Loving one another is the only thing worth living for
Scripture: Exodus 25:17; Isaiah 58:3; Matthew 19:13 and 1 Peter 1:3-9
1. Mercy begins with God. Initial worship was at the mercy seat of the ark.
Hebrew “kapor” meaning to cover over -- atonement. God said, “I will meet with you...speak with you.” From very beginning...mercy is what God is. Constitutive, always on, constant.
2. Human mercy is derived from divine mercy. Its absence blocks a valid relationship with God.
Humans can choose, mercy on or off. Isaiah says, “you seek your own pleasure and oppress your workers...fasting like this will not get your voice heard on high.” You want to worship God, feed hungry, bring poor in, clothe naked. Do this and God will be your rear-guard. Heaven doesn’t need money. “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”
3. Rewards of God’s mercy have a different vision, new feelings and a willingness to act.
Seeing God’s vision brings new emotions: compassion, desire to do good, express unmerited love. When we see and feel, we ACT. Acts of mercy can be big or small. Everyone of us is called to be a steward of mercy on God’s behalf.
4. To love human beings is the only true sign one is a Christian.
Soren Kierkegaard asks, “What is all this that would hinder you from loving?” What excuses. “To love human beings is the only thing worth living for...Truly a profession of faith is not enough.” Like for like. When we practice mercy, we receive mercy. In time and eternity, God expects us to manage His mercy business.