In the mid 80s I was invited to preach in a Youth for Christ conference in Brazil. At that time, it was considered the best youth camp in the country. They would bring the best Christian bands for the events, and I was the main speaker. Of course, I would not preach regular sermons.
Every night I would come as a different character and not only preach the message but also demonstrate the message. One night I decided to come as a homeless guy. I did not tell anybody about my intentions but only the band leader.
I do not need to tell you the reaction from the rest of the band, the crowd, and principally the security team. It was a challenge for me to get to the stage. Finally, the chief of the security team recognized me, after I identified myself to him.
The question is, why do we feel so uncomfortable with poor people? Why do we always think the worst? Is it guilt? Is it fear?
Today we will see the 5th Beatitude: “Matt. 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
Happy are the merciful.
The first thing that we need to do is to define the word: “The word merciful includes feelings of pity, with a focus of showing compassion to those in serious need. It also includes kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them.”
In the last Beatitude I mentioned that the righteousness should be toward our neighbor.
Neighbor is the closest person to me – This is the best definition for neighbor in the NT in my opinion.
The next step in that direction is to be merciful. To love a neighbor who is miserable, afflicted, and is in serious need.
Mercy is meeting people’s needs. It is not simply feeling compassion but showing compassion, not only sympathizing but also giving a helping hand. Mercy is giving food to the hungry, comfort to the bereaved, love to the rejected, forgiveness to the offender, companionship to the lonely.
Let us take a look at Mercy’s Cycle:
1 – THE MERCIFUL RECEIVE MERCY FROM GOD
The Bible is very clear that God is the originator of all mercy. There is no mercy that does not come from God.
This is what the Bible says:
- Mercy Originates in God – Mercy is part of the character of God. Because of that every mercy comes from Him “2Tim. 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- We Were Saved by His Mercy – The Bible says that we are saved by His mercy. Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “Eph. 2:4-5 But 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.” He also wrote to Titus and said this about our salvation: “Titus 3:5 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,
As you can see my friend, mercy comes from God. He is merciful and because of that He shares His mercy with all of us.
Have a blessed week,