Summary: The topic for tonight is mercy - the forgiveness we have received and a few reasons why we should be dishing it out as well.
27, February 2005
Dakota Community Church
The Mercy Measurement
I want to begin this evening by reading three passages of scripture that I used last week when we were looking at the reality of the law of the harvest.
The topic for tonight is mercy.
I want to look at the forgiveness we have received and a few reasons why we should be dishing it out as well.
I believe that this truth has had a huge impact on the quality of my life and I hope you will embrace it and find the same result.
Luke 6: 37-38
“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Mark 4: 24-25
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
Matthew 18: 21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
Mercy and forgiveness are vital parts of a Christian’s life because they allow us to demonstrate to others the nature of our God.
Dennis the Menace and Joey are sitting on the front porch eating cookies and Dennis is explaining to Joey, “Mrs. Wilson doesn’t give us cookies because we’re nice, Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies because she’s nice.”
Forgiveness requires an attitude of mercy and grace.
Grace is unmerited favor, it is undeserved – that is what makes it grace.
1. Forgive because you need forgiveness.
Matthew 6: 14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
My life as a minister is devoted to helping others. I really want to cultivate a truthful reputation as someone who is a good person and will help anyone if they have a need I am able to meet.
In spite of that it seems I regularly find out that someone is angry with me and offended by something I have done or failed to do.
My policy is to forgive anyone who has done me wrong even the ones I don’t know about.
I have heard through the grapevine at times that a person is furious with me for preaching at them.
(I usually didn’t even know about the issue)
When I am in prayer I always forgive everyone who has wronged me - even the ones I don’t know about because I want to be forgiven for the offences I am unaware I have committed.
I do not recommend waiting to be asked, here’s why:
Luke 6: 38