SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

Matthew 5:7

THE CYCLE OF MERCY

#6 - SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

 

Matthew 5:7 - Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 

A merciful person feels compassion for those who are hurting.

A merciful person acts in compassion towards those who are hurting.

 

Haddon Robinson - "Mercy is a response to misery; mercy understands the hurt, feels the hurt, and moves out to cure the hurt." Robinson, Haddon, The Christian Salt and Light Company, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Discovery House Publishers) 1988 by the author, p. 65-66

 

Showing mercy is not easy, especially when someone is not deserving of the mercy they need.

Showing mercy is not easy, when the people who need mercy are not pretty or likeable.

Showing mercy is not easy, when the person who needs mercy has hurt or offended you.

 

There is what I would call a cycle of mercy.

This cycle of mercy begins with,

 

THE ACCEPTANCE OF MERCY

 

You will not be able to show mercy until you experience mercy.

You must experience mercy in order to be right with God.

 

The first of the "Beatitudes" or "Blessed Attitudes" that we studied was Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

A person who is poor in spirit has come to the end of himself, realizing that he has nothing good to offer to God. He is actually throwing himself upon the mercy of God.

 

A person who is poor in spirit recognizes that he is a sinner in need of forgiveness. Isaiah 64:6

 

A person who is poor in spirit realizes that he or she as a miserable lost sinner is in need of mercy.

 

And mercy is exactly what God has shown on mankind.

 

Psalm 85:10 - Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

 

This verse was fulfilled on the cross of Calvary where Jesus died for your sins.

The truth is that someone has to pay for your sins in order to satisfy God's perfect sense of righteousness. Someone had to pay!

Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, suffered and died on the cross in your place. That's God's mercy at work. He took your punishment.

 

Righteousness and peace "kissed each other" as God's righteousness was satisfied by the payment of His Son and peace with God was secured for all those who want it.

 

God has already shown you mercy.

He requires only one thing.

You need to accept that mercy by faith. Romans 5:1

 

If you have accepted God's mercy, you now know what mercy is, because you've experienced it.

And if you have accepted Christ as Savior, you still need God's mercy.

When we sin as Christians our fellowship with God is lost. Isaiah 59:2

 

When we come to God, confessing our sins, He forgives and restores the fellowship that we have lost. 1 John 1:9

 

Every time we accept God's forgiveness for our sins, we are shown mercy afresh.

THE ATTITUDE OF MERCY

 

A bad attitude is what keeps us from showing mercy.

There are some mindsets that will hinder us from being merciful.

 

  Pride will keep us from being merciful.

 

  A critical spirit will keep us from being merciful.

 

  Selfishness will keep us from being merciful.

 

  Unforgiveness will keep us from being merciful.

 

Ephesians 4:32 - And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

Because God has forgiven me, I need, with God's help, to forgive others.

 

A merciful attitude is an attitude of compassion, because we have experienced God's compassion.

 

It is compassion for the person who does not have enough to eat.

It is compassion for the person who is suffering illness.

It is compassion for the person down on his luck.

It is compassion for the person who is hurting.

It is compassion for the person who is going to hell, because he or she has not trusted Jesus as Savior.

It is compassion for the person who has hurt you. Matthew 5:44

 

If God didn't have a heart of compassion, of mercy, towards you, where would you be?

Ask Him for a heart of compassion, of mercy.

 

THE ACTION OF MERCY

 

An attitude of mercy is not enough.

Attitude must be translated into action! James 2:15-16, 1 John 3:16-18

 

When we start to feel an attitude of mercy, or compassion towards someone or towards a situation, the first thing we should do is pray. As you pray, ask God what to do.

 

  Do you feel compassion towards an unsaved friend? Ask God

for the person's salvation, and ask God what you should do

about it.

  Do you have compassion on someone hurting because of the loss of a loved one, a marital problem, or some other sort of problem? Ask God what to do about it.

  Do you have compassion on someone who has physical needs? Ask God what to do about it.

  Do you have compassion on a situation in another country? Again ask God what you can do, if anything. If you can't help, you can still pray.

  Are you now feeling compassion for someone who has chosen to be your enemy? Ask God what to do about it.

 

James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 

After you have asked God for guidance, take action.

Do what you can to show mercy, to relieve the suffering of someone else.

When we show mercy, who are we showing mercy to? See Matthew 25:31-40

 

THE ACCELERATION OF MERCY

 

Matthew 5:7 - Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 

Does this mean that people will be merciful to you, because you are merciful to them? Not necessarily.

Jesus was the most merciful man who ever lived.

They hung Him on a cross.

 

However, it is not man's mercy that I am in constant need of.

It is GOD'S MERCY that I need!

 

And the more mercy I am willing to show, the more mercy God is willing to give to me.