Today's Devotion (Saturday)

Blessedness All Through

MATTHEW 5:3-11

Key Verse:

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7).

A young man on National Service in his country was moved with compassion when a stranded boy and his younger sister begged long distance travellers for financial assistance at a motor park. Fares had gone up in response to fuel scarcity. The youngsters did not anticipate the hike and needed help to make up for the cost of their trip back home hundreds of kilometres away. The national service man bailed them out as they joined him in the cab. Several hours later, close to midnight, the siblings found their benefactor wandering at a deserted garage in a violence-prone area of the town. All the cab operators had retired home, so, he could not depart for his station in another village a couple of kilometres away from the town. The brother and his sister took the helpless traveller to their home in the neighbourhood. This act shielded him from danger and the unfriendly weather. Jesus was proved right: "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." The man who showed the young siblings mercy obtained mercy. The Beatitudes of our Lord or the Sermon on the Mount are not a legal code. They teach us how we need to respond to the love of God in our relationship with fellow man. We need to show mercy to others as the Lord has been to us with regard to our sin. Conversely, the unmerciful would not court mercy. The Lord also demands inward purity as a condition to see Him in heaven. There must be no guile or evil motives in our dealings with God and man. That way, we shall be counted partners with a pure God. We also must be peacemakers, if we have been saved by the Prince of peace Himself. We must not be quarrelsome or have a spirit of contention that is constantly finding fault with others, thus provoking them. Those who exhibit these evil traits cannot be called the children of God. Jesus points out in the Sermon on the Mount that His followers are not to be guided by unworkable and merely religious legalism, but by a divinely ordained response to the love of God. Our Creator should be our model as He says in Matthew 5:48. We must be perfect like our Father in Heaven.

Thought for the day: Living like Christ is the key to all-round blessedness.

Bible Reading in one Year: GENESIS 24-25

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