Free to Show Mercy
Verse 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,
After our discussion yesterday we are now understanding better how the law is one law with 10 parts. But how does that knowledge give us the freedom to act different than the lawless person?
When we look at the law in the positive, we see what we are free to do because we are living in God’s way. For example, we are not to lie but that leaves us free to speak the truth in love to all people, all the time. We may not be a murderer but we need to realize the freedom we have to speak and live into the life of others to bring them life as they have never known. This is the freedom we can live when we live life within the boundaries of the law.
When we are living in the line of the law of God we will not fear being judged for our actions. But a person that is living by the law must remember that we are going to be judged by God for our actions and words. We will be held accountable. We aren’t going to lose our salvation but that doesn’t mean that we are free and clear to live as we want. Jesus said that He hadn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He was saying that He didn’t come to remove the commands of God but that He came to pay the price that was needed to keep us from the judgment of death.
James is pointing out that we are to be living and speaking as people who know that we are going to be judged by the law. He isn’t saying that we should walk around in fear that God is going to strike us dead at every turn. James understood that true freedom comes from living according to the law so that there isn’t the fear of judgment that comes with breaking the law. When we know that we are living God’s way, we will find ourselves living with a joy and peace that others may not understand.
This joy and peace of living is one thing that will draw others to seek the freedom of obedience that we have found. But the big thing that will draw them is the way we treat them because of this knowledge. When we are showing them mercy because God was merciful to us they will take notice. But the opposite is also true. James points out that judgment will be given to anyone who doesn’t show mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment. We are free to experience His mercy as we freely obey His law.
Making It Personal
What have you thought about God’s judgment? When have you known the power of God’s mercy in your life? Do you feel freedom when you obey the law of God?
Making It Personal Kids
In what ways can living by the 10 commandments help you feel free? What does it mean to show mercy? Who do you need to show mercy to?
Father, we cannot thank You enough for the mercy You show us daily. Give us the wisdom to see those in our lives who need to be shown mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.