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Lesson 12: To Love Mercy

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Until the return of Christ and the supernatural events that follow, evil will persist in many forms, fueled by the dark spiritual influences of the devil and his angels. We must be compassionate, creative, and courageous in seeking, "To act justly and to lover mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God". (Mic. 6:8)

We must re-prioritize our lives in real and practical ways. Having heaven's set of priorities changes our relationship with those in power over us and over the oppressed. "We must obey God rather than human beings?" (Acts 5:29) because in the case of slavery, and we all have been enslaved by someone or something in our lives, the slave is not the property of any man or object. God is our rightful master, and man has no right to take God's workmanship into his hands, and claim him as his own. This is talked about in Testimonies for the Church vol.1 pages 201 and 202.

To have a positive response to those in need we need compassion by being keenly aware of the evil and pain around us. We need to be educated about the individual situations as not to cause damage with our misplaced intentions, We also need to pray. It is a practical action that allows us to tap into wisdom higher than our own. Finally we must keep our expectations in check. Our hope should be to give people choices and opportunities that they might not have had otherwise.

If it is real, our faith will cause us to die to self and live more for others. Our faith helps us imagine the world and its people as God sees them, in both their goodness and their brokenness, and it impels us to seek to help those in need, to whatever degree possible.

At the heart of the Gospel of Jesus is God's gracious and grand act of peacemaking, reconciling sinful human beings to their Creator (see 2 Cor. 5:18-21). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God", (Matt. 5:9 NIV) and that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (see Matt. 5:43-48). Often this type of obedience would alleviate much of the injustice and suffering these conflicts have brought into the world.

The prophets' call to justice was never a path to popularity. But motivated by their commission from God, understanding God's passion for justice, sympathizing with the plight of the poor and oppressed, and seeking the best for their society, these prophets dared to be a voice for the voiceless in their time and place, despite opposition, discomfort, and danger (see 1 Pet. 3:17)

All humans bear the image of God and are the recipients of God's blessing (Luke 6:20). Let's all participate with God who "secures justice for the poor'' (Psalm 140:12 NIV).

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