This summer, we are studying the Beatitudes that start-off Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. These ways that Jesus tells us we should act as Christians are counter-cultural, with blessings or rewards that will come in eternity, not here. We’ll be digging deeper into each of the 9 Beatitudes, looking at other verses in the Bible that describe each characteristic, Biblical characters that exude the Beatitudes, and the blessing that comes from it. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Something’s Gotta Give | Marianne Toovey
Earlier in this chapter, James was calling people out for praising God but cursing others (others made in His image, no less) and the hypocrisy demonstrated by this behavior. Then in verse 17, he gives an example of how true believers should behave: peace loving. Gentle at all times. Willing to yield to others. Full of mercy and good deeds. No favoritism. Always sincere.
When I’m behind the wheel, there’s a good chance I’ll mock the (lack of) intelligence of another driver I encounter on the road at some point. A someone that I don’t know and who probably doesn’t deserve the judgment I utter…for my daughter to hear. And when my daughter and I go back and forth in an argument, there’s a good chance my voice will get louder and my face redder. I don’t yield. I’m not gentle. And mercy may as well be a four letter word. But my actions are directly affecting someone else, and I don’t want to condemn her (or myself) to a life of judgment, stubbornness, and anger. Something has got to give, and that something is me.
Sometimes I wonder how You can possibly put up with me when I let You down at every turn. But Your mercies for me are abundant. If You can love me like that, surely I can love Your creation in the same way. Help me to remain peaceful and gentle. Fill me with mercy to give away freely. Remind me in every upsetting circumstance of these characteristics You value, and help me to calm down before I lose my cool. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.