Day 8

Spiritual Gifts - The gift of mercy

The last but certainly not least of the seven grace gifts listed in Romans 12 is Mercy. Mercy is the heart of God. He is full of tender mercy and lovingkindness. 

One day Jesus was eating with a group of sinners and tax collectors. Religious leaders complained saying, "how could he do such a thing - eating with sinners and tax collectors!"

Jesus told them, "Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice". 

People with the gift of mercy know exactly what Jesus meant. Mercy displays the work of God. Religious sacrifice displays the works of man. Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall recieve mercy". (Matt. 5:7)

The gift of mercy is the motivation to heal and relieve the suffering and hurts of people in distress. They desire to relieve stress and provide compassionate care for those in need, especially emotional needs. 

I have the honor of living with a woman who has the gift of mercy. She has other strong traits and qualities that I deeply admire, but when it comes to showing mercy, I have not met her match. I have learned much about God's heart for the hurting by watching her respond to people in deep emotional pain over the years of our marriage. Here is what I have observed:

She is touch sensitive to the emotions of an individual, or a group of people. She is drawn especially to those in emotional pain. She can sense if there is division or tension in a couple, or even in a room. 

How many times have I thought or even said, "Sherry, you are being too sensitive". The truth is her "feelings, intuition" have been more accurate than my logic. 

She has an unusual capacity to share the joy of those who are happy. She savors and celebrates the presence of genuine love wherever it is found. She has a great respect for prophets. Her heroes are those who are willing to stand alone for truth. She has been trying to put steel in my backbone for 51 years. 

One day a poor, Togolese woman came to our house selling oranges. She complimented Sherry's shoes. After buying some oranges, Sherry slipped off her shoes and gave them to the barefoot woman. She walked away like Cinderella wearing her glass slippers. 

A person with the gift of mercy is deeply loyal and has the ability to form deep and lasting friendships.

There is a book in the bible called friend.

Actually it's called Ruth which means friend. She was extraordinarily loyal. I think she had the gift of mercy. Perhaps that's why Sherry wanted this passage sung at our wedding. "Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (Ruth 1:16)

When Sherry said, "I love you" and later "I do", she meant it. She has been a Ruth of unfailing love and unflinching loyalty. She is my closest friend, the love of my life, and partner in ministry in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, France, Africa, and California. 

Thank you Lord for the gift of Mercy. May it increase in all of us so we might reveal your heart to the nations of the earth. 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil. 2:13

In His grip of grace,