Summary: Being merciful is one of the eight qualities of character of a citizen of the Kingdom of God that Jesus declares in the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount. Those who are merciful will be shown mercy.
This message is an edited version of a sermon given at Loving God Fellowship. Copyright © 2007 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org . You are encouraged to share this message with those you know that are hungry for God’s Word.
The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached Series
By Greg Johnson
Jesus said (Matthew 5:7 NIV) "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
Being merciful is one of the eight qualities of character of a citizen of the Kingdom of God that Jesus declares in the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount. Those who are merciful will be shown mercy.
To better understand mercy let me tell you about Oseola McCarty. Oseola was born in Wayne County, Mississippi in 1908 and moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi as a child. When she was in the sixth grade, her aunt, who had no children of her own, became ill and Oseola quit school to provide homecare for her Aunt. Oseola was never able to return to school for any more education. To support herself the rest of her life, she washed and ironed other people’s clothes. She never married nor had children. Her grandmother died in 1944, her mother in 1964 and her aunt in 1967. McCarty died from cancer in 1999.
Throughout her life Oseola never owned a car. She walked everywhere she went. She would push a grocery cart nearly a mile to get groceries. In 1947, her uncle gave her a house where she lived until she died.
Oseola lived a meager, uneducated life, but she new what it meant to be merciful. In 1995, with the help of a local attorney (for whom she had done laundry) and her bank’s trust officer she set aside 10% of her life savings for her church, 10% each for three relatives, and the remaining 60% for the University of Southern Mississippi to provide scholarships for deserving students in financial need. The amount given to the University for Scholarships was $150,000. Oseola new what mercy was and it flowed out of her life. "I can’t do everything," she said, "but I can do something to help somebody. And what I can do I will do. I wish I could do more."
Mercy is compassion for people in need. Compassion is a love that compels one to act. Oseola was merciful and, although she has finished the race, her mercy will help others for years to come.
Jesus was constantly showing mercy. He fed hungry multitudes with not only His Word, but also with bread and fish. He ministered at the point of need to people that were poor and had physical disabilities and sicknesses. He spent His valuable time befriending people that no one else wanted anything to do with. He spent His life helping people in need live a better life.
Jesus greatest act of mercy was on the cross. On an old rugged cross, Jesus freely gave His life because we are a needy people and our greatest need is forgiveness of sin. On the cross, Christ took our punishment for our sin upon Himself. He stood in for us. He had mercy on us a needy people. He moved with compassion; a love for us that compelled Him to do something about our sin problem. Through His mercy for us on the cross, we have been set free from the bondage of sin! Praise his name!