Missionaries of Merciful Love
"I have come to cast fire on the earth"
Day Three

Psalm 86: 12-15

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 


The best response to God's merciful love is thanksgiving and praise. When we reflect on the wonders God has done throughout history as well as in our own lives, we are led to praise God for all his blessings. Even though we experience hardships in life and even persecution, God is faithful and will deliver us.

Notice how the psalmist says the insolent do not set God before them. In other words, they are godless people. In many ways we live in a world that has removed God, or tried to remove God, from our awareness. Jesus, the holy and sinless Son of God, encountered a "band of ruffians" who sought his life, and indeed killed him. But Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Even on the cross Jesus was showing the depth of the merciful love of God.

Finally, the psalmist gives thanks to God with his "whole heart." This should be our attitude as well: Thanking God with an undivided heart. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be provided for us. Jesus was delivered from the "depths of sheol" at his glorious resurrection. The love of God is stronger even than death itself, and we have the promise of our own resurrection, for through faith and baptism we share in the resurrection of Christ. 


Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us the depths of the merciful love of God, especially during your passion and death on the cross. We praise you for your steadfast love. Help us to be transformed and consumed by your merciful love and reflect this amazing love to all those we meet.


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