Wednesday, October 5, 2016

People Who Finish, Part 2

Photo by Kris Williams
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:16-18
The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me—the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

Insights: Yesterday we learned that those who finished well are a refreshment to others and that they encourage others. Today we look at the last two characteristics of those who finish well. The third characteristic is that of showing mercy because one has been shown mercy by God. Notice in the verse it starts off with the words “the Lord grant mercy” and then a little later it states, “the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day.” We in the Western world are driven by justice. As a result, we want people to get their true comeuppance, but we don't want to receive them ourselves. When we receive mercy, we think it's correct, but we don't like to grant mercy to others who are just like us. This attitude must change if we are going to display Christ's way of working in the world. The last attribute of one who finishes well is that of service. Notice the verse reads, “and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.” As a Christ follower we are to serve other people. In fact, in Mark 9:35 we learn that the greatest among us is a servant of all. Once again, like mercy, we like to be served, but we do not like to serve. Beloved, let our hearts change and let the Lord do work in us to where we truly desire to serve other people. If our lives exhibit these four characteristics, I think it is safe to say we have experienced the life transforming power of Jesus Christ. It is not in our natural sin nature to desire to encourage other people, to be tenacious about the things of God, to be merciful, and to serve others. These are attributes of one whose life has truly been changed. May our lives bring Him glory.

 1. How easy is it for you to show mercy to other people?
 2. Do you receive pleasure in serving other people?

Prayer: Father, if I am honest with myself, I prefer to be served than to serve.  I also prefer to receive mercy rather than grant it to other people.  Lord, transform my heart to desire to be a blessing to others by serving them and showing them mercy.  Amen.

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