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JULY 15:  Beatitude #5- Matthew 5:7    “Merciful”

 

As we’ve studied the Beatitudes we’ve learned that those God Blesses/Approves…

  • Are the Poor in Spirit (Empty Hands)…and There’s is the Kingdom of Heaven
  • Are those who Mourn over Sin (Confess)…and They will be Comforted
  • Are the Meek/Gentle {Strength under Control}…and They will inherit the earth.
  • Are those who Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness…and They will be Filled!

 

Gods 5th Attitude that He wants to Develop in Our Lives is to be Merciful:  Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive (be shown) mercy”.

 

The basic idea of the Greek word for merciful is “to have mercy on, to give help to the wretched, to relieve the miserable.  Simply…Mercy gives attention to those in misery.

  • Distinction between Mercy and Grace: Grace is shown to the Undeserving and… Mercy is compassion to the miserable.  Mercy exists when something is done to alleviate distress! 

 

Luke 10:36,37  Parable of the Good Samaritan: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

Mercy is Compassion in Action:  Feeling compassionate toward someone in distress is not Mercy until there is Active good will!  Look closer at the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:

 

A lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus says to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

 

What Jesus was telling this lawyer, who is an expert in the Laws of God that the fulfilling of the Law is to Love God and to love your neighbor just as you do yourself.  But “the man, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 

Then Jesus recites the famous parable about the Good Samaritan.  A man robbed, stripped and left for dead is seen by 3 persons…A Priest, who represented the religious-acting people…They talk the talk but rarely do the walk the walk.   So…the Priest Avoided Him!  Likewise a Levite, (2nd Person) when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”

 

The problem was that the Levite didn’t consider the man as his neighbor, even though he was probably a Jew.  Even though he was quite literally his neighbor being Jewish, he didn’t have compassion nor did he want to stop and help.

 

However, a Samaritan, (Really an Enemy of the Jews) as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.  Not only did this Samaritan help him, but took him to an Inn…Paid for his care and promised to pay more if needed when he returned!  Jesus made it clear that our neighbor is anyone in Distress! 

 

Showing Mercy is Also being willing to Forgive: Joseph to his brothers Gen 50:19-21 “19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them”.

If we believe that God is in Control…We cannot Only Accept the good things that happen to us…We Must Also Accept the bad things. (eg: Others Hurt Us) The Merciful Person Forgives! No Exceptions!

 

Matthew 18:  Servant showed No Mercy after being forgiven much  debt:  The King forgives the servants enormous (Impossible to pay back) debt…Then that servant goes out and throws another person in jail for owing him a small debt.

 

KEY:  When we remember how God showed Mercy on us and our own sins and our inability to pay the price to satisfy God…How dare we not forgive others and show the same heart of Mercy?!

 

Gods Promise: Those who show Mercy, “Shall Receive Mercy”.  The word they is an emphatic means They Alone shall receive Mercy. Some Christians don’t receive Mercy, Because they Don’t Give Mercy to Others!

  • James 2:13 “Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful…Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
  • Matthew 6:14,15: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
  • Showing Mercy is evidence that we are redeemed-saved by God’s Grace.

 

POINT: True Christianity Can Never be Divorced from Showing Mercy…And Mercy Demands Action!

 

The Two Tests of True Christianity:

 

  1. If we remain callous and impassive to human need and refuse to do anything about it, we need to take a good long look at ourselves and see if we really understand what it means to be a believer.
  • 1 John 3:17-19 “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.”
  • The Apostle makes it clear as to what the Christians mandate is before God.
  • True Belief can never be divorced from Attitude and Action!

 

  1. Unless we are willing to Forgive we cannot be Blessed-Approved by God!
  • Matthew 18: 21-35 makes it clear with the store of the unmerciful servant. If we refuse to be merciful and forgive, there is only one reason. We have never understood the Grace of Christ…therefore we are outside grace and unforgiven.
  • There are no options to showing Mercy if we are to be Blessed/Approved by God.

 

The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10: 25-28, demonstrate that the religious leaders of His day did not fulfill the Great Shema, “Loving God with all one’s might and one’s neighbor as one’s self!”

 

The fact that the priest and the Levite turned away from the needy man proved they did not Love their neighbor and failed to fulfill the Law and were lost!

 

My Encouragement to you today is this…As God daily Takes Care of You and Forgives You…Let His Love Flow Through You to those Around YOU!   As You Show Mercy…Others Will See Jesus in YOU and be Drawn to Him!

 

POINT: True Christianity Can Never be Divorced from Showing Mercy…And Mercy Demands Action!