Friends
 
I want to tell you how much I love you.  Carolinas Cornerstone Church is a great place to be.  I have watched our church become a Mercy giving place.  Thank you for all you do.  Thank you for stepping up and helping people when they need help.  One of my favorite verses in all the Bible is 1 Corinthians 12:7 Message, “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:  Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.”
 
When I think about Mercy three people come to my mind.  The Good Samaritan, Mother Teresa, and the Apostle John.  
 
Why would someone risk their own safety, upend their schedule, deplete their bank balance, and become dirty and bloody to help a person of another race and social class?  And why would Jesus tell us, “Go and do likewise”?
 
The Good Samaritan did not ignore the battered man on the Jericho road.  Like him, we are aware of people in need around us—the widow next door, the family strapped with medical bills, the homeless man outside our church.  God calls us to help them, whether they need shelter, assistance, medical care, or just friendship.
 
Mother Teresa, at the age of twelve, felt strongly the call of God.  She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ.  At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.  After a few months training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun.  From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.  Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children.  Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.
 
On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after.  Now that is Mercy!
 
Do you have a real heart for people?  Do you feel tenderness toward others?  Are you concerned with finding ways of showing kindness?  You may have the gift of mercy. 
One of the people who best exemplifies the gift of mercy in the New Testament is the apostle John.  One of the foremost characteristics of the person gifted with mercy is love, and of all the apostles, John is the one who wrote the most about love -the love of God, the commandments of Jesus to love one another, and extensive admonitions to the early believers about love.  John valued love highly and often referred to himself as "the one whom Jesus loved."  To have been loved by Jesus was the highest reward and the most meaningful mark of identification that John felt he could claim for himself
 
Mercy is love in action.  Mercy is not just talk.  Mercy is not emotions.  It’s not just feelings. It’s certainly a whole lot more than pity.  Mercy is compassionate.  It’s showing compassion to other people.  Do you realize that everyone has the gift of Mercy?  It is yours!  God wants you to have plenty of it.  Jude 1:2 NIV says, Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.”
 
Why should we show mercy to people?  It is a way to show the love of Jesus Christ.  People need the Lord!  There is nothing else that can fill the BIG HOLE in our life but HIM!
 
Jesus was the very embodiment of God's love - He was God's "only begotten son," sent to this world as an expression of God's infinite love for mankind.  Jesus always acted in a merciful, loving way to people in need. He saw and responded to inner needs as much as to outer material or physical needs.  His desire and goal was that mankind be reconciled to God the Father and experience God's forgiveness and unconditional love.
 
John 3:17 NASV "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved"
 
If you ever doubt the mercy of God, just look at the cross.  The bond between God the Father and God the Son is closer than any human bond ever could be.  Think of your relationship with your spouse, parents, or children and multiply the strength of that bond exponentially.  That’s just an idea of the kind of love the Father has for the Son.  Yet despite that bond, the Father showed us mercy by sending His Son to die.
 
God loves you with a loyal love that’s full of mercy.  He’s not just some cosmic grumpy old man who sits up there in the sky waiting for you to mess up so He can judge you. No, He’s a loving father who earnestly desires for you to know and love Him.
 
But He also gives you and me the responsibility of telling others about Him.  And the best way to tell others about His mercy is to demonstrate it every day.  So, let the world see the love of Jesus Christ both in you and through you.  When you live like that around others, they will see a window to the character of God.
 
2 Corinthians 4:1 ESV says, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”  Please don’t give up, you are changing the world for Jesus!
 
Make Every Day Count!
 
Barry
 
Pray this prayer today:
“God, I want your blessing in my life, and I want to be a merciful person.  I think of shortcomings and weaknesses in my own life.  I pray that rather than just hearing the Word, I would do something about it.  Give me the courage to be merciful.  Give me the strength this day to step out in faith and do radical, premeditated acts of mercy that point others to you.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.”