Blessed are the Merciful
"... for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7
The fifth promise in this series introduces a new step in the progression of the beatitudes. Having examined our need and looked at the solution, we can now look forward to the result: His merciful, loving life in us. This is His gift to us -- the fruit of our faith in His death and resurrection on our behalf. May the Holy Spirit search our hearts and see if anything is hindering the merciful life of Jesus Christ from freely flowing in and through us to others.
While the action of showing mercy is the visible evidence of our union with Him, our focus must be Him, not how we appear to others. Anyone can show mercy when conditions and feelings are right; but only the “poor in spirit” -- who share His death and resurrection life and look to Jesus as the source of everything good -- can bring His infinite mercy and life to others.
As we seek to bring His mercy into a hurting world, we need to remember that true mercy never contradicts God’s truth and justice. The most merciful act of a surgeon facing a patient with a malignant tumor is usually to tell the truth and operate, not to give false comfort by denying the problem. Yet, it's often far easier to give temporary comfort than to speak His truth in love. The latter may sting at first, but it's the only way to permanent healing.
My Lord, only by your merciful life in me can I bring your loving compassion to those who the hurting and broken . Only by your vision can I see every person as your precious creation. Fill me with yourself, precious King, that I may bring your gentle mercy to others. Thank you.
FIRST DAY: Read Matthew 5:7.
1. Define mercy.
2. How would you describe someone who is merciful? (Begin you answer now, but be ready to add to it as you study the rest of this lesson. Hebrews 4:15 may add insight.)
3. What does God promise the merciful?
Does this promise encourage you? Why, or why not? (You may want to speak your response to Him in the form of a prayer.)
SECOND DAY: There are many facets to God’s mercy, and Jesus is our model for each. As He was merciful, we also are called to be merciful.
1. From the following passages, identify the specific aspect of mercy shown in each of Jesus' encounters. Then show how He might demonstrate His mercy through you in your everyday encounters.
HIS WORK THROUGH YOU
Mark 6:31-34 2 Tim. 4:2, 5
Matt. 25:35 Mark 10:46-52 James 5:16 Luke 19:1-10 Gal. 6:1-2 Luke 23:34 Luke 6:2736
2. What special message did God speak to you through these passages? Tell Him your response.
THIRD DAY: Read James 2:1-23. Mercifully caring for one another is essential to the fulfillment of God’s purpose for the Church. Since we share His life, each individual is equal, of infinite worth, and called to live in harmony with all other members of His family.
1. What is God showing you about mercy in vs. 1-13?
2. According to vs. 14-23, what is the relationship between faith and “works” of love? (Remember, you are saved by faith; salvation is a gift, not the reward of works. (Eph. 2:8-9) Yet, your action tells something about your faith and your willingness to be identified with the desires and purpose of God.)
3. Explain the difference between faith and intellectual belief. (v. 19)
FOURTH DAY: Read Matt. 16:21-23. Although we tend to err more on the side of showing too little mercy than showing distorted “mercy”, we need this warning.
1. What might have been the motive behind Peter’s words in v. 22. (Can you identify with this statement? Have you either received or given similar “comfort”?)
2. Why is Peter's response the opposite of mercy? (Notice Jesus’ response in v. 23. See also 1 Corinthians 3:19)
FIFTH DAY: Read Luke 16:19-31. The completion of God’s perfect mercy is never seen in this life. Many never find the relief they seek from their suffering in this world. Yet, we can count on His eternal justice to make up for the lack of mercy experienced by any of His people here on earth.
1. Briefly describe the earthly existence of Lazarus.
2. Where do you see God’s eternal mercy and justice? (Keep in mind that the rich man was not punished for his wealth but for his lack of compassion.)
3. How does this encourage you as you look at the injustice and persecution experienced by so many people in this world?
SIXTH DAY: Read Psalm 103.
1. List all the ways God has shown you mercy, and give Him thanks.
The Secret of Abundant Life: Lesson 8
Home | Index| Armor of God | Persecution | Victory | Heaven