Friends

Has someone ever shown mercy to you?  You may be thinking about a good deed someone has done for you, but that's not what I am talking about.  Mercy means “Undeserved forgiveness and unearned kindness”.  I want to invite you to a 7-week message series on Mercy.

I have discovered that most people don’t understand how merciful God really is.  It explains to me why they are afraid of God.  That’s why they avoid God.  That’s why God is distant to them.  They don’t understand the mercy God constantly offers us.

When you understand the mercy of God your anxiety will decrease and your peace of mind will increase. Your stress will go down and your stability will go up.  Your frustration in life will be diminished and your satisfaction in life will be increased.

You must understand that mercy is really – “undeserved forgiveness and unearned kindness.”  And that’s the way God treats you!  Undeserved forgiveness, when somebody forgives you and you don’t deserve it, that’s mercy.  And when somebody shows you a kindness that you have not earned, that’s called mercy.  The Bible says that God wants to show you mercy, and when we show that to others, we are modeling God.

You are going to need mercy every single second of your life.  The air you breathe is from the mercy of God.  The water you drink is from the mercy of God. Everything you have to live life, is because God is a merciful God.  In fact, you would not be alive now, or even have been born at all, if it wasn’t for the mercy of God.  Everything in your life is a gift of the mercy of God.

Mercy is like a diamond; it is multi-faceted.  Think about Mercy this way because I guarantee if you will learn how to be an agent of mercy, it will transform your relationships:

•Mercy means being patient with people’s quirks.

How do you get more patience for your kids, spouse, or friends?  The Bible says in James 3:17 NLT “The wisdom from above is first pure.  It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy.”   The wiser you become, the more patient and merciful you become.

•Mercy means helping anyone around you who is hurting.

You cannot love your neighbor as yourself without being merciful.  Proverbs 3:27 TEV says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.”  But God is not simply watching what you do.  He is watching your attitude: Romans 12:8 NIV, “[When you] show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

•Mercy means giving people a second chance.

When somebody hurts us, we normally want to get even or write that person off.  But Ephesians 4:31-32 CEV says, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.”

•Mercy means doing good to those who hurt you.

Mercy is giving people what they need, not what they deserve.  Why should we do it? Because that is what God does with you in Luke 6 :35-36 NIV “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because [God] is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

•Mercy means being kind to those who offend you.

You’ve got to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning the argument. Jude 1:22-23 GWT says, Show mercy to those who have doubts.  Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell.  Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives.”

•Mercy means building bridges of love to the unpopular.

This is what I call premeditated mercy, because you intentionally build friendships with people who don’t have friends or who are not accepted at work or in society.  When the Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate with tax collectors and other unpopular people, “Jesus said, ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.  For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners’” (Matthew 9:13 NLT).

•Mercy means valuing relationships over rules.

Romans 13:10 NIV says, “Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.”  If you want to show mercy, put people before policies.  Put their needs before procedures.  Put relationships before regulations.  Choose love over law!

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 could ever 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 only Son to die.

God loves you with a loyal love that’s full of mercy.  He is 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 is 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.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Please Come Sunday and learn how why you need Mercy