1. Read Matthew 5:7
Jesus says that “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Have you ever been forgiven when you didn’t deserve it? Have you ever extended mercy to someone when you didn’t think they deserve it?
2. Read Luke 10:25-37 The good Samaritan felt compassion and was compelled to do something about the man’s plight; whereas, the religious leaders avoided him. Compare the response of the Priest, the Levite, and the good Samaritan toward the injured man. What does the parable teach us about the kind of mercy God desires from us?
Mercy will cost you something. The Samaritan soothed his wounds with his own olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then, he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he took care of him. He also left 2 denari with the innkeeper and promised to pay more if needed. No matter the cost, how can you reach across cultural, ethnic, and generational lines to love someone different than you?
Memorize Matthew 5:7. “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Mercy crosses ethnic, socio-economic, cultural, and religious barriers. Read Ephesians 2:13-16. What does this verse teach us about the make-up of the Church? What boundaries keep you from attending to the needs of others who are different from you? What would it take to cross those boundaries and show mercy? Over the next week block out some time to pray and ask God where you need to grow in this area?
In our world today, one of the most common ways that we see this principal from the story of the Good Samaritan lived out is in the day to day work of a first responder. Take some time this week to show thankfulness and generosity to a local first responder. Whether you write thank you's to your local fire department, or you buy gift cards to the paramedics working in the ER or you have your kids draw pictures and thank you’s for the police department, offer kindness to those that show mercy so often and are very rarely thanked for it.