"BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL"
I. "OH HOW HAPPY ARE THE MERCIFUL."
A. Again we need to see how these beatitudes follow a perfect order.
1. It all begins when we have a true encounter with God.
2. This brings us to a true evaluation of ourselves, for we now see ourselves in the light of God's righteousness.
a. Like Job, we abhor ourselves and repent in dust and ashes.
b. Like Peter we realize that we are sinful men.
c. Like Paul we cry, "O wretched man that I am."
d. These attitudes manifest what Jesus described as poor in spirit.
3. This consciousness of the awfulness of my sin brings me to a place of repentance and a mourning over my sin.
a. I weep over my sinfulness and failure.
b. I mourn over how I must have hurt the heart of God.
4. This brings me to a true and honest estimate of myself. Me-ek
5. Having seen God and the divine ideal, my heart hungers and thirsts after righteousness.
6. Having now been filled with His righteousness, having received His grace and mercy, I am now to be merciful.
B. I am not to be judgmental as I once was, seeking vengeance and demanding amends for the wrongs done to me.
1. I realize that I am nothing, worse than nothing, I was spiritually bankrupt. I owed everything and had nothing to pay, yet God was merciful to me.
2. Having obtained such mercy, I should want to show mercy.
C. I have come to realize that the greatest enemy I face outside of Satan is myself.
1. By the true encounter with God I am brought to the cross as my only hope for salvation.
2. I realize how totally unworthy I am, and cast myself upon His mercy.
3. With Paul, I become crucified with Christ, yet I live, but no longer I.
a. That is, I no longer live for I, for me, for myself.
b. The life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, and for the Son of God.
c. The problem is, I is hard to kill. Is seems to be worse than the cat with nine lives.
d. Just when I think that I am making real progress in the mortifying the deeds of the flesh, they seem to manifest themselves in some other area.
D. The Sermon on the Mount brings me face to face with this problem that I have with I.
1. Jesus will not only deal with the principles, but He will then give illustrations where the I is still in control.
2. Many do not like the illustrations and seek to modify and weaken them.
3. They find it easier to try to explain them away, than to accept them.
4. The problems that I have with this sermon stem from the fact that I am not willing to give up my rights.
a. You offended me.
b. You have wronged me.
c. You have upset me.
E. Why do I not want to show mercy?
1. Because what they have done to me deserves punishment.
2. They have hurt me, and I want to see them hurt.
II. TO SHOW MERCY IS VERY IMPORTANT.
With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
The people asked "Why have we fasted, and you did not see it? How is it when we afflicted our souls, You did not acknowledge it? God answered them, Behold, in the day that you fast you find pleasure, and demand all your labours.
Behold, you fast for strife and to win a point, and you smite with your fist of wickedness: you are not to fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen? Just because you afflict your soul, and bow down your head as a bulrush, and spread sackcloth and ashes under you, do you call this a fast? Shall I accept that?
Is not this the fast that I desire? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
[Is it] not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? and when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh and blood?
Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be as a protection to you.
Then you shall call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I [am]. If you remove the yoke from others, and quit pointing your finger, and speaking vanity;
If you pour out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall be as the noon day:
And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and prosper you: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
He hath shewed you, O man, what [is] good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
A. Jesus gave a parable that illustrates this very statement, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
B. Being merciful is more than just feeling sorry for someone's tragic plight.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
And Jesus answering said, A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded [him], and departed, leaving [him] half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked [on him], and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him],
And went to [him], and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave [them] to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
1. Jesus might have asked which one was merciful?
2. The Levite and priest may have felt sorry for this fellow but they did nothing to help him.
3. James speaks about emptiness of words or feelings that produce no actions.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?
4. John also exhorted,
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
IV. THE BIG ISSUE, AM I MERCIFUL? "BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY."
A. Is there someone who I am unwilling to show mercy toward?
1. Do I retain my hurt, because I feel I have been wronged?
2. Am I asserting my right to be angry and vengeful toward them?
3. Is what they have done to me so wicked and great that I cannot be merciful?
4. How merciful do you want God to be toward your great debt?
5. Is what that person done against you greater than what you have done against God?
6. Do you want God to show you full or partial mercy?
B. In the 7th chapter Jesus will declare, "Judge not lest you be judged for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with what measure you mete, it shall be used to measure you."
1. What He is saying is that you are creating the standards that will be applied to you.
a. The same rule that you use to measure others will be used to measure you.
2. If you are harsh and critical in your judgment, you will be judged harshly and critically.
3. It would seem that Jesus is also saying that we are setting the standards by which we shall be shown mercy.
4. For this reason, I seek to be extremely merciful, many have accused me of being merciful to a fault, but I am just taking out insurance for that day when I will stand before Him.