Faithlife Sermons

Being an Agent of Mercy

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Acts 1:8 NLT
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

IN A MEAN WORLD, OUR GREATEST WITNESS IS SHOWING MERCY

PRINCIPLES OF MERCY

1. START LOOKING AND LISTENING FOR PEOPLE’S NEEDS

The Reason Why We’re Not Merciful is that We are Too Busy

Philippians 2:4 TEV
And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.

Attention is the Highest Form of Love

Mark 10:21 NLT
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

2. DON’T BE OFFENDED BY OTHER’S SINS

If you are going to be an agent of Mercy, you have to show it to everyone

Jude 22–23 NLT
And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

Showing Mercy Doesn’t Mean You Excuse Everything and Say It’s OK.

There is a Difference Between ACCEPTANCE and APPROVAL.

1 Peter 4:8 NLT
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Ephesians 4:2 The Living Bible
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

DON’T EXPECT UNBELIEVERS TO ACT LIKE BELIEVERS UNTIL THEY ARE.

Matthew 9:10–13 NLT
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

3. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY.

Colossians 4:6 NCV
When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.

You are Never Persuasive When You are Abrasive.

Ephesians 4:29 NCV
When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.

As an Agent of Mercy, We Must Speak in ways that Make People Stronger.

How Do You Do That?

James 3:17 NLT
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

4. VALUE SAVING PEOPLE OVER KEEPING RULES.

Jesus Defended the Disciples Eating Grain on the Sabbath (Matt 12:1-8)
Matthew 12:1–8 NLT
At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them. But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.” Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He went into the house of God, and he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. And haven’t you read in the law of Moses that the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath? I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
Matthew 23:23 NLT
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Six Places to be An Agent of Mercy

1. LOOK FOR PEOPLE IN A CRISIS.

Galatians 6:2 NLT
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

When you listen to somebody going through a crisis you’re carrying their burden.

2. LOOK FOR PEOPLE WITH UNMET NEEDS AND HELP THEM.

Romans 15:2–3 The Message
Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.

Mercy looks for people’s unmet needs and helps them.

3. LOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE GRIEVING AND COMFORT THEM.

2 Corinthians 1:3–4 NLT
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Every Day there are people we come in contact with who have suffered some type of loss.

4. LOOK FOR PEOPLE NEEDING FRIENDS AND SHOW HOSPITALITY.

Romans 12:13 NIV84
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

People are Hungry for hospitality.

Matthew 25:31–46 NLT
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

5. LOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED A SECOND CHANCE.

One of the ways you know when somebody needs a second chance is often they’re depressed.

2 Corinthians 2:7 CEV
When people sin, you should forgive and comfort them, so they won’t give up in despair.

6. LOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE RUDE.

1 Peter 3:9 NLT
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

If you want God’s Blessing in Your Life, learn how to be NICE.

Matthew 25:34–40 NLT
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
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