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Summary: MERCY IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN SHORT SUPPLY IN OUR WORLD TODAY, AND I WOULD DARE SAY IN THE CHURCH. MERCY AND FORGIVENESS IS SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE SHOWERED ON US, BUT DON’T ASK US TO DO THE SAME FOR SOMEONE ELSE. IT’S NOT IN OUR NATURE.

THE BLESSED MERCIFUL

PSALM 103

MUCH OF JESUS’ TEACHING IN THE BEATITUDES EITHER COMES DIRECTLY FROM, OR IS CLOSELY RELATED TO THE OLD TESTAMENT. SUCH IS THE CASE WITH THE BEATITUDE WE ARE STUDYING TODAY CONCERNING THE MERCIFUL.

MERCY IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN SHORT SUPPLY IN OUR WORLD TODAY, AND I WOULD DARE SAY IN THE CHURCH. MERCY AND FORGIVENESS IS SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE SHOWERED ON US, BUT DON’T ASK US TO DO THE SAME FOR SOMEONE ELSE. IT’S NOT IN OUR NATURE. WE WOULD BE RIGHT IN SAYING THAT BECAUSE MERCY IS NOT A NATURAL CHARACTERISTIC.

IN MY RESEARCH I READ ABOUT A LADY WHO HAD HER PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN. UPON EXAMINING THE PROOF SHE COMPLAINED TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER. HE SAID “WHAT’S WRONG?” “WRONG? WHY THIS PICTURE DOESN’T DO ME JUSTICE.” TO WHICH HE LOOKED AT HER AND SAID, “MA’AM YOU DON’T NEED JUSTICE, YOU NEED MERCY.”

DURING JESUS’ TIME MERCY WAS SEEN AS A WEAKNESS AND NOT A VIRTUE. A ROMAN PHILOSOPHER ONCE CALLED MERCY “A DISEASE OF THE SOUL.” MERCY WAS SEEN BY THEM AS A SIGN THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE WHAT IT TOOK TO BE A MAN IN SOCIETY. ALL WEAKNESS WAS DESPISED IN ROMAN SOCIETY SO MERCY WAS A RARE COMMODITY BACK THEN.

THIS THOUGHT WAS PROVEN FALSE THROUGH THE LIFE OF JESUS, AND ALSO THROUGH ISRAEL’S HISTORY. IN ANCIENT ISRAEL, WITHIN THE TEMPLE, THE “MERCY-SEAT” WAS THE LID OF THE ARK OF THE COVENANT, A SYMBOL OF GOD’S PRESENCE AND PARDON. THE BLOOD OF THE TEMPLE SACRIFICE WAS SPRINKLED ONTO THE MERCY SEAT, SECURING ATONEMENT FOR SIN.

DO YOU SEE THE ORDER OF THINGS HERE. THE BLOOD OF THE SACRIFICE WAS NEEDED FOR MERCY TO BE EXTENDED. BUT THE SAME IS TRUE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

THE CROSS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS WHERE WE NOW FIND MERCY THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE PERFECT SACRIFICE, JESUS CHRIST. BLOOD WAS NECESSARY IN BOTH.

TOZER SAID “IT WAS THE MERCY OF GOD THAT GAVE US THE CROSS, NOT THE CROSS THAT GAVE US MERCY.” THE SYMBOL OF OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH IS THE CROSS, NOT THE SCALES OF JUSTICE.

THERE ARE VARIOUS IDEAS OF WHAT MERCY IS TODAY, SOME WITH A GRAIN OF TRUTH BUT MOSTLY THEY ARE MISCONCEPTIONS. TODAY I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU A GOOD BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF “MERCY” AS WELL AS FOUR DIFFERENT “FLOWS” WHICH COULD EXIST IN OUR LIVES, IF WE ARE WALKING CLOSELY TO THE LORD.

POINT ONE: WHAT IS MERCY?

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT DEFINING MERCY ONE INEXCAPABLE FACT IS THAT MERCY DWELLS IN THE REALM OF THE GUILTY. IT IS THE GUILTY WHO THROW THEMSELVES AT THE MERCY OF THE COURT. IN THE PARABLE OF THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT FOUND IN MATTHEW 18 IT WAS THE ONE OWEING WHO ASKED FOR MERCY AND WAS DECLINED.

THE WORD JESUS USES IN MATTHEW 5 FOR MERCY IS “ELEOS”. THE HEBREW WORD “CHESED” AND IT MEANS TO “GET INSIDE SOMEONE’S SKIN.” IT IS TO LOOK AT WHERE THEY VIEW LIFE AND FEEL WHAT THEY ARE EXPERIENCING, TO MOVE IN AND ACT ON BEHALF OF THE ONE WHO IS HURTING.

ELOES HAS TWO BASIC ASPECTS, AND ONE MOTIVATION.

1. MERCY RESTRAINS THE JUST ACTIONS DUE TO THE GUILTY.

C.S. LEWIS STATED: I WOULD SOONER PRAY FOR GOD’S MERCY THAN FOR HIS JUSTICE ON MY FRIENDS, MY ENEMIES, AND MYSELF”.

LAMENTATIONS 3:22: BECAUSE OF THE LORD’S GREAT LOVE WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, FOR HIS COMPASSIONS NEVER FAIL.

2. MERCY RELIEVES THE GUILTY AND REBELLIOUS IN THEIR MISERABLE STATE.

WE NEED TO DO SOME BUSINESS WITH GOD TODAY, FOR MANY OF US ARE CARRING A LOAD OF MISERY THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR US TO CARRY.

WE ARE CALLED BY GOD TO EXTEND MERCY TO OTHERS AND IN SOME CASES THAT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. THE LESSON OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN WAS FOUND IN Vv. 36-37:

LUKE 10:36-37:

“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.”

BUT THE LONGER WE HOLD ONTO IT THE MORE IT CONSUMES US. IF YOU HAVE AN INFECTION IN YOUR BODY AND DO NOT TREAT IT, IT GROWS. ULTIMATELY IT CONSUMES YOUR WHOLE BODY AND YOU DIE IN SPIRIT.

“ELEOS” HAS AS IT’S ROOT MEANING “TO WASH OVER”. IN JESUS CULTURE IT WAS USED IN THE CONTEXT OF “WHITEWASHING” A WALL, “WIPING” OUT AN IMPURITY, OR “CANCELING” A DEBT. YOU SEE MERCY IS LOVE IN ACTION. IT GOES BEYOND SYMPATHY TO EMPATHY.

MERCY IS LITERALLY JUMPING INTO SOMEONE’S SKIN AND KNOWING WHAT THEY ARE FEELING, TO THE POINT WHERE YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO TO HELP THEM IN THEIR MISERY. WHY, BECAUSE YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO THAT PERSON TO RELATE THEIR MISERY TO YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.

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