Sunday Reflection: The Pursuit of Lovingkindness
Throughout the gospels, Jesus challenged the Pharisees to be more loving, just, and merciful. Considered the religious elite of their day, these men had hundreds of rules for living out the laws of the Old Testament, yet they failed to recognize Jesus for who He was. At one point, Jesus said the Pharisees had “neglected the weightier matters” of their faith—justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matt. 23:23 ESV). Elsewhere, He sent them away to contemplate what it means that God desires “mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matt. 9:13 ESV).
In all of our relationships, the Lord wants us to reflect His lovingkindness—a common translation for the word mercy. Perhaps we should all make more time to study Scripture and consider how we might increase lovingkindness in our day-to-day life. Jesus reassures us that when we offer mercy in our interactions, we ourselves will receive it.
Think about it
• Reflect on what it means to be merciful or sacrificial. Considering the intentions that drive these behaviors, do you see them as opposite ideas? Why or why not?
• Think about the interactions you have with your family, neighborhood, and church community. What can you do to see increased mercy (or lovingkindness) in your daily life?
Bible in One Year: Job 26-30
From In Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley