Summary: Mercy comes to those who are merciful. The measure we use, it is measured to us.
Good morning! It’s good to be with you all again!
We are continuing our series on the ABC’s of Christian Living.
We come to the letter “m” which is “Mercy: The Ability To Heal Others.”
(Matt.5:7) “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
One man once said to another man who had angered him, “I will never forgive you” a wise man’s response to the unforgiving man was, “Then sir, I hope you never sin.”
Certainly that man was wise and was remembering Jesus’ words from Luke 6:32-38 (read).
Living a life without mercy, leads to dying without mercy.
But what is mercy? How can I be merciful? What happens when we are merciful?
II. WHAT IS MERCY?
Mercy came in the NT right? When Christ came? NO- Mercy is mentioned in the Old Testament over 250 times.
It appears as mercy (96), kindness (38), and loving-kindness.
God is merciful, always has been.
(2 Sam.24:14) “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is great.”
1) Mercy is not an emotion.
Jesus shows us that mercy sometimes stirs our hearts and emotions.
(The story of Lazarus- as Martha and Mary mourned; Jesus weeping over Jerusalem…)
But mercy is far more than just emotion.
Jesus did not just weep with Mary and Martha, He did not just weep for Jerusalem, HE DIED FOR THEM AND US!
It is possible for someone to shed tears and it be meaningless.
Emotion without motion (action) is not mercy.
2) Mercy is not charity.
(I Cor.13:3) “ If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I am nothing.”
Mercy is more than just being benevolent or giving money or possessions to charity, it does involve emotions and motive!
Mercy is more than handing out clothes to an orphanage or food to the hungry.
It is possible to do those things- to the extreme of sacrificing your body to the fire…but not do it out of love…making it in vain.
People can do good things for the wrong reasons.
3) Mercy is an attitude.
Mercy is not something we turn on and off.
Mercy is an underlying attitude to life.
Mercy involves the true feeling we have about others (it cannot be faked).
An attitude of mercy sees others as Jesus sees them and feels the same way Jesus feels about them. (Apply that to loving your enemies…are you?)
4) Mercy is action.
Mercy is equally action.
If we have an attitude of mercy, we will perform works of mercy too.
Mercy cannot be kept secret. (Like winter or spring).
When mercy takes action, we are kind and forgiving towards others.
Merciful people- look for the best in others, are concerned about redemption (not condemnation), and forgive others.
MERCY- not getting what we deserve.
GRACE- getting what we do not deserve.
III. How we can become merciful.
Those of us who find it easy to pass judgment…condemn- how can we be merciful?
1) Remember our need for mercy.
We all are in need of God’s mercy. (“The wages of sin is death…”)
We all do things which make us need God’s mercy.
(Gal.6:1) “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
Paul tells us to watch our actions when we are caught looking at others sin.
No human has the right (credibility) to judge another.
2) Get to know someone you have judged.
“Prejudice”= Pre-Judge. To make an estimate about someone without knowing the facts.
Typically those we judge, we do so because we do not know them well or at all.
To show mercy, we need to know the person- who they are, where they come from, what lead them to their struggle, etc.
3) Be God’s instrument of mercy.
As with all things…Christ is the source of mercy.
If we wish to be merciful, we must get it from Him.
As we surrender to Him, we will become able to be used by God to demonstrate God’s mercy and love.
We often talk about telling others of God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy-but God wants us to show them His love, forgiveness, and mercy…IN OUR LIVES!
III. What to expect with mercy.
If we choose mercy, what will happen? What will we see (get)?
“…for they will be shown mercy.”
The way to a happy, joy filled life is by seeking a life of mercy.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to get rid of all the anger, bitterness, resentment, and ugliness- our lives are filled with joy instead.
When we choose to be unforgiving…it destroys us and affects every thing we do…it goes with us everywhere.