To begin 2020 we are starting off on Sundays with “The Way to Happiness”.
Everyone wants to be happy, and the New Testament is the greatest authority on happiness.
Jesus gives is the key that will unlock the door to happiness.
This key is found in the eight Beatitudes.
We have already covered,
Humility, The Way to Happiness.
Sorrow, The Way to Happiness.
Meekness, The Way to Happiness.
Hunger and Thirst, The Way to Happiness.
Today is part 5 Mercy, The Way to Happiness.
Matthew 5:7 (ESV)
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
Father, all of our needs lead us to you.
From your mercy alone we can draw strength.
Grant us the ability to be as merciful towards others as you have been to us.
Receive all we have as an expression of our love and devotion.
In the name of your Son Jesus we pray.
Living without mercy is the prelude to dying without mercy.
On the other hand, living with mercy results in being treated with mercy.
As Jesus said it, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
This beatitude raises three very practical questions.
What is mercy?
How can I become merciful?
And what can I expect as a result?
Finding the answers to these questions is the way to happiness.
- What is Mercy?
The word mercy appears more than 180 times in the Old Testament, the King James Version translates it 96 times as mercy, 38 times as kindness, and 30 times as lovingkindness.
- Mercy is not emotionalism.
To be merciful is far more than to shed tears.
But of course sometimes those who are merciful weep.
Jesus dis not restrain His tears as Martha and Mary grieved over their brother’s death.
Another time He looked at a city and wept over it.
There is something startling about this strong man’s weeping.
“Jesus wept.” But He did far more than weep, He gave himself for those He wept for.
It is easy for some people to shed tears that are meaningless and unproductive, we have all seen it when a child or sometimes an adult puts on the tears.
Theirs is emotion without emotion, and this is not mercy.
B. Mercy is not humanitarianism.
1 Corinthians 13:3 (ESV)
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Mercy goes way beyond handing out used clothes to fire or flood victims, or food to the elderly.
It is possible to give your body to be burned and not have love.
Acts of mercy that are void of an attitude of mercy are invalid.
Thew mercy that Christ spoke about is far more than the mechanics of doing good.
C. Mercy is an attitude.
It isn’t something that can be turned on and off at will.
Mercy is more than an end of year offering to the church or donation to a charity for tax purposes.
Mercy, as demonstrated by Christ, involves the way a person truely feels.
It is an underlying attitude to life.
Mercy is to see others as Christ sees them and feel towards others as He feels towards them.
In short, mercy is to have the attitude of Christ towards everyone.
D. Mercy is action.
If we have an attitude of mercy, we will perform deeds of mercy.
When mercy is translated into action, we are kind and gracious in our judgement of others.
We look for the best in others.
We ask ourselves, “what circumstances have led this person to do wrong?” Instead of “How can I expose and punish this person for what they have done?”
Redemption, not condemnation, will be our concern.
Mercy that is action ministers to others.
Those who are merciful dare to help lighten others loads.
Mercy that is action forgives others.
And maybe there is no greater expression of love than forgiveness.
When you have every right to be resentful but choose to forgive, you experience happiness that only mercy can bring.
2. How can I become merciful?
“Blessed are the merciful” that is good right, but how can I become merciful?
I find it so easy to criticise .
How can I change? These are questions you may now be asking yourself.
- Remember your own need for mercy.
We often make mistakes that require God’s mercy, so we should be merciful to others.
In Galations 6:1 Paul reminds us to watch our own actions when we become aware of another who is “caught in a sin”
B. We must become more acquainted with anyone we are inclined to judge.
Chances are you don’t know that person very well.
The word prejudice means pre judging, or making an estimate of others without knowing the facts.
We frequently do this without knowing the person at all!
It is easy to be unrelenting in our judgement of those we don’t know, so we need to become better acquainted with others background’s, the problems they face, and the reasons for the scars they bear.
C. Allow Christ to show His mercy through you.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the affirmation in Colossians 1:27.
And Christ in you is your only hope of becoming a loving, merciful person.
As you surrender your bitterness and resentment to Christ and allow Him to live and work freely through you, mercy becomes a normal attitude of life.
3. What can I expect as a result?
“For they shall obtain mercy” is the promise attached to this beatitude in Matthew 5:7.
The mercy that comes to those who are merciful includes.
- Peace within yourself.
You are well on your way to a happy life when you allow the Holy Spirit to Cleanse you of stubbornness and un forgiveness.
B. Mercy from others.
In many ways life is like a mirror.
Life reflects what you put into it.
If we are unkind, life becomes unkind.
If we judge others, we will be judged by others.
On the other hand, love produces love and mercy produces mercy.
C. Mercy from God.
To the extent that we forgive others, we are forgiven by God, that’s Matthew 6:14-15.
Therefore the “merciful shall obtain mercy.”
The world desperately needs to see worship in action.
Why not be merciful this week?
You will be blessed and happy, and many other people will be happy as well.
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org
When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.
So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us
2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY
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