Have you ever stopped to think about the power in the word 'if'?
It is pregnant with hope, possibility, opportunity and even promise. On the other hand, when paired with other words, it seems to go the other direction. For instance, 'if only' robs us of contentment; we are either focused on regret or tying our joy to something uncertain that might happen. Whereas I do believe our God wants us to seize the moment, make the most of the moment, and be aware of the joy that is ours in abiding in him.
'What if ' causes us to hope, to dream about what might be... and to imagine not just good, but great things!
In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus talks about his second coming; it will be a time when all things will be set right. 'Remember in John chapter 9, Jesus saw the blind man that countless folks had passed by without seeing him or helping him? Not Jesus, he saw as no one has ever seen.
Once Jesus sees, things happen. WHAT IF gets legs.
Did you know you have never done a kind thing for another soul in private?
When you brought dinner to that family, he made a note.
When you chose to speak a soft word when a harsh one had been expected,
Jesus wrote it down.
When you gave the postman a cold water bottle on a hot day,
Jesus credited it to your account. Ah, mercy.
WHAT IF ... we had a different kind of currency, and we traded in m.e.r.c.y.? Jesus saw as no one ever, because he had a heart of mercy. God puts a premium on mercy and he wants us to do the same thing. Look what Jesus says here in Matthew 25: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? . . . 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Let's see like Jesus... let's see, and be moved to mercy, to compassion.
Mercy did not originate with Jesus; it has always been in the Father.
The psalmist sang, "Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens..."1
And so Jesus said, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."2
In order to understand mercy, we must have accepted the mercy of God;
we can't give it to others, unless we have truly received it.
Having received it, we can "approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."3
WHAT IF we started a revival with our prayers/a revolution with our hearts, acting on that which we see? HERE IT IS: He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?4
It is what so many of us need . . . especially now.
We need to receive mercy and give mercy; in short,
we need to trade in mercy.
What do you say?
1 - Psalm 36.5, NKJV
2 - Luke 6.36
3 - Hebrews 4.16
4 - Micah 6.8