Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Matthew 5:7

I don't have time to write this out as a devotional or in a more logical manner, but here's the outline for my talk for next week. I hope it makes sense and is useful to you!

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

What is being Merciful?
Why are we called to be merciful?
-         How does God show his mercy to us?
Who was the Ultimate example of Mercy
-                     How did he show it?
Why do we need to be shown mercy?
-                     What is sin? In essence?
-                     How serious is sin?
-                     Is there any way for us to pay for our sin?
Are only the merciful shown mercy? What is God’s mercy
-                    In terms of Eternity?
-                    In terms of life here?
-                   How do Christians see Gods mercy in their lives here?
Is this salvation by works? James 2:13 Matthew 6:14-15
What does being merciful look like in our lives?
-                      What does not being merciful look like?
-                      What does being merciful look like?
-                      Specific examples?
How can we develop it?

-       - God’s favour, God’s blessing. Better then any earthly thing. But also has real implications for our life, and for our eternity.

What is being Merciful
-       - Tied strongly to forgiving, undeserved forgiveness, or helping someone in need without any real reason except to help them.

Why are we called to be merciful?
-       - God is
-       - Ex 34:6 “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,”
-       God is merciful to Us

Who was the Ultimate example of Mercy and how did he show it?
-       - Jesus, died for us. He was God’s son. He also gave up his glory and lived among us. he has taken our sin if we are his people and tat he died in our place so we are completely forgiven, but rose again to prove it and to show he had fulfilled the law.

Why do we need to be shown mercy?
-      -  Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?'”
-      -  2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
-      - God offers us forgiveness even though our sin is a personal attack on him. We are his enemies, we rebel against him and ignore him, or worse – we mock him and attack his people. Yet he offers to show us mercy in Jesus, sending his only son to die in our place. We deserve none of it – that’s mercy.
-      - God is merciful, he wants us to be like him (Perfection = like God = his standard). Therefore he wants us to be merciful and is delighted when we are.

Are only the merciful shown mercy? What is God’s mercy
-      -  In terms of eternity yes, we are granted heaven.
-      - But here on earth, every second of life we have, every good thing we have is a mercy of God because we deserve only his punishment.
-      -  We have here the promise of heaven eternally if we are God’s people! Complete forgiveness. We were God’s enemies, he has every reason to destroy us yet he accepts us as his children, co-heirs with Jesus, to miss out on heaven by rejecting Jesus isn’t worth any pleasure or joy in this life!
-      -  Also or cs it means joy and hope here, complete forgiveness, no guilt, no fear of death. We also have God helping and strengthening and teaching us in this life.

Is this salvation by works? James 2:13 Matthew 6:14-15
-      -  No, it is an evidence of salvation. If we have been forgiven so much by God how can we not forgive others?
-      -  We offended God far more then we can imagine – so much that the only payment could be Jesus, God himself, dying in our place.
-      - Yet God forgave. How can we not forgive others?
-      -  We have the Holy Spirit, we should be acting like it
-      -  Eph 4:32, Matthew 10:42
-      - Being merciful means nothing – it needs to be being merciful for God’s glory.

What does being merciful look like in our lives?
-       - It’s an attitude of the heart, but à direct action.
-       - The opposite to seeking revenge – don’t try to get back at people, just let it go and forgive!
-      -  Seeing the suffering of others and wanting to help and then helping.
-      - Can we learn from Jesus’ example? How should we be acting like him? Giving up glory and pride to save us who hated him – maybe standing up for someone whose being bullied, befriending and helping them even if you don’t like them? Small compared to what Jesus did.
-       - Forgiving people when the offend us – not just our friends, but even those who hate us
-       - Helping those in need, specifics?
-       -  Things like 4 hour famine – helping people when really we have no reason to and it costs us
-       - It also can mean telling people off when they are in sin. The biggest mercy we can show someone is sharing the gospel with them. That involves telling them they are sinners destined for Gods wrath unless they turn to Jesus. We need to direct people to God’s mercy.
-       - It also can involve challenging christians with God’s word and rebuking them if they are sinning.
How can we develop it?
-       - Pray!
-       - Read the bible
-       - Do it. Work on it.

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