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Blessed are the merciful

Blessed are the merciful

 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

 

Mercy is related to compassion.  It is when we give someone something good when they don’t really deserve it.  Justice is when we give them exactly what they deserve.  Mercy cannot be demanded from someone by the one who needs it.  It can only be asked or begged for.  It is not something we can earn or deserve.  It cannot be bought.  It is an act of love.  Mercy is what we have been promised by God, but we must be merciful ourselves if we hope to get it. 

 

Salvation is an act of mercy.  That is why it cannot be earned.  We can only obtain it through grace.  Grace is a gift that is not earned – so is mercy.

 

Luke 6:36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

 

We must imitate God.  The greatest act of mercy was also the greatest act of love:  God sent us His son.

 

John 3:16-17 (NKJV) 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

 

The gospel is all about mercy.  Men are not condemned because they do not follow the Gospel.  They are condemned because of their own sins.  The gospel of Christ is about how to obtain mercy.  We can’t be saved without it, but it is not what condemns us before God.  Our own sin does that. (vs. 17)

 

Eph 2:1-2 (NKJV)1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

 

Col 3:12-13 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

 

Do you want mercy?  You must show mercy to others.  Do you want God to forgive you?  You MUST forgive others just as Christ forgave you.

 

Clara Barton was the founder of the American Red Cross (which she founded in 1881).  She was responsible for helping many wounded and captured soldiers during the civil war before this.

 

Louis Palau relates the following story in “Experiencing God’s Forgiveness”

 

Clara Barton was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before.  She acted as if she had never heard of the incident.  Her friend asked her if she remembered it.

 

“No”, she replied, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

 

That is what God can do for our sins.

 

Acts 3:19 (NKJV)19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

 

Heb 8:12 (NKJV)12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

 

Picture yourself on judgment day.  Perhaps one of your enemies who is still bitter towards you will accuse you of some great sin that you committed in your life.  Would you rather stand there on you own, or would you rather stand there covered by God’s grace through His beloved son.  Perhaps God will say.  “That has been blotted out.  I will remember it no more.”  God offers mercy.  We must show it to others if we want it ourselves.

 

Eph 2:4-5 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

 

Do you want to be alive in Christ?  Remember that without his grace you are already dead in your sins.  We can rely on God’s rich mercy.  Only His mercy and grace give us hope.  We can have no hope on our own.  If we rely on God’s mercy, we need to remember to extend that mercy to others.

 

James 2:13  For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.

 

Luke 16:19-26 19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'  25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'

 

This rich man refused to show mercy to Lazarus.  In return no mercy was shown to him even though he begged for it.

 

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. How often do we have to show mercy?  Is there a limit to how much mercy God expects out of us?  If someone messes up over and over and we have already forgiven them time after time, does there come a time when we can simply give up on them?  Look at what Jesus said in answer to this question.

 

Matt 18:21-35 (NKJV) 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

 

1 Cor 13:4-8 (NKJV)4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

 

Do you have love and forgiveness in your heart, or do you have a hate filled, grudge filled heart?  Being unwilling to forgive hurts the one who holds on to the grudge.  Someone once said that no one ever made a grudge better by nursing it.  Grudges prey upon our hearts.  They destroy us.

 

Fortunately Jesus is merciful towards us.

 

Heb 2:17-18 (NKJV)17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

 

John 8:3-11 (NKJV) 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

 

Your sins are not too great for God to forgive.  Jesus is merciful because of what he learned when He was a man on earth.  If he could forgive this woman, he can also forgive you.

 

 




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