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Blessed Are The Merciful

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Last week, we saw the people of God who are starving and thirsty for righteousness are blessed because they are and will be filled…completely satisfied…finding that satisfaction in Christ Alone.
He is our righteousness.
Again, our study #Blessed is about identifying what it means to be blessed, who is blessed, and why they are.
To BE blessed, we have seen means to be both now and eternally extremely happy, fortunate, in a state of blessedness.
Something that we ALL want.
The world, the fleshly nature, satan, even sin, can lie and paint a false picture of what it looks like to be blessed.
Our supreme example, Jesus Himself, after His baptism, was taken to the wilderness for 40 days…and there was tempted by satan…tempted in that a few tests and lures were thrown His way. Yet, we know that our Lord and Saviour wouldn’t trade the righteousness and sweet fellowship with the Father that existed for a smoke screen of temporal “blessedness.”
See, the things that exist in fellowship with the Father, are the true blessings. Things that can’t be altered and aren’t interdependent on the temporal realm…be it circumstance or be it material things.
As the Incarnate Word, it was the Eternal Word that was the foundation of the fellowship, the foundation of the blessings therefore.
Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the foundation…the source of our blessedness.
We continue on...
Matthew 5:7 KJV 1900
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Let’s pray.

The biblical meaning of mercy is exceedingly rich and complicated, as evidenced by the fact that several Hebrew and Greek words are needed to comprehend the many-sided concept. Consequently, there are many synonyms employed in translation to express the dimensions of meaning involved, such as “kindness,” “lovingkindness,” “goodness,” “grace,” “favor,” “pity,” “compassion,” and “steadfast love.” Prominent in the concept of mercy is the compassionate disposition to forgive an offender or adversary and to help or spare him in his sorry plight

To have mercy…to be merciful…means to show compassion…to show pity. At least in this word, in this verse.
This means specifically, when it’s within one’s right and power to punish…yet compassion and pity are given.
This is best illustrated in our salvation…or how we can be saved. Namely, the substitutionary death of Christ, on the cross, for our sins.
We deserve punishment for our sin. We sin…so WE deserve what God would give by way of punishment.
However, God is gracious, giving us what we don’t deserve, or haven’t earned…and He is merciful, in withholding punishment that we have deserved…yet, specifically carrying it out on Jesus, the Son in OUR place.
So, He showed US mercy…by carrying out the justice for OUR sins…on the ONLY worthy ONE who could pay for them in our place…Jesus Christ.
Translating that for this verse...for the Child of God…the follower of Christ…our lives are transformed the moment we get saved...
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The Holy Spirit, takes up residence in our lives...
Ephesians 1:13–14 NKJV
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Titus 3:4-7 NASB
4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Ephesians 2:4–9 NKJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
And this mercy by which we are saved…the mercy of Almighty God extended and extends to us…is to be the exercise of the redeemed.
Luke 6:36 ESV
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Mercy, again, withheld punishment or judgment, is a divinely enabled virtue. True mercy, that is.
We often scream for justice in areas where we feel others are wrong, or where we have been wronged…but it’s hard to find someone willing to be honest enough to cry out for judgment for their own trespasses and sins.
“God, judge ME…God execute righteous judgment/justice on me.”
WE have a nation, a world, crying for justice in particular areas to exercised…for wrongs in particular areas to be righted…and I want that so desperately...but I would say, it’s hard to find in the way of an attitude of humility and mercy.
Even by professing believers.
And this isn’t to excuse sin, or wrongs, or injustices…it’s to have a Spirit-filled, biblically driven, attitude in a world full of sinners doing what sinners do…sin.
For if we all got what we deserved for the wickedness in our own hearts…I would argue there wouldn’t be any of us left.
That’s why the cross is such a great neutralizer for mankind…for every nation, tribe and tongue.

That is what we should focus on. That’s where our energy and passion should be exerted. As one people…passionate for the lostness of mankind…passionate to see them saved…like we were saved.

Romans 5:8–12 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
We quickly and easily forget the mercy God showed and shows US in the midst of other’s wrongs.
How wise our Lord in His illustration...
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.”

Matthew 7:1–5 ESV
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
The principle is this…we are quick to condemn another’s wrong with self-righteous disregard for our own.
So this morning, the condition we see is blessed…the characteristic is merciful…and the consequence/promise is they shall NOW and FOREVER obtain mercy…from God.
Where is this mercy…this mercifulness...to be seen/lived out?

I. In the Home.

Mercy must begin at home. We sometimes forget that mercy is a powerful teacher. Her voice can speak loud and clear to a willing heart.
Note this though: Mercy, as a crutch to avoid the responsibility of truth and discipline, is a recipe for spoiling.
But one of the greatest teachers in the home…is mercy.
We can show mercy with how we respond to our spouse when we are frustrated/disappointed/upset. We can do the same with our kids.
We can show mercy in conversations about things, circumstances, and people in the world.
Maybe instead of saying “these people are fools”…we could say, “these people need Christ”…and then start by praying for for them…then do things to reach them. Systemic Change begins in the home…that’s where systemic problems come from. We should be teaching and SHOWING the next generation what mercy looks like.
Our home needs to be rich in mercy…full of compassion…full of loving-kindness…full of pity.
Ephesians 4:29–32 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

II. In the Church.

Gal. 6:1-10 NKJV

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.

Be Generous and Do Good

6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

We should be merciful here, with each other, and it should pour out of our lives...

III. In the Community.

If the people of God, can’t reciprocate the mercy of God that they received by giving it to others…how will others ever “get it?”
Again, we aren’t talking about excusing, or enabling, sin and offense…or violence, crime or injustice...but we are talking about mercy…which is always mingled with love, longsuffering, kindness AND justice, and truth.
Love doesn’t rejoice in evil…but in truth.
God’s justice is always intertwined with love.
Mercy is our attitude and action, in light of the mercy we have received.
Micah 6:8 NKJV
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
As much as we see injustice, as much as we see hatred, and sin manifest itself in our community…we the people of God…the church of Jesus Christ where…as Gal 3:26-29 NKJV says “ 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” AS THAT CHURCH…the city that is set on a hill…the light that is the light of the world…WE MUST LIVE IT OUT.
We must see ourselves as the BLESSED people of God…who are these things…like MERCIFUL…We are…we will be merciful…because He was merciful to us.
It’s hard to explain mercy to someone who hasn’t experienced it.
It’s hard to explain mercy to someone who refuses to entertain it.
But our call, as the people of God…is clear…WE MUST be merciful in the home, we MUST be merciful in the church…and we MUST be merciful in our community…in our jobs, show mercy…on our social platforms, show mercy…at the restaurant…at the school…doing business…show mercy.
Luke 6:27-36 ESV

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

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