October 7: Mercy Mirrored (Matt 5:7)
In the first four beatitudes we focused more on the Spirit's work within us leading to humility, sorrow over sin, meekness and a hungering for God-likeness. The next four beatitudes tend to move out from us, the first being the extending of mercy to those in need. Mercy is the intentional kindness to act in compassion toward those burdened under the weight of suffering and sin. God is calling the citizen of the kingdom to be the one who extends mercy because he is the one who has received mercy. In what ways have you extended to others the mercy that you have received?
Martin Lloyd Jones
What a test of each one of us, of our whole standing and of our profession of the Christian faith!
Our Lord is depicting and delineating the Christian man and the Christian character. He is obviously searching us and testing us, and it is good that we should realize that, if we take the Beatitudes as a whole, it is a kind of general test to which we are being subjected. How are we reacting to these searching tests and probings? They really tell us everything about our Christian profession. And if I dislike this kind of thing, if I am impatient with it, if I want instead to be talking about communism, if I dislike this personal analysis and probing and testing, it simply means that my position is entirely contrary to that of the New Testament man. But if I feel, on the other hand, that though these things do search and hurt me, nevertheless they are essential and good for me, if I feel it is good for me to be humbled, and that it is a good thing for me to be held face to face with this mirror, which not only shows me what I am, but what I am in the light of God’s pattern for the Christian man, then I have a right to be hopeful about my state and condition. A man who is truly Christian, as we have already seen, never objects to being humbled. The first thing that is here said about him is that he should be ‘poor in spirit’, and if he objects to being shown that there is nothing in him, then that is not true of him. So these Beatitudes taken as a whole do provide a very searching test.
Move among men as copies of God.
We noticed that our Lord’s subject was not how we are to be saved, but, but who are saved. He is not here describing the way of salvation at all. That he does in many other places; but he here gives us the signs and evidences of the work of grace in the soul