“I was reading in Luke’s gospel the other day,” Stan commented, “and I ran into another one of those ‘just as’ statements.”
I responded, “‘Just as’ statements? Oh, you mean where it says we are to do something ‘just as’ someone or something else?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “We’ve talked a little bit about that before.”
“About husbands and wives,” I said, “if I remember correctly.”
“You’re right,” Stan responded. “We talked a little bit about how the apostle Paul wrote to husbands in Ephesus encouraging them to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” [Note to reader: See the posting for June 1, 2022, “The ‘Just As’ of the Cross.”]
“That’s a very high standard,” I commented, “to do something ‘just as’ Jesus did it.”
“High standard indeed,” Stan said. “And the one I saw the other day in Luke’s gospel is the same sort of thing.”
“In what way?”
“Luke quotes Jesus as saying that we are ‘to be merciful, just as the Father is merciful’.”
“Be merciful just as God the Father is merciful,” I repeated. “Wow, how are we supposed to do that? How can a person measure up to that high standard?”
“Based on way too much personal experience,” Stan said, “I can say without a doubt that I can’t do that on my own. I’m too self-focused. The only way I can do that is to get me out of God’s way so He can do what He wants in and through me, including showing mercy ‘just as’ He does.”
“By surrendering to the Holy Spirit?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied.
“But,” I said, “if I remember correctly, the list of the fruit of the Spirit doesn’t include ‘mercy’.”
“You’re right,” Stan replied, “mercy is not specifically mentioned in Paul’s statement about the fruit of the Spirit. However, it seems to me that the Holy Spirit is God, so the fruit of the Spirit includes everything about God, including mercy.”
“So,” I said, “if we surrender to the Holy Spirit like it says we are supposed to surrender in order to be disciples, then mercy just like the Father’s should flow in and through us. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Deny self by surrendering all that’s in God’s way, take up what God has for us to take up, in this case His mercy, and then follow. That should get us to the ‘just as’ of His mercy!”
Bible verses to consider:
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your mercy in placing on your only begotten Son the penalty for my sin and separation from you so I can be yours, both now and for all of eternity. I confess that too often I don’t display mercy towards others in the way you intend and the way you demonstrated by the cross of Christ. Please forgive me. Please help me to follow every step of your lead in being surrendered to all you have for me through your Holy Spirit so I will manifest mercy just as you do. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s mercy as demonstrated by the cross of Christ so you know you will spend eternity in His presence, beginning now? If no, why have you not accepted His grace and mercy? It’s free and only needs to be accepted! If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being merciful “just as” God is merciful? If you need help with that high standard, it’s available from the Helper (John 14:16). Just ask!