Summary: Be merciful and give others a second chance. The merciful demonstrates mercy with acts of kindness and love. The merciful forgives.
Be blessed. Be poor in spirit, always live in need of God’s grace.
• Be grieved by the things that grieve the heart of God.
• Be humble and submit to God’s sovereign rule in your life.
• Hunger and thirst for the things of God. Only such a craving will be filled.
Without a returning to God and His concerns, the emptiness and boredom in your life will never go away. You can’t find fulfilment apart from Him.
• We have this spiritual hunger and thirst the moment we become a Christian.
• We need to whack that appetite up and keep that spiritual urge going.
• Stay close to God, worship Him constantly, stick with the church and keep up the fellowship with one another.
Matt 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
• We are called to be merciful. This is important.
• Jesus says in Luke 6:36: “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful.” God is merciful.
• Jesus prayed for those who crucified Him: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). Jesus is merciful.
• So this is what we must be. Not just a “good to have” trait.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MERCIFUL?
• Like being meek, being merciful is not usually admired by the world.
• The world loves justice. Someone who is merciful is likely to be accused of not facing up to reality, or of being easily taken advantage of.
To be merciful is not to be tolerant of sin and evil. God isn’t and God is merciful.
• God is righteous, holy, just AND merciful at the same time.
• To be merciful is to give others a second chance.
• To MAKE ROOM for repentance; GIVE TIME for justice to take its course, and not taking things into our own hands.
Often when someone made a mistake and hurt us, we are tempted to think of that person only in terms of what they did – the ‘wrongs’, the ‘mistakes’.
• We reduce the person to those flaws – for life sometimes!
• To be merciful is to hope that there is more to the person than their mistake or sin—that their mistake does not tell us all of who they are.
The reason we want to look beyond the mistake is because we want others to look beyond our own sin.
• We do not want people to remember us only for our flaws or wrongs.
• We hope that our sin will not be the last word on who we are.
• When we ourselves long for mercy, for another chance, we realize that we are not that different from anyone else.
• We are alike - broken, hurting, and in need of the hope that this is not the end.
So to show mercy is not to let the person off the hook. It goes beyond that.
• It is not pretending something didn’t happen, or allowing the person to go on sinning just as before.
• Mercy is providing room for the person not to be trapped by the past or their sinful nature, but to be able now to move forward, to grow and mature, to become more of the person they were created to be.
• Mercy is not saying, YES to the sin, but to the sinner.
• So it isn’t giving in or giving up but, rather hoping for transformation.
But where does such a hope come from?
• It is obviously not based on the person or ourselves.
• We are counting on something or SOMEONE bigger to bring about a new change.
• To be merciful, I am counting on God to provide the possibility of real change in the person’s life.
• My mercy counts on God’s Spirit to be at work to bring about repentance and new life in the one towards whom I am being merciful.
We want to be merciful because God has not given up on the person, so neither should we.
• We believe He is able and willing to give the person a new life and identity.
• The woman caught in adultery ought to die but Jesus gave her a chance – go and sin no more – and she became a lover of God, a beautiful child of God.
Actually it is the same desire we have for ourselves.
• We want people to give us a chance to make things right, to amend for what we have done wrong.
• We hope that God will continue His work in our lives, and help us grow to be more like Christ.
John Wesley visited General Ogelthorpe when he was governor of the colony of Georgia. The General mentioned an incident involving a man who had angered him and remarked, “I shall never forgive him!”