“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”
Jude 1:22-23 NLT
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7 NLT In the "Sermon On The Mount" (Matthew Chapters 5-7) Jesus proclaims mercy to those who show mercy. In Jude we are called upon to be merciful to those who have doubt. The NASB, AMP, GW, HCSB, and the NIV versions of the scripture all use the word "doubt" here. Have you ever struggled with doubt? I think we all have, to some degree. Our mortal, carnal flesh makes us prone to the depraved mind. The promise of eternal life and the coming new heaven and earth are truths that we, sometimes, lose sight of, especially when we are inundated with the daily cares of this life. Our mortal being struggles with the idea of immorality, yet we long so much for it. God's Word has clearly told us that we are made alive eternally through Jesus Christ our Lord!!! Do I need to remind us all of the Golden text of scripture - John 3:16? Jesus has paid for our sin debt. Those who truly trust in Him as their Savior and Lord are His disciples. Along the journey we face difficulties that challenge our steadfastness. Trials of life, the day to day rat race, and the pursuit of "stuff" often chokes us and tries to suffocate our faith. This is why we need one another. Solomon, in the latter part of his life, made this reflecting statement: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT Let us observe one another and be discerning about the things that we each need. Let us be sensitive and concerned enough about one another that we hold each other accountable. The enemy wants to get us away from the safety of the fold. There is no such thing as "none of your business" with respect to the faith of our fellow brothers and sisters. We must look out for one another. Do you care enough about others to take the time to reach out to them or check on them? There may be some that will require you to put on the fireman's suit and walk into their burning building to pull them out of the flames that threaten their lives. We, most certainly, are called to be merciful, but, mercy doesn't mean that we accept the sin that is destroying a person. We MUST be merciful to the sinner, but never to sin!! In a time when it is called "hate speech" to speak the truth about sin, we must remember who we are serving, God. True mercy is the truth itself. When we ignore truth, for the sake of tolerance, we condemn two people: others and ourselves. When we truly love someone, we will mercifully speak the truth for the sake of their eternal life. We can't truly say we love someone until we speak the truth to them.
Rev. Curtis Norris