DAY 30

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Day 30: Mercy Triumphs

James 2:10-13
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

Attention all rule followers! There is no way any of us apart from God’s Spirit – even those of us most committed to doing the right thing and following all the rules – can keep God’s law without stumbling. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. But instead of this being terrible news to us today, it’s the best news of all. Knowing our inability to keep God’s law on our own, He sent Jesus to be the perfect law fulfiller on our behalf. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of God’s law and then died to free us from ever having to try and be good enough.James reminds us that in all the ways we’ve looked at, from partiality to the words we use, from caring for the poor to enduring well in trials, we are to speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. We will not be subject to God’s wrath and judgment because we have been shown mercy! We can endure trials, because of mercy. We can restrain our speech, because of mercy. We can eradicate partiality, because of mercy. We can serve the oppressed, because of mercy.

The danger for us as believers comes when we begin to judge others on the basis of the law we ourselves have been freed from. Why do we expect perfection from others? We’ve been granted the forgiveness of God and yet we withhold our forgiveness from those who wrong us. We’ve been extended unimaginable mercy, but we hold our mercy for ransom and make people work for it.

God takes it very seriously when we do not extend mercy to one another. In fact, he says we’ll be judged without mercy when we judge without mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Let’s act toward other people in the same way our heavenly Father has acted toward us. In mercy. Let’s not be guilty of holding other people accountable for things Jesus died to pay for in full. 

Prayer
Father, your mercy toward us is overwhelming and has triumphed over the judgment we deserve. Thank you for not holding us accountable to the law, but instead providing a way for our sins to be forgiven and no longer counted against us. We want to extend to others the same mercy we’ve received and ask for your grace to empower us to be merciful.