Blessed Are The Merciful.

Jesus in introducing the Sermon On The Mount, as it is called, gave us some one line teachings on the ‘spirit’ of life in the kingdom of God. These cover the kingdom heart and mind and attitude and conduct. One of these is....

Matthew 5:7. “Blessed are the Merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

The merciful know that there is not the power in them to be good or to do good. They need a savior. The merciful, and by that I mean us, understand mercy for we, know our own inadequacies, spiritual dependence, & weaknesses.

Mercy is a Godly trait. It's a quality of God, which He gives to us. From the beginning God has shown man mercy. He continued to fellowship with Adam and Eve after they sinned. He initiated conversation with them when they hid from Him.

He presented Cain with a sin-offering at his door to use if he was willing, as shown by some translations of the bible. (Sin and sin-offering are the same word in hebrew. Cain was treated the same as us!)

You see we have a loving, merciful God who came down to our level when we couldn't get up to His, so He could give us His attributes when we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour - Jesus.

So, knowing our need, we turn to God and throw ourselves on His mercy. And God is merciful, as Hebrews, Chapter 8, verse 12 says.

Hebrews 8:12 I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.

When we were still sinners we received grace and mercy from the King, and we are in turn now to show mercy to others.

Showing mercy includes both forgiveness of wrong and compassion and help for the unsaved, the suffering and the needy.

We are to show mercy to the world just as Jesus showed to us “As God sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us! He showed what normal Christian life should be like and we are to do likewise! It is not that we are merciful to God's standards in our own human nature.

( Of ourselves, none is good, no not one.).

Rather, because we have been shown mercy we now live dependent on the Lord, letting Him live through us, showing mercy to all and doing everything He did!

And because we understand mercy and show mercy to others, the word from God is that we shall obtain mercy. I would argue that this is in the context of human to human relationships because God has already shown us mercy through Jesus!

We know that when, at the coming of the King we are welcomed into the kingdom, it will not be because we did enough good deeds.

It will be because we understood how important mercy is to our own spiritual journey and we received His mercy and grace by faith.

Then, having entered into that state of God’s grace and obtained His mercy we were eager to share it with others. He who is forgiven much, loves much.

We learn to forgive others because we know we were forgiven and in His mercy God is not imputing our sins against us. We learn to show mercy to others because we were being shown mercy every day. As it says in Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Now, we know that we have been forgiven for ALL our sins, past, present and future. But OUR experience of God’s mercy is that when we commit a sin we become aware THEN of guilt and that we are forgiven through our repentance. To us it’s ongoing and day by day as we grow in grace and renew our minds, even though to God it was all forgiven at the cross of Jesus.

Repentance removes guilt from US as we thank God that ALL our sins are already forgiven and as Christians we should have no guilt in our hearts. As we are NOT condemned by God, we are therefore free to live righteous lives led by Holy Spirit. Again we cannot do it of ourselves!

We need to have a merciful and forgiving attitude because for instance our mental state affects our physical health.

The scriptures tell us in Proverbs 14:30 that having a heart full of hatred, jealousy, and envy for instance, will rot our bones. Living in peace and forgiveness is good for your health.

The section where we speak words of peace to members of the congregation during our formal church services has been put in for good reasons! Use the opportunity to draw on God’s heart to fill yours with love.

When you offer the peace in love, that walking in mercy will be medicine for your body!

If we do not learn our lesson regarding walking in forgiveness the easy way though, we may have to learn it the hard way!

If after being saved and having all our sins forgiven by God and having such great mercy shown to us, we do not see we should follow His example towards others, God will see to it that we learn the lesson. He wants children who have His mindset and love for others.

The gifts and calling of God are without repentance though, so I would tell anyone who asks, that God cannot take back His mercy and forgiveness. God does not give a gift with one hand and then because we make a mistake, repent and take it back! His gifts are without repentance on His part. He does not change His mind! He is not caught by surprise if we make a mistake!

On the other hand God will not have a reprobate who does not repent of his sinful state and renew his mind, enter His Kingdom in that state. So can God do?

Speaking of a gross sin being committed in the Corinthian church which was going on unchecked, Paul hands down the following edict.

1 Corinthians 5:5 ... you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day of the Lord.

We see from this example, which is not a parable, that God does not take away the man's salvation. Paul reassures the Corinthians that the man will be saved on the day of the Lord. But, God takes away His physical protection so that Satan will be able to attack the man and through physical trials he will learn his lesson.

Jesus wants us to live our lives as He did. Led always by Holy Spirit. If we do this we will always be merciful because we will have His mind in us. Paul tells us what that would be like in Philippians, Chapter 2, verse 3.

Phi 2:3 Do not act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with humility think of others as being better than yourselves.

With this truly humble attitude of esteeming others better than ourselves, we will not look down on others and so will be willing to be merciful and extend forgiveness to all.

It's all part of appreciating God’s mercy towards us and thus we are merciful ourselves and live to please Him. He who has been forgiven much, loves much!

It is important, then, to have a good understanding of the grace of God in our own lives. Of being IN Christ and Christ IN us and being guided by Him!

To do good is not naturally in us. The reality of our prior spiritual condition and God’s provision must never be forgotten.

As Isaiah 64:6 points out...

Isaiah 64:6... All OUR righteous acts are like filthy rags...

But that is referring to our state before we became Christians. Now we have hope because as God says to us in Hebrews 8: and verse 12...

Hebrews 8:12 I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.

We can do NOTHING without Jesus. We need God to be merciful to us in our unrighteousness and then to clothe us in His righteousness as we accept the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on our behalf. But fortunately we are never without Jesus. We have God, the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit living in us and we in Them, 24/7.

So I am glad, just as I'm sure you are, that the criteria I have to live up to is to put faith in Jesus.

And I'm very glad that having done that, just as with you, God shows mercy to us and Jesus comes to live in us and empowers us to be merciful to other people's unrighteousness as He as been merciful to our unrighteousness, and His grace also empowers us to say NO to all ungodliness! (Titus 2:12)

And because we have God, the Father, and Holy Spirit in us 24/7, wherever we walk is holy ground and wherever we are is holy time. So we can be bold in speaking about our great God who is always with us to guide us. Just listen to Holy Spirit. The more you listen the more you will get used to His voice.

In our ongoing life on earth we SHALL be shown mercy as we show mercy to others because, 'what we sow that also we shall reap'. When we sow Godly traits we will reap a Godly harvest.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy!


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