Blessed are the Merciful
What you believe always affects your conduct. The gospel is all about “being” rather than “doing.” Doing is to be a reflection of who we are and not a means to becoming something new. How do we live out and experience the incredible truths Jesus is laying before us? We can’t, in and of ourselves, but He can through us.
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.”
How does it become a reality in our experience? How do we show mercy?
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Do you see it? All that I was in Adam had passed away and now I am in Christ. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” He is in control, not I, so I must not think of myself as a natural man who is controlling his attitude and trying to be Christian in various ways. No, His Spirit controls me at the very center of my life, controls the very essence of my being. The Beatitudes are the expression of His indwelling life. It is not what is on the surface like a façade but it comes from the new nature we have in Christ flowing through us. The whole of our life is an expression and a proclamation of what we really are.
Blessed are the merciful
The merciful are the ones who are blessed, who have encountered God and received mercy. Are we merciful? Have we experienced our need for mercy? It is only when we have experienced them in Christ that we are ready to show them to others.
The merciful are those who don’t give people what they deserve. We can only live this way when our lives are yielded to Him. The merciful are not concerned with what people deserve. The merciful don’t want to experience what they deserve or others to experience the punishment they deserve.
Mercy is defined by the cross of Jesus. Mercy is love reaching out to help those who are helpless and who need salvation. Mercy identifies with the miserable in their misery. The perfect and central example of mercy and being merciful is the sending by God of His only begotten Son into this world. There is no contradiction between justice and mercy or mercy and truth. Romans 12:1 tells us that mercy is the basis of God’s beseeching us to yield ourselves to Him. The only way to be rich in mercy is to have exhaustively partaken of the mercies of God. The key to being merciful is to understand your own great need for mercy. You will never be blessed as merciful until you realize your own great need for great mercy.
Those who have received abundant mercy should be the most merciful. We should realize we have and continue to need the mercies of God in great abundance. It is hypocritical for us not to be the most merciful of all people who have been forgiven a great debt of God. We are the ones who had a bill we could never pay. How can we hold someone to account for such a comparatively small debt?
Mercy looks to relieve suffering. Grace is especially associated with men in their sins. Mercy is especially associated with men in their misery. Mercy looks upon the miserable consequences of sin. Mercy looks especially upon the desire to relieve the suffering.
Religious people struggle with showing mercy. It was the religious who are self-righteous who didn’t and still can’t grasp mercy because they don’t realize their own great need for mercy. Showing mercy to the poor and needy is a touchstone and hallmark of a true conversion to Christ.
The greater we see our own sin forgiven by a merciful God the greater our capacity to be merciful. Mercy relieves the consequences of sin in the lives of others (both sinners and those sinned against). The Samaritan took responsibility for the injured man. He ministered to his broken and bruised body and did everything he could to provide for restoration and healing. The merciful don’t seek retribution but healing. He did not deal with the cause of the man’s need by chasing the robbers (it was not retribution he sought). The Samaritan sought to work in the context of the immediate need set before him and to bring relief. Mercy is getting down on your hands and knees and doing what you can to restore dignity to someone whose life has been broken by sin.
For they shall obtain mercy.
We can only show mercy when we have received mercy but it also gives us confidence that we will continue to receive it. If we do not show mercy to others, we show we either understand little of that mercy by which we have been saved or else have never actually received it. F.W. Boreham said, “The merciful, made merciful by mercy, find mercy in its fullness awaiting them at last.”
The way to more mercy is giving more mercy. The more mercy we give the more we receive. We are always at the point of danger when we get so filled with self that we don’t realize every moment of every day our need for mercy. The way to more is to give it freely and generously.
Do you realize your need for mercy? When we realize that face to face with God and His righteousness we are utterly helpless, we can do nothing. We are at the perfect place to cry out for mercy. When we cry out “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?” That is the point where we will find mercy.
Are you merciful? Have you released yourself from being judge over men? Will you come to the place where you don’t want anyone to get what they deserve because you simply don’t want what you deserve? If I am not merciful there is only one explanation – I have never understood the grace and the mercy of God.
They shall receive mercy. The blessing is receiving mercy. Being merciful is the natural result of receiving Christ and experiencing the grace of God. The more we understand ourselves the more we recognize we will always be in every great need of mercy from God and people so let us be merciful.
I hope you’ll be looking for opportunities to share the message of love and life in Christ to a hurting world this week. Make it a point to attend our Good Friday service on Friday at 6:30PM and one of the three Easter services 6:30AM, 8:30AM and 10:40AM. Bring a friend with you. A light breakfast will be served between services.
You are loved!