To Follow Jesus is to Be Merciful
 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Boy, how about that rain yesterday! If you’re a farmer you need it. If you live in the flood plain, you don’t. If you operate a car wash, well, it’s bittersweet. You’ll be busy again tomorrow.
One thing that Jesus alludes to when He talks about God’s mercy is the rain. If falls on the righteous and the wicked (or the just and the unjust, depending on your translation.) He compares that to God who is caring and providing for people regardless of their righteousness. Without judgment, God knows we need rain and He sends it.
If you only love those who love you, what benefit is it? If God only sent rain to the statistically small portion of people that love Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength, everyone would suffer — even those that love Him!
Even more, the day before I got saved, I was a real jerk. I mean like don’t-deserve-another-drop-of-rain-for-the-rest-of-your-life jerk. But I got what I needed until that next day that I put my faith in Christ.
Love your enemies. Do good. Lend and help and care and support them. That dirtbag jerk you know might be one click away from becoming part of your very own Body — the Body of Christ (of which you are a part!). Wouldn’t you like them to grow as a disciple and look at your example as something that led them to an eternity with Christ?
That’s not going to happen with hatred or selfishness or greed. Like Taylor Swift said: “Shade never made anybody less gay.”
Our Heavenly Father is merciful. Way beyond the smiling grandpa type that overlooks your mistakes, God is showing you and your neighbor a lot of mercy today. At His own expense, Jesus is loving you and those around you into His kingdom. He loans and doesn’t demand it back. He gives and doesn’t tsk tsk tsk on how well you took care of it.
He expects no payment from us, but at the same time, He empowers us to give Him our complete lifelong devotion. Let’s stand out and show off our Father’s mercy. Let’s be those people that others feel so safe around that they can do anything and know that we’ll still be loving, caring, and showing mercy to them… because that’s what our Family does.