SIXTH IN MY TEACHING SERIES ON THE BLESSED LIFE, BY TROY DOBBS
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”Matthew 5:7
For many of us, it’s just easier to be done with someone than it is to be merciful to them. There is something in all of us that would rather pay someone back than to give them a second chance — especially if that person has hurt or offended us or someone we love.
Who We Are, Not What We Do
The first four beatitudes we’ve already looked at focus primarily on our relationship with God, where the next four (beginning with this one) focus on our relationship with people. Beatitudes were not given to us as commands, but as realities for the Christian life. They aren’t something we do — rather they become who we are and how we live as Christ lives. It’s not about us working for God, but God doing His work through us.
Grace is defined as getting what you don’t deserve. Mercy is defined as not getting what you do deserve. Mercy gives people second chances. We all need second chances, and we should all extend second chances to others. Mercy is integral in God’s redemption of human life. Literally, from the time of the fall in Genesis 3, humanity has had no way back to God except through the gift of his grace and mercy. The word “mercy” is used in the Bible over 500 times.
We Dispense God’s Mercy, Not Our Own
Nothing proves that we have received God’s mercy more than our willingness and readiness to dispense God’s mercy to others. Many people think they are saved based on what they do, not on what Christ has done. Our being merciful doesn’t earn us salvation. It simply demonstrates it. We don’t demonstrate our own mercy — it becomes the overflow of our relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t manufacture mercy for others — we receive it from God and dispense it to others. if we’ve received God’s mercy, then we must extend it to others in any way we can. Mercy extended authenticates the reality of our conversion. Mercy changes people!
“Real faith is not something we say. Real faith is not something we feel. Real faith is mercy in action, or it is dead faith.”Author Troy Dobbs
James, in chapter 3 of his writings, make it very clear that judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. God judges our lack of mercy! Jesus distinguishes those who have true faith from those who do not by examining their acts of mercy – – namely their concern for the poor, homeless, sick, and imprisoned.
The world is dying for a second chance — and dying to know that God gives second chances. So we need to let everyone near and far that the heart of God is to save — not condemn. God is a God of second chances.
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