“Keep yourselves in the Love of God, looking for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And on some have compassion, making a difference.  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire—hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

Jude 21-23

Preserving, pitying and plucking—that’s our Mission of Mercy during our sojourn here.

No two people we meet are the same.  Assuredly, some are tall; others are short.  Some have long noses; others have short ones.  Some are black, others are white, while still others are brown, red or yellow.

But, today’s Manna sets forth our “modus operandi” (mode of operation) in our Co-Mission with Christ (Mt. 28:18-20):  First, to “keep (Grk. ‘tereo’—‘to guard from loss or injury, keep one’s eye on, fortify, maintain, hold fast, preserve, etc.’) ourselves in the Love of God, looking for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

How easy it is to forget this.  When we forget His Love for us, we grow weary and despairing.  When we forget His Love for others, we grow critical, cold and hard.  That’s why we must continually “look (Grk. ‘prosdechomai’—‘to admit into, give credence to, be hospitable toward, await with confidence, receive, etc.’) for the Mercy of our Lord.”  Otherwise, we’ll soon forget “it’s by His Mercies we’re not consumed” (Lam. 3:22a) and “Blessed are the merciful—for they shall obtain Mercy” (Mt. 5:7).

Second, “on some we are to have compassion (Grk. ‘eleeo’—‘have pity on, show tender mercy toward, be gracious to, etc.’), making a difference (Grk. ‘diakrino’—‘to separate thoroughly, winnow, be partial toward, etc.’).”  How many folks we meet are even now staggering and struggling just to get by.  Their dreams have been dashed on the hard rocks of reality.  Their lives have been turned upside down because of their sins, others’ sins, the oppression of the evil one, etc.  Yet, in “giving them a cup of cold water in the Savior’s Name” (Mt. 10:42), we may truly be to them the difference between death and life.

Third, on others we are to “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire—hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”  Sometimes consecrated confrontation is called for, especially if that one professes to be our brother-or-sister-in-Christ.  Assuredly, there’ll be times to speak and other times to keep silent (Prov. 26:4-5; Eccl. 3:7b).  And, other times we must act quickly and decisively to try and “save them with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (of temptation, self-destructive ways, etc.), lest they perish in those eternal flames prepared for the devil and his angels (Rev. 20:11-15).

But, in all of these, we must remember Christ’s Example and proceed with “fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12; Gal. 6:1-2), drawing on Heavenly wisdom (James 3:13-18), lest we use the wrong approach and end up doing more damage than good.  Again, the key is “keeping our own selves in God’s Love as we operate in His Mercy in our dealings with others.”

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 26, 2010

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