Blessed are the Merciful.
02/07/2021

Blessed are the Merciful.

Speaker:
Series:
Passage: Matthew 5:7
Service Type:


Joke: I’m a procrastinator and a perfectionist. Someday I'm going to be perfect.

Rings: A progression.

Not ways to become a Christian, but signs of being a Christian.

The further along we get, the more challenging this gets.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

Mercy - compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.

Grace - unmerited favor.

Jesus says a person is blessed if they are merciful.

It is a blessing to…

1. recognize a personal need for mercy.

“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, 

“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:41-47

Jesus was making the point that these guys didn’t think they needed mercy or forgiveness and therefore didn’t extend it to the woman.

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

~ C.S.Lewis

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” 

- Abraham Lincoln

Will the mercy of God lead me to repentance?

It is a blessing to…

2. know God as merciful.

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

~ A.W.Tozer

Example: Belief, Action, Results diagram

How does God describe himself? 

He describes himself in this way 7 times in the Bible.

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities..” Psalm 103:8-10

What’s my feeling about God when I mess up? 

In a moment of weakness, David took a census of the fighting men of Israel…

Though there is debate about why this was wrong, God called it sin.

1 Chronicles 21:11-12, “So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” 1 Chronicles 21:13

The more you see God’s mercy, the more you will want to be close to God. 

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

In our verse today, Jesus reminds us that this revelation should translate into mercy for others.

It is a blessing to…

3. cancel a debt.

forgive - to cancel a debt

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Matthew 6:14

Example: My debt to Berv for the hernia surgery, how he reduced the debt even though it was my fault that I didn’t have insurance, and how Mary even forgave the smaller debt.

When Matt owed me $50 and wasn’t paying me back.

Was I going to extend the mercy I received… to others?

It is a blessing to…

4. be merciful to the needy.

Good samaritan - Material needs of others. Generosity.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27

Am I tender or hard to the homeless?

Example: The homeless guy at the pier who showed me the water. 

“The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD, and the LORD will repay him for his good deed.” Proverbs 19:17

It doesn’t say to evaluate how they are living and be kind if you find it acceptable.

Example: Part of the importance of 12 step work is to remember where we were. 

It is a blessing to…

5. receive mercy

“…for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

It is a blessing to… be merciful to yourself

Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your own performance?

“…he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” 

Psalm 103:14

It’s important to remember that God knows what we are.

He knows we are sinners.

He knows we need forgiveness. 

Jesus promises that the person who is merciful will receive mercy. 

(summary slide)

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

    And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

    and to walk humbly with your God.” 

Micah 6:8

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