Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart—Prov. 3: 3.
While justice is the first feature of the commandment of love, it is not the end of its requirements; it requires that, going beyond strict justice, our love shall prompt us to the exercise of mercy and forgiveness. And in thus exercising mercy, we are again but copying Divine love. … Hence in our dealings with others who, like ourselves, are fallen and imperfect, we are to remember this feature and not only be just toward them but, additionally, to be merciful, generous, kind, even to the unthankful, that thus we may be children of our Father in heaven.
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Truth is the Lord's Word; and mercy is the application of the Lord's Word amid the distress of the present. No jeweled chain forms a better adornment than these are to the Christian's character. Love for mercy and truth should be crystallized in the heart. So crystallized, they become our eternal adornment, making us more attractive than the rarest gem or the costliest diadem, and shed their bright luster all about us.
Parallel passages: Psa. 37: 26; 85: 10; Prov. 11: 17; 14: 21, 22, 31; 20: 28; 21: 21; Hos. 4: 1; 12: 6; Mic. 6: 8; Matt. 5: 7; 23: 23; Luke 6: 36; Rom. 12: 8; Col. 3: 12, 13; Jas. 2: 13; Prov. 23: 23; Zech. 8: 16, 19; 1Cor. 13: 6; Eph. 4: 25; 2Cor. 6: 7, 8; Rom. 2: 8; Gal. 3: 1; 2Thes. 2: 10.
Questions: Have I this week laid hold on, clung to and practiced mercy and truth? How? Why? In what circumstances? What helped or hindered therein? With what results?
BE strong to bear, O heart of mine,
Faint not when sorrows come.
The sum of all these ills of earth
Prepares thee for thy home.
So many burdened ones there are
Close toiling by thy side,
Assist, encourage, comfort them,
Thine own deep anguish hide.
What though thy trials may seem great?
Thy strength is known to God,
And pathways steep and rugged lead
To pastures green and broad.
Be strong to love, O heart of mine,
Live not for self alone;
But find, in blessing other lives,
Completeness for thine own.
Seek every hungry heart to feed,
Each saddened heart to cheer;
And when stern justice stands aloof,
In mercy draw thou near.
True, loving words and helping hands
Have won more souls for Heaven
Than all the mixed and various creeds
By priests and sages given.
For every grief a joy will come,
For every toil a rest;
So hope, so love, so patient bear—
God doeth all things best.
Be strong to hope, O heart of mine,
Look not on life's dark side;
For just beyond these gloomy hours
Rich, radiant days abide.
Let hope, like summer's rainbow bright,
Scatter thy falling tears,
And let God's precious promises
Dispel thine anxious fears.
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