Have Mercy!

17 May

Prologue

Today’s blog is the eighth one in a series I have been doing on the Beatitudes. As a whole, they represent a part of a book I’ve written giving an answer to Peter’s challenging question about the last days when the world and the heavens will melt from a fervent heat. He asked the church what manner of people should we be. I encourage you to look back at previous posts to get deeper understanding.

Review

At this point in the series, I want to step back for a panoramic view of things before moving forward. The blueprint Jesus laid out for His Church started with brokenness for each of His followers. We flip the lens through which we view life around so we see our lives from God’s perspective and realize we have nothing to offer Him for His grace and mercy except our wrecked condition.

We learned to grieve over the mess we have made of things and would continue to make but for His grace and mercy. Realizing the entire world is in the same fix, we can approach others from a viewpoint of understanding instead of judgment. We remember how we were and how we felt before Jesus lifted us out of our own despair. The knowledge that His grace both delivered us and keeps us from surrendering to sin’s traps again gives us a message of hope for others. We know what they need so we grieve over the impact sin is having in their lives.

Both of those building blocks support us as we learn to trust Jesus more. In that trust we surrender more. We accept the Lord’s yoke so we can learn to walk as He walked—not in a haughty attitude because of what we know, but in meekness to serve.

Focus shift

Each of these building parts deal primarily with our inner man. They change our way of thinking of ourselves and then how we think of others. We learn to see others differently because we see ourselves differently. But the last verse we looked at serves as a fulcrum between inward and outward focus in our lives. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness turns our eyes to focus on one point. It cuts through all the distractions this world throws at us and the things that would trip us up to direct our attention to Jesus only. We must see Him clearly. He is our righteousness.

The last verses He teaches regarding His Church turn our focus outwardly through the prism of Jesus. Instead of dealing with our personal relationship with Jesus and perfecting our heart for Him, the last verses deal with our relationship with others. They complete His instruction for building the new temple not made with hands. He starts with mercy. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

Jesus’ final words to the disciples before He ascended into heaven framed their (and our) new relationship with the rest of the world, “You will be my witnesses.” In other words, we have a divinely appointed message to deliver in word and deed. We are to declare through the written and spoken word along with our actions that:

• God is love (1 John 4:8)
• The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-24)
• Mercy and truth stand before His throne. (Psalm 89:14)

Hidden treasure in mercy

The word translated from Greek as mercy has a more impactful meaning: active compassion. The gospel must be preached. No one will hear the message if it is not spoken. However, preaching and hearing the gospel falls short of being enough in our lives to complete the communication of the message. The gospel must be confirmed by what can be observed. When the Pharisees questioned Jesus’ authority in forgiving sins, He did not explain it to them. He said, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins…” He then spoke to the paralytic to take up his bed and walk. (Matthew 9:6)

Luke records several times in Acts that signs and wonders confirmed the message of the gospel. Paul said he did not preach with cunning words but with power from the Lord. While miracles are great attention getters, little speaks more of Jesus’ power than seeing a life changed. Our interaction with others reveals the change in us for others to see. Our way of thinking before we came to know the love of the Father through Jesus included pride and selfishness. The more of our old ways that remain in us, the more we tend to be judgmental of others. Even when we have turned away from obvious sin, we may still look down on others caught in the same lifestyle we used to practice. When they refuse our counsel, we want judgment for them. At the same time, we cry out for mercy for ourselves.

Kingdom life requires us to pull together the brokenness, the mourning, the meekness, and hot pursuit of Jesus. Add to that mix His blueprint detail to be actively compassionate toward others. Our receiving the mercy we want depends upon it. “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”

2 Responses to “Have Mercy!”

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  1. Special Recognition | Boosterclub Blog -

    […] around us, surrendering to the Holy Spirit, hotly pursuing the Lord and his righteousness, showing mercy, developing a pure heart—a heart that can be trusted and without hidden motives, and lastly […]

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  2. America in Bible Prophesy | Boosterclub Blog -

    […] ones; Christ’s demand for a church that mourns; Happiness in meekness; Happy Hot pursuit; Have Mercy!; Purify your heart for better vision; Special recognition; Jesus, our example—Part 1; Jesus, Our […]

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