will be colossal! People have asked why I often laugh or crack jokes about the disturbing events taking place in our nation. The reason is, if you don’t laugh it off, you could develop hypertension. Learn to laugh about very disturbing events: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Prov. 17:22). The joy of the Lord is your strength. As long as you retain your joy, nobody can defeat you. The day you lose your joy, your vision, hope and future may go with it. Happy New year!
Your friends do not need your mercy; your enemies and offenders do; give it to them. Thank God for seeing the end of this year. Ask for grace to enter 2012 peacefully and victoriously.
Bible in One year: Gen 23-26