Happy are the Merciful (2)

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Happy are the Merciful
Text: Matthew 5:1–11 (KJV 1900)
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
* We have come now to the 5th beatitude that Jesus preached to the people in the Sermon on the Mount.
* Look with me now at verse 7- Here is where we will take our text this morning:
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
* The Roman world in which Jesus, and those who were gathered to hear Jesus preach, did not understand the value of mercy.
* These folks who came to hear Jesus preach expected Jesus to preach of justice and the Law, and an eye for and eye!
* But Jesus preached something that ran completely counter to the thought of the society that they lived in.
* As we have already seen, the first 4 beatitudes that Jesus taught were not what the people were expecting Jesus to say!
* The teaching of Jesus was extreme! It was radical!
* Jesus opened his mouth and cried:
7 Blessed (or happy) are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
* A Roman philosopher said mercy was “the disease of the soul,” a sign of weakness!
* The Roman world glorified justice and courage and discipline and power; they looked down on mercy!
* When a child was born into the Roman world, the father had the right of patria potestas.
* If he wanted the newborn to live, he held his thumb up. If he wanted the child to die, he held it down and the child was immediately drowned.
* If a Roman citizen didn’t want his slave anymore, he could kill and bury him, and there would be no legal recourse against the citizen.
* A roman citizen could also legally kill his wife if he chose to do so!
* The Jews of that day also hardly knew the value of mercy.
* They were as merciless as the Romans were!
* They were proud, egotistical, self–righteous, and condemning!
* Things are not that different in our day either.
* In our selfish, grabbing, competitive society, society says, “Be merciful to someone and he’ll step on your neck!”
* Jesus was different than any teacher these people had ever heard!
* He was the most merciful human being who ever lived!
* Jesus reached out to the sick and healed them.
* Jesus reached out to the crippled and gave them legs to walk.
* Jesus healed the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, and the mouths of the dumb.
* Jesus found prostitutes and tax collectors and those that were debauched and drunken, and He drew them into the circle of His love and redeemed them and set them on their feet.
* Jesus took the lonely and made them feel loved.
* Jesus took the little children and gathered them into His arms and loved them.
* There was never a person on the face of the earth with as much mercy as this strange teacher form Galilee!
* In John 8 Jesus forgave a woman taken in the very act of adultery!
* When the scribes and Pharisees saw Jesus sit down to eat with the tax collectors and the sinners in Mark 2:16, they asked His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”
* This radical preacher ran around with the riffraff of society having mercy on them!
* Jesus was the most merciful human being who ever lived, and the Jews screamed for His blood!
* They nailed Him to a cross and spit in His face and cursed Him!
* From the very people to whom Jesus gave mercy, Jesus received no mercy at all, Roman or Jew.
* Jesus knew their hearts and knew that their greatest need, like us today, is mercy.
* This 5 beatitude,
7 Blessed (or happy) are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Like all the other beatitudes, ran counter to the culture in which Jesus and his hearers lived, but mercy was what they desperately needed!
I. In being merciful, you not only help others, you help yourself.
* Solomon wrote in Proverbs 11:17:
“The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm”
* Do you want to be really miserable? Be merciless.
* Do you want to be happy? Be merciful.
II. The attitude of mercifulness is the continuation of the work of Regeneration in the Believer.
* In the Bible we read these wonderful words:
John 3:16 (KJV 1900)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
* God has poured out his love upon the world and it has resulted in the forgiveness of sins for all that have believed upon the name of Jesus.
* Oh the love of God- Song
The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure— The saints’ and angels’ song.
When hoary time shall pass away, And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
When men who here refuse to pray, On rocks and hills and mountains call;
God’s love, so sure, shall still endure, All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race— The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.
* The love of God is a “many faceted” thing.
* The love of God is the fountainhead from which springs two great rivers- Mercy, and Grace.
* Mercy and grace flow together into one great river called Forgiveness.
* Mercy, grace, and forgiveness flow out of the spring of God's great love for us.
*Mercy is generated by compassion for another's need. Grace on the other hand is generated by an offence or debt of another.
* Jesus illustrated all of these facets of the love of God in The story of the good Samaritan.
* Mercy in the story of the Good Samaritan, relieves the suffering, and binds up the wounds, of the poor undeserving Samaritan.
* Grace, on the other hand, pays a debt to the inn keeper that the poor Samaritan cannot afford to pay. Grace rents the poor Samaritan a room.
* God looked down from Heaven and saw the violence, the pain, the suffering, and the misery caused by sin and had compassion on our need and sent his son Jesus with healing to bind up our wounds relieve our suffering!
* The Greek word for “mercy” literally means “full of pity.” God looked down from the Heavens on the plight of mankind and was full of pitty upon our condition!
* The prophet Malachi 4:2 (KJV 1900)
Speaking of the coming of Jesus said “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…
Isaiah 53:3–5 (KJV 1900)
3 He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: And we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed.
* That is mercy.
* Mercy takes away the pain; but grace gives a better condition.
* God went a step further after that he had mercy on our suffering, and He sent Jesus to prepare a place for us to stay.
* That is Grace!
Jesus said in John 14:2:
John 14:2–3 (KJV 1900)
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
* Mercy helps when another cannot help himself and grace gives when it is not deserved.
* Mercy says, “You don't have to go to hell.” Grace says, “You get to go to Heaven.”
* Mercy says, “I pity you.” Grace says, “I pardon you.”
* Mercy is compassion, and Grace is giving.
* Mercy and grace are blended together by the Holy Spirit to produce forgiveness.
* So mercy and grace are two sides of the same marvelous coin we call forgiveness.
* This morning we want to concentrate our thoughts on just one of these wonderful components that make up the love that flows from the very personality of God- Mercy.
* The attitude of mercifulness is the continuation of the work of Regeneration in the Believer.
* Because of His great mercy on us, we have mercy on others.
III. Being merciful is helping those who cannot help themselves.
Proverbs 19:16–17 (KJV 1900)
17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; And that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Luke 14:12–14 (KJV 1900)
12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed;
for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
IV. Being merciful is helping those who do not deserve to be helped.
*Abraham was merciful to his nephew Lot after he had been wronged by Lot. Mercy caused Abraham to him to go and rescue lot.
* Joseph had mercy on his brothers after the treated him so badly. Joseph in mercy forgave his brothers and met their needs in spite of what they had done to him.
* Moses begged God to have mercy on his sister Miriam when she had rebelled against him and the Lord had given her leprosy. Moses cried out to God on her behalf and asked God to help her!
* David twice had mercy on Saul and spared his life, even though that Saul had attempted to kill him when Saul threw a javelin at him in the palace, and was even then seeking David to kill him. (See 1 Samuel 24 and 26.)
V. God will be merciful on those who show mercy.
* God will be merciful to those who show mercy. We find an example of this in the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25:34:
Matthew 25:34–40 (KJV 1900)
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
* God will not be merciful to those who do not show mercy.
* An unforgiving spirit is the same as being unmerciful.
* A person with an unforgiving spirit will never know true happiness.
Matthew 18:21–35 (KJV 1900)
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 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. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 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. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 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:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.
I. In being merciful, you not only help others, you help yourself.
* Are you unhappy this morning? Are you bitter and cranky? Could it be that you are unhappy because you are unmerciful and unforgiving toward others?
* I challenge you this morning to do yourself a favor and learn the joy of showing mercy to others.
II. The attitude of mercifulness is the continuation of the work of Regeneration in the Believer.
* Do you preach the mercy of God with your life? Can people see the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in your heart?
* Is it evident to others that you are growing in Grace this morning?
* I challenge you to allow the Holy Spirit to change you, and cause you to grow to a new level of service!
I challenge you this morning to ask God to step things up a notch and give you a re-newed compassion for the needs of others!
III. Being merciful is helping those who cannot help themselves.
* Are you cold and indifferent toward those who are in need and cannot help themselves?
* This kind of selfishness will lead to unhappiness in the life of a believer.
* As you pastor I challenge you to ask God for compassion for those who cannot help themselves.
III. Being merciful is helping those who do not deserve to be helped.
* I challenge you this week to ask God to send someone into your life this week who doesn’t deserve help, and help them.
V. God will be merciful on those who show mercy.
* As with all the other beatitudes, this one has attached to it a promise:
* If you will show mercy to others, God will bless you with mercy when you call on Him for help need help.
* Remember the words of the Lord ’s Prayer:
Matthew 6:14–15 (KJV 1900)
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
* Remember, in our text Jesus taught that true happiness is found in having mercy on others.
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