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Summary: This is a sermon on the fifth beattitude. Mercy: I’m merciful - 1. If I’m patient with those are DIFFERENT from me. 2. If I forgive those who have FALLEN. 3. If I help those who are HURTING. 4. If I do good to my ENEMIES.

Becoming Merciful – The Fifth Step To Happiness

We have been making a journey through a section of the scripture known as the beatitudes. The beatitudes are found in Matthew chapter five. All of them begin with the word “blessed.” Another word for blessed is happy. So as we have been making our way down through the beatitudes – we are finding steps to happiness.

If you will recall we have already looked at the first four steps to happiness. Humility was the first step to happiness. Repentance was the second step. Teachability was the third step. Starving for Righteousness was the fourth step. Today we are going to look at Becoming Merciful – The Fifth Step To Happiness. Please follow along with me as I read Matthew chapter five and verse seven:

“Blessed are the merciful, because they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (HCSB)

Mercy and forgiveness go hand in hand. Mercy and forgiveness is what God demonstrates to the undeserving sinner. That undeserving sinner is us. Did you know that the manner in which you forgive people is the manner in which you will be forgiven? This is the law of sowing and reaping – you will reap what you sow. Look at what it says in The Lord’s prayer:

“And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.”

Matthew 6:12 (NKJV)

You are expected to show mercy and forgiveness. Jesus is saying in this “be” attitude that you get what you give. It’s the law of direct return. If your friendly with people – they will be friendly to you. If you show mercy to people they will show mercy to you. A definition of mercy is:

Mercy = love in ACTION.

How do you know if you are showing mercy – today we will look at four marks of mercy:

1. I’m merciful – if I’m patient with those are DIFFERENT from me.

I believe that in every life some nuts must fall. In every life there are people who are just plain peculiar. There are those whose elevator just doesn’t make it to the top floor. They’re a good egg – but they are just a little cracked. How do you handle these people? The Bible says:

“Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NKJV)

How can you be patient with those who are different than you? One of the best ways to be patient with people is to: learn their background. When you understand where a person has come from you will be more patient with a person. Try to walk a mile in their shoes. Try to understand their hurts and struggles. Don’t be so quick to criticize or to judge. Merciful people are accepting people. They realize that hurtful people are hurting people. God wants us to be patient with everybody - even if they are different than us - even if they don’t see things the same way you do - even if they don’t act the just like you.

2. I’m merciful – if I forgive those who have FALLEN.

When people make mistakes do you hold it over their heads or do you forgive? If someone has hurt you – do you remember it every time you see the person and hold a grudge? Or do you treat the person as if it has never happened?

A few months back we had an interesting discussion in one of our Bible studies here at the church. We were considering the phrase “forgive and forget”. To tell you the truth – that phrase in not found in the Bible. I know that God forgives but I’m not sure that God forgets. God doesn’t have ’Holy Amnesia’. What God does have - is a forgiving heart. What He does do – when He forgives me – is that He treats me as if I had never done the wrong. He treats me as if I had never sinned. He acts in a way as if I had never done anything wrong. That is mercy. That is forgiveness. God knows exactly what I have done – He knows every detail – yet He treats me as if I had not done it. Look at what the Message Bible says in Colossians:

“Be quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 (MSG)

Merciful people are forgiving people. Merciful people forgive the fallen.

3. I’m merciful – if I help those who are HURTING.

The Bible tells us over and over again that we are to help those who are around us. Look at what Proverbs chapter three says:

“Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person.” Proverbs 3:27 (MSG)

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