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Summary: By definition (from several sources), mercy is defined as showing more kindness and love to a person than they deserve. It is a love determined by the state or condition of the person needing mercy, regardless of whether they are worthy or deserving of m

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Mercy is More Than Attitude

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

INTRODUCTION: By definition (from several sources), mercy is defined as showing more kindness and love to a person than they deserve. It is a love determined by the state or condition of the person needing mercy, regardless of whether they are worthy or deserving of mercy. Mercy is a hallmark of kingdom and Christian behavior.

Biblically speaking, mercy is almost entirely in the realm of God. Mercy towards us is an act of God, and peace is what we experience in our hearts because God has been merciful towards and to us.

I THE KEY INGREDIENT FOR MERCY IS A TENDER HEART

A By its very nature mercy implies

1 Generosity

2 Forgiveness

3 Compassion

4 Removal of Wrong

5 Alleviation of Suffering

6 Providing of healing

B Jesus gives us a vivid example of mercy

Luke 10:25-37 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" 27 He answered: "’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, ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’" 28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ’Look after him,’ he said, ’and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 "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."

1 The Scribe was looking for justification

2 Jesus turns his attention to a situation in the parable of the Good Samaritan

3 Notice who is the neighbor – the Samaritan!

a The Samaritan is the one who crossed cultural lines

b The Samaritan is the one who put aside racial bias

c The Samaritan is the one who expressed compassion and generosity

4 The Priest is not the neighbor

5 The Levite is not the neighbor

6 God does not need priests and Levites, God needs neighbors!

a Luke 19:40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

b God can communicate His intentions from the stones if He has to

7 To be a neighbor is to be a merciful

8 The Samaritan could have done far less than what he did, and fulfilled whatever obligation ha had to this man, but he DID NOT!

a He was not thinking in terms of obligation or justification!

b He was thinking in terms of mercy!

WE NEED TO BE THINKING THIS WAY ALSO! When we are thinking the right way we act not out of justification, but out of generosity.

Being a neighbor is being merciful.

Being a neighbor is an action, not a title.

Being merciful is not acting out of obligation, but out of generosity, concern, and fitting.

UNDERSTAND WHAT WE SEE AS OBLIGATIONS; GOD WANTS US TO SEE AS FITTING.

Lets take a test. In your bulletins there is a paper with some boxes. The boxes are labeled 1 to 4. Now before we get started, you may want to hide your answers.

Box number one – put down how much time you spent watching TV yesterday.

Box number two – put down how much time you spent studying your bible yesterday.

Box number three – apart from being church, Sunday School, or any other church activity, put down how much time did you study your Bible this last week

Box number four – were you more like the priest or the Samaritan with your Bible? Did I do enough to justify myself in my own mind, or was I motivated by something else?

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