Summary: Blessed are the merciful. Are you blessed? Are you merciful? Is the world in need of mercy? Yes. Is the Lord merciful? Absolutely! Are you allowing Jesus to use you as a conduit of His mercy to those in need of mercy???
Be the Merciful One
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Today we will be reading from Matthew 5:1-12
Mercy. Let me tell you a little secret about Pastor Karenlee …
If you play board games with her do NOT expect any mercy.
She will crush you like a bug if she gets a chance.
Her game playing aggression makes four year old grand kids cry.
Yes, even when she is playing the game “Sorry” it is only the name of the game and the only time the word, sorry, is ever mentioned is in the phrase, “sorry … Not sorry …” when she sends your man back home!
Actually, she has softened over the years and she even lets me win once in a while.
Now, when she is not playing board games she is extremely merciful. And, mercy is what we will be talking about today as we look at the fifth Beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”
And to get us focused, let’s go ahead and read Matthew 5:1-12
(Prayer for help)
OK. So, let’s briefly review the previous Beatitudes that have brought us to the verse about mercy.
First of all, the word blessed does not mean “happy”. In order for someone to be “blessed” there must be Someone who is bestowing a blessing and someone who is being blessed. In return the one who is being blessed blesses or praises the One who is bestowing the blessing in a perpetual cycle of relationship.
So, we need to keep that in mind as we go through the Beatitudes.
In Matthew 5:3 it says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”
When it says “poor in spirit” it is not talking about someone who is always depressed; someone who always finds the worst in any situation. Instead, it is talking about a person who realizes their true spiritual position of helplessness outside of Christ. This person knows that they have no righteousness of their own. As it says in the old hymn Rock of Ages, “In my hand no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.”
In Matthew 5:4 it says, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
Here the mourner is mourning for the state of their soul. They may be born again and yet still constantly struggling with sin and struggling with the attraction that the world had on them before they were saved. They are mourning because they know they are not pleasing in the sight of the Lord and they cannot imagine ever hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:21)
In addition they may be mourning about the state of sinfulness that is suffocating this world like a pillow being held over the face of a victim.
In Matthew 5:5 it says, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
Here the believer is meek because they know that even though they are saved their actions are still not pleasing in the sight of God and there is nothing they can do on their own to change. They are meek because they know that in every single step of spiritual growth they take is fully dependent on the Holy Spirit for help. And, this dependence leads us to Matthew 5:6 where the “poor in spirit”, “mournful” and “meek” Christian can start to find help in ...
Matthew 5:6 where it says …
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
As a born again person grows in their relationship with the Lord they realize that the righteousness the Lord desires from them is something that is missing from their life. When that realization takes place the serious disciple of Christ will hunger and thirst for this right standing with God and since that is the Lord’s desire for all of us, He will grant it.
This brings us to one of the elements of righteousness which is the characteristic of mercy.
Matthew 5:7 says,
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”
Isn’t it just human nature to want to jump to the second half of that verse where WE will be shown mercy? But, if we have the mind of Christ our focus would be on the first phrase.