“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy”. The beatitudes are kingdom attitudes or characteristics. These attitudes are not automatic, they come through the grace of God alone as we allow the Holy Spirit to live in and through us. There is a lot of unmerciful spirit in the world today and even in our homes. In the Roman World in which Christ spoke these words, mercy was despised. It was a shame to be merciful. Mercy was considered as a weakness, see how the Apostle Paul lists the characteristics of degenerate society in (Romans 1:28-31). Today we live in a world that is fallen world. Men and women are by nature selfish and evil. Today meekness is called weakness and kindness is called foolishness. Mercy is not celebrated. For Jesus to have spoken this way was controversial. Therefore, the ideal of mercy is still misunderstood in our post-modern society.
Let us learn three things about Mercy:-
I. FIRST, THE MEANING OF MERCY.
- Sometimes the term “forgiveness” is used interchangeably with the term “Mercy”, But there is a difference.
- Mercy is the source of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the expression of mercy.
- Unlike kindness, sympathy and compassion, mercy does something to help the situation.
- Mercy exist only when we do something to help.
- In the story of good Samaritan, mercy happen when the good Samaritan acted in mercy to help the miserable man (Luke 10:36-37)
- Mercy is not mere sympathy, it is a deliberate act of feeling someone else’s need and relieve it.
- Mercy is extended from God to man.
- Jesus was actually saying that we show mercy because we realize that we have received mercy at the hands of God Himself. In Ephesians 2:4,-God is “rich in mercy”
- The merciful person is the one who remembers their own sin and how God’s mercy forgave them and understands the weakness of others and forgives them.
- Mercy is extended from Man to Man.
- In every life some nut must fall off. Everyday we deal with peculiar people.
- There are those who do not have their two feet on the ground and others, who their lift does not make to the top floor.
II. SECOND, BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF MERCY
- It is good to realize how mercy works out.
- Someone hurts you unjustly and we have power to respond.
- Mercy does not come into play until we have power to hurt back those who hurt us.
- Hurt people, hurt others, therefore be careful about people you hurt in the past !!
- But because of what God has done in our lives we chose to extend mercy.
- Abraham was merciful to Lot– He rescued him (Gen.14)
- Abraham gathered his army to go and free Lot despite Lot chose to live in Sodom the wicked city.
- Joseph was merciful to his brothers-remember what they did to him.
- David was merciful to Saul. (I Sam.24-26)
- Moses was merciful to Miriam (Numbers 12:13)
- Jesus Christ was the most merciful of all—”Father forgive them”
III. THE MOTIVATION FOR MERCY
- “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”
- You can only Extend mercy after you have received it.
- You cannot offer anyone something you have not received.
- Failure to extend mercy leads to misery.
- Proverbs .11:17- “ The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm”
- Matt. 18:33-35. the unmerciful servants put himself and his family into prison.
- The most miserable prison in the universe is the prison of your own making. You refuse to show mercy you are tortured by anger, choked by bitterness and consumed by revenge.
- Share God’s grace by sharing it-forgiveness through mercy.
¨ There are three kinds of people when it comes to forgiveness.
- I cant– Remember, No one has ever wronged you as you have wronged God. (Matt.18:23-35)
- I wont—Remember you are sinner who needs forgiveness daily.
- I am willing – remember you are “a copy” of God in this world. Forgive as He did forgive you.