By: Tim Sader
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Five years ago on Easter the whole service was truly a blessing and refreshing experience of rejoicing in our risen savior. During praise and worship I was truly touched with the confirmation that in spite of my absence from fellowship I am still an active member of the body of Christ. During this time of worship were the topics of most of the studies I have done this past month and the manifestation of several fruit of the spirit during the service. I just wanted to share this as proof from the Lord that these topics I share are touching my life as I pray they are touching the lives of those who read this each and every week. Last week we learned in 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” We really reached out and looked into many aspects of grace and how it is given freely by God to all people so we can be made right with God. Ephesians 2:4,5 says, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Since here it says we are made alive by grace through Christ, because of God’s love and rich mercy for us. What better spiritual truths to surround the Easter celebration with then, what saved us and a reason why he chose to do so. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” He saved us because of His mercy not because we are righteous on our own. We are made that way because Christ died and was raised from the dead.
Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” God’s mercy is given to preserve the remnant of His inheritance who by faith believe Christ died for their sins. When we become His chosen ones he delights to show us mercy and by grace He will not remain angry when the blood of Jesus washes us. Psalm 119:132 says, “Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.” This scripture tells us God always has mercy on those who love Him. Love the one thing that Christ commanded us to do and the one thing that destroys the law of sin and death in our lives. Love Him and receive mercy, that simple. In times of old the Lord showed His mercy over and over to Israel, who were often being disobedient and separating them further from the Lord. Nehemiah 9:31 says, “But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” He never fully destroyed His people; they were killed, tortured and enslaved due to their disobedience but the Lord was faithful to rescue them as they turned back to Him. Luke 1:50 says, “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” Sometimes He showed mercy only because of promises He made to the patriarchs of the past. When we fear the Lord and have a reverence for Him we are gaining His mercy for ourselves but maybe for those who come after us as well.
Romans 11:29-32 says, “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” This says at one time we who are now following Christ have turned from our disobedience. He continually offers His mercy onto all who are disobedient because He is just to all mankind and his mercy is for every one of us. He lets us all be disobedient so we can all be given the same mercy in Christ Jesus. In Deuteronomy 13:17,18 the Lord tells the children of Israel, “None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.” The Lord commanded the children of Israel to avoid the corrupted things in the land they were to enter. By being obedient to this the Lord was to turn from his anger and show them mercy. Keeping these commands meant keeping the promises God had given to the forefathers of the faith. He would increase their number and have compassion in their struggles.
In Psalm 79:8 the psalmist asks the Lord, “Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.” Here we see there is a desperation and a need for the Lord to show mercy in this situation. They ask for mercy on their behalf not based on the sins of thier fathers. 2 Samuel 24:14, David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” Here we see David in deep distress because of his enemies, he prays to fall into the hands of the Lord who shows mercy when men won’t. He knows if his enemies capture him it is over for him so he calls on the Lords great mercy. Psalm 57:1 says, “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Again we hear a cry for mercy in a disaster, the psalmist needs help so he cries out to the Lord seeking refuge in the Lord. Psalm 40:11,12 asks, “Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.” We often times have problems surrounding us because our sins have taken control making us feel like a failure. This is time to call on the Lords mercy so His love and truth may protect us and set us free. Psalm 28:2,6 says, “Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.” Most importantly when we cry out for mercy the Lord hears us and acts according to His love and truth on our behalf. Also when we lift our hand in praises to Him even in trouble acknowledging Him; He honors it by granting mercy and being the help we need. Psalm 116:1 says, “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.” The Lord hears their prayers and grants mercy to them just because they reached out in faith and asked for it.
Many people since the beginning of time have been seeking healing in their bodies when something just isn’t right. In Psalm 41:4 the writer writes, I said, “O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” Here it seems the writer is seeing his sin as a sickness and asks the Lord for mercy to heal him from his bondage of sin. In Matthew 20 the blind men shout, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” In verse 31 it says, The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus of course because of their faith and willingness to seek mercy received their sight when Christ had compassion on them. Philippians 2:27 says, “Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.” Here Paul was about to lose someone he cared for and the person almost died but because of the Lords mercy to His faithful servant the man was cured. This would spare the sorrow Paul would feel from the loss. Hosea 6:6 says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” When we do the things of the spirit and follow God the religious rituals we do to look righteous don’t so much matter to the Lord because He judges the heart of man not only not only if we go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and pay our tithes. Doing this is important but without making an inward decision to follow God, following tradition won’t save us. Matthew 9:13 says, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” He wants us to cry out to him in our disobedience and be saved because He shows us mercy not because we claim to be righteous. Matthew 12:7 says, “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” The Lord is merciful to us when we are sinners so when we become righteous we should not want to put others down but show them mercy as our heavenly Father has shown mercy to us.
Today’s scripture says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” The Lord wants us to be merciful to others so we can be shown mercy. In Luke 10 is the story of the Good Samaritan and in verses 36,37 it says, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” In this parable the Lord is telling us to show mercy to others, everyone is our neighbor and we should show them mercy. James 2:13 tells us to show mercy, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” If we show mercy to others we will triumph over judgment and be blessed by gifts from God. Romans 12:6 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Then in verse 9 it says, “If it is showing mercy (the gift), let him do it cheerfully.” Mercy is a gift we are to fully give and receive back from the Lord. Galatians 6:15,16 says, “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.” The old laws of circumcision are no longer what sets us apart as children of God, but instead it is by believing Christ died for our sins and rose again so we can be made a new creature. If we chose to believe this and are born again we are promised peace and mercy and are His chosen ones. Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” When we try to hide our sins we will not prosper and since we cannot hide them from God we should confess them to him so we can find His mercy every day. Mercy is one reason God sent His Son to die for our sins and since He first showed us mercy by redeeming us from sin we need to be merciful to others we come in contact with. If we do so we will receive a blessing of mercy and not condemnation so do so and walk in his blessing of mercy. This is my wish for you today!