Summary: 1- In His mercy He has given us new birth 2- In His mercy He has given us an inheritance 3- In His mercy He has given us protection
INTRO. - ILL.- The story is told of a politician who, after receiving the proofs of a portrait, was very angry with the photographer. He stormed back to the photographer and said these angry words: "This picture does not do me justice!" The photographer replied, "Sir, with a face like yours, you don’t need justice, you need mercy!"
Let me say that with a HEART like ours, we all need mercy! Why would I say this? Because of this scripture.
Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
Sometimes our hearts betray us. We are not as faithful and committed to the Lord as we say we are. And this is why I say we all need mercy! We need the Lord’s mercy!
And some days more than others. It depends on how much we blow it. But we all do need God’s mercy.
ILL.- One night in 1935, Fiorello H. La Guardia, mayor of New York, showed up at a night court in the poorest ward of the city. He dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench. One case involved an elderly woman who was caught stealing bread to feed her grandchildren. La Guardia said, "I’ve got to punish you. Ten dollars or ten days in jail."
As he spoke, he threw $10 into his hat. He then fined everyone in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat." The hat was passed around, and the woman left the courtroom with her fine paid and an additional $47.50.
I don’t know if this story is true but if it is, then praise the Lord for that mayor who had the good hearted sense to demonstrate mercy on that poor lady. He did even more than demonstrate mercy. HE DEMONSTRATED KINDNESS BY GIVING TO HER AND ASKING OTHERS TO GIVE.
Wouldn’t it be great if we saw more of this demonstrated in our world? And in America where greed is so prevalent?
We all need mercy and we all need to demonstrate mercy. But here’s a modern example of no mercy.
ILL.- Dec. 19, 2008. A 49-year-old Florida woman says her former church is threatening to reveal her sins to its congregation after learning that she is in a "sexually immoral relationship."
Rebecca Hancock told FOXNews.com that Grace Community Church, a non-denominational church in Jacksonville, Fla., was against her relationship with boyfriend Frank Young because the two were sexually active but not married.
When she wasn’t willing to obey the church’s orders to leave him, she decided to leave the church instead, allowing her two children to remain active members.
Now, she says, church elders have given her the worst ultimatum yet: In a Dec. 8 letter, they told her she either has to meet with them and end her "immoral" relationship or she will face public humiliation.
“Bottom line, on January 4th they are going to the church publicly with my sins, and my children will be sitting in church at the time,” Hancock told FOXNews.com.
While we don’t condone her actions, nor do we condone the actions of her former church. I know what the church is trying to do but I’m not sure that’s what Jesus would have done.
What did Jesus do when the Pharisees brought the woman to Him who had been caught in the act of adultery? What did Jesus say to the Pharisees? And what did He say to the woman? (John 8:1-11)
Mercy or no mercy? What rules in our world? I would like to say that mercy rules but I don’t believe it’s true.
ILL.- John R. Stott said, "The Gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving. The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales."
PROP.- Let’s consider what our text has to say about the mercy of God demonstrated to us.
1- In His mercy He has given us new birth
2- In His mercy He has given us an inheritance
3- In His mercy He has given us protection
I. IN HIS MERCY HE HAS GIVEN US NEW BIRTH
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
ILL.- Deep In the back woods of Tennessee, a hillbilly’s wife went into labor in the middle of the night, and the doctor was called out to assist in the delivery. Since there was no electricity, the doctor handed the father-to-be a lantern and said, "Here. You hold this high so I can see what I am doing." Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world.