Blessed are the Merciful

Blessed are the Merciful [TRANSCRIPT]

2 Timothy 1:16-18 says,
The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me - the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day - and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

1 Timothy 1:16 says,
Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost sinner Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
 
Luke 1:50 says this,
And His mercy is to generation after generation toward those who fear Him.

James 2:12, 13 says,
So speak, and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Again, in James 3:17
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy.

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

Then in Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

For someone to be Merciful, Compassionate, what does that look like? Where does such mercy and compassion come from? Is it a sentiment, a moral cause, or a character trait? Why are these questions important? And why do they matter?

To begin with, I recently had someone mention to me, “I’m really enjoying Truth Matters. But I noticed that what you are covering is very basic stuff. But then I realized that there are so many people who don’t know the basics.

I’m glad he noted that. First of all, I’ve learned in ministry not to take for granted that people understand the basics. In fact, like my friend, I’ve discovered so many people don’t understand some basic aspects of the Gospel and of our faith. Misconceptions on these foundational truths leave people confused in the face of today’s vacuum of truth which opens the door to all form of deception. Therefore, that’s why I’ve chosen to begin in such a basic fashion. Truth matters beginning at the foundational level.

Now, we come now to the next of the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Like I mentioned before, there is an ordered sequence to the Beatitudes. Jesus isn’t simply making a moral list to target for people’s lives. No, He is laying out the character qualities that are to reside in His followers.

Again, remember the sequence: We come to God with a poverty of spirit. We have nothing to offer to God, so then He provides what we need. We come to God mournful because of our sin. He comforts us with His forgiving grace provided in Christ Jesus. We come to God humbly as a part of His kingdom. We progress forward hungry and thirsty to be continually right with God. It’s an ongoing and progressing relationship.

Now, as a part of that relationship, the follower of Christ takes on the character traits of God. God is a God of mercy, therefore His followers are likewise to be merciful.

So, the next question is, “What does it mean to be merciful?” Or better yet, what is Mercy?

A good way to define Mercy is “Compassion or Pity.”

Now, believe it or not, this is something that really sells big time in the world today. Let me explain. We live in a time of Hashtags and causes to care about. There’s a multitude of them. People love to post their hashtags on social media to express how much they care about an endless list of causes. It feels good to care. People wear ribbons, wrist bands, logo t-shirts, designated colors and slogans to declare that they are a part of this cause or that cause. And on the surface, it presents a caring and compassionate society. People want to see themselves as caring and compassionate. Progressive ideologies promote caring and tolerance and denounce uncaring hurtful and hateful speech. We hear this all the time. People are flocking to join in on the latest caring trend.

The problem with this lies in the reality that it’s all on the surface. People can proclaim compassion in any imaginable form. But unless the inward man had been transformed, the selfish sinner remains. Now, don’t get me wrong, caring compassion feels good to express. The reason it feels good to show compassion or to do acts of compassion is simply the fact that it is good. To state the obvious, sugar tastes sweet. Why?  Because it is sweet.

God is good. God is a God of mercy and compassion. So, when people feel mercy and compassion or do acts of mercy and compassion, they taste the goodness of the Lord. The Psalmist said in Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the LORD is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” It has to be more that simply a taste of God. You see, God is not an admired ideal or a provider of admirable ideas. God is the True and Living God. It’s not enough to admire what He says. A person must live in in the reality of who God is and who we are.

There can be no mere surface relationship with the True and Living God. That is what each of the Beatitudes is declaring. So, when Jesus says that happy is the merciful person, He is stating that God’s mercy resides in His followers. I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

Let’s look at what Jesus means when He speaks of mercy. As I mentioned, Mercy is a character quality of God. Now, what is mercy? The word in the Bible can be translated as Mercy, Compassion, or Pity. It paints a picture of coming upon a scene and finding someone in a very pitiful state for whatever reason. Mercy sees the situation and acts in response. Mercy doesn’t simply see the situation and feel bad about it. It does something.

Jesus provides some examples. For instance, a verbal illustration of that is shown in Luke 10 with the story in of the Good Samaritan. Verse 33 says, “when he saw the man, he felt compassion.”  Literally it means he felt it in his gut, he was moved viscerally. And what did he do? He acted. Jesus clarifies what this was in verses 36 & 37 when He asks and answers questions concerning the different people who came upon this injured man. He said,
Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed compassion to him.”

You see, it wasn’t enough to simply feel bad for the injured man. Mercy moved the Samaritan into action by doing something for the man.

Another great picture of God’s mercy is the picture we’ve looked at before. Remember the incident of the two men who went in to the Temple to pray? One of them was a tax-collector. He understood his pitiful state. He wasn’t even willing to raise his eyes toward heaven. Instead, he was beating his chest. You remember what he said? Luke 18:13 “God be merciful to me the sinner.” What he desired at that moment was God’s mercy. He knew he was a sinner and yet he asked for God’s pity, His compassion. It was what he needed more than any else at that moment.

Of course, the absolute best illustration is given to us by God Himself. In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul describes how God acted in the face of our pitiful state. The Bible describes us. Said that we were dead in our offences and sin. We walked according to this world, according to enemy as children of disobedience. We indulged in the lust of our flesh and minds and were destined for wrath. But then in verse 7, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love for us in which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoing, made us alive together with Christ, for by grace we have been saved.

We have been given both grace and mercy by God. Do you understand the difference between grace and mercy? Grace, grace is receiving what we do not deserve. God didn’t have to rescue us, but He did by His grace.

And Mercy? Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We are in a pitiful state because of what we have done and who we are. It is not unjust or is He unjust to judge sin. But by His grace, He has held back His judgment and shown us His Mercy. He simply didn’t feel badly for us, He did something. This is the mercy of God.

And that mercy, God’s Mercy, lives in His people. It’s a part of the character He has placed in us. It’s not merely a hashtag, a feeling, a logo, a banner or a wrist ban. It’s an integral part of our character as of a follower of Christ.

It impacts how we think. James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy.”  We see the situation around us and our thoughts are managed by a wisdom informed by mercy. Our selfish mind and heart are impacted by the needs of others. We see others as God sees them.

Also, we were shown mercy and so we demonstrate it as a testimony to that mercy. 1 Timothy 1:16 says, “Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost sinner Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” We show mercy to others as an example of the mercy shown to us by Christ.

And the reality of this Mercy is to be expressed between members of God’s family. Paul speaks about it in 2 Timothy 1:16-18. He says,
The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me - the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day - and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

You see, Paul was a prisoner in chains. Onesiphorus searched for him and found him in order to help provide for his needs. Paul asks God to grant to Onesiphorus mercy in return. There’s nothing surface or self-promoting in what Onesiphorus did. He felt compassion for Paul in his condition and he went about to do something. He expressed mercy and Paul asks God to give that man that same mercy.

If you are merely an admirer of Jesus and what He said, let me suggest something. Rather than merely borrowing good ideas from God, let me invite you to enter into the reality of God’s mercy. You need what He alone provides. God doesn’t require you do acts of compassion to prove we are good or you’re good enough to please Him. God wants His mercy to live inside of you. This is what happens when you receive His mercy provided in Christ Jesus. Come to Him and discover the Mercy and Grace of God in Christ Jesus. It is from that that we can then be persons who demonstrate the Mercy of God to others.

Jesus says to His followers, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

I am a person in need of God’s mercy. I need it every day. And so, as a recipient of His Mercy, I want to dispense that mercy freely at every opportunity.

Compassion and mercy are more than slogans and hashtags, it is a living reality in the souls of those who have received the mercy and compassion of God.

That’s the living Truth. And it’s a Truth that Matters.

Recent

Archive

 2022

Categories

Tags

ANTIFA Abortion Absolute truth Afghanistan Aliens Amazon America Amy Coney Barrett Anxiety Art BLM Bears Beatitudes Bible Biden Big Tech COVID19 Canada Capitalism Censorship Children China Christmas Church History Climate Change Communism Conflict Congress Constitution Control Creativity Critical Race Theory Culture Death Deep State Discipleship Easter Economics Education Elijah Encouragement End Times Environmentalism Equality Euthanasia Evil Evolution Facebook Father's Day Father\'s Day Fatherhood Fear Foreign Policy Free Speech Freedom Gender Google Gospel Government Handouts Government Spending Government Guns Halloween Holidays Hollywood Intersectionality Islam Isolation Israel Jobs Judgment Justice Kamala Harris LGBTQ Liberal Life Loneliness Methodists Military Miracle Monkey Pox Movies Naturalism News Olympics Orwell Parenting Pastors Police Brutality Political Correctness Prayer President Prophecy Public School Reddit Religious Freedom Republican Resurrection Roman Empire Russia SBC Sacred Art School Shooting School Science Scopes Trial Second Ammendment Secularism Sin Social Justice Social Media Spiritual Warfare Stand Firm Suicide Surrender Surveillance Testimony Transgender Trump Ukraine Vaccine WWJD War Witchcraft Wokeism Worship church civil disobedience conspiracy election heresy hermeneutics history judgmental language love marriage modernism pandemic politics postmodernism racism rationality sex socialism sports supreme court truth vote white supremacy worldview