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Beatitudes Lesson Six               

Beatitudes Lesson Six
The Merciful

“Blessed are the ________, for they shall receive ______.” (Matthew 5:7)

Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. We can honestly say that we enjoy being the recipient of both.

When we, as Christians, think of “mercy,” we are logically directed to the foot of the cross. We are instantly led to reflect on the “mercies of God.” For it was God's sorrow and love for mankind that brought Him to send His Son to die as the atonement for sin. That is the definition of godly and biblical mercy. Mercy is active! As Tom Moore has written,

“As God is merciful, so are we to be the same! We are, as merciful servants of the King, to be so affected by the suffering of others that we diligently strive to alleviate their suffering. . . . . . . . .” (Blessed Are the Merciful by Tom Moore, http://www.seekyefirst.us/a/blessed_merciful.html)

I also like what Jason Jackson of the Christian Courier had to say,

“When God shows compassion, our record is clear and our conscience is clean. Only God can take a filthy soul and make him whiter than snow (v. 7). Only God, being rich in mercy, can make us happy and healthy (v. 8). Only God can create a good conscience after the regret of evil conduct stalks us. These are the personal results when divine mercy is bestowed.
But we must also consider the consequences within the community when we obtain pardon. The joy of salvation ought to express itself in a concern for others. People, like us are on record, and are defiled as sinners. Shall we not tell the path to freedom, fellowship, and favor with God? "Then will I teach transgressors thy ways" (v. 13)” (The Christian Courier, Jason Jackson, November 2003 - Volume XXXIX, Number 7).

What is our attitude toward those who need mercy? Are we quick to give mercy or are we wary of what it will cost us? Is “being merciful” a natural inclination from our heart? Those who have no pity are blind as to the meaning of mercy and compassion. It seems a mystery to them. But what about you and I as God's people? We often sing the hymn, “Rescue the Perishing,” which contains the words, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save” (“Rescue the Perishing,” Words by Fanny Crosby). But what do we do to rescue lost souls headed for a destination in eternal hell? Perhaps there is no more telling answer than our answer to this question, for we cannot be indifferent to the lost and claim to be merciful people of God.

However, Frank Chesser, in an article entitled “Mercy,” rightly points out the relationship between having recognized the mercy that we have received and recognizing the need for mercy among others.

“Blindness with regard to one's own faults fuels the censorious spirit. A mote-hunter is judge, jury, and hangman. He dons the judicial robe and runs roughshod over mercy. Eagle-eyed relative to his neighbor's flaws, he is oblivious to his own. Nothing promotes humility and mercy more than a reflective look at self.”

“Self-righteousness is an insurmountable barrier to the merciful spirit. Thus, the Pharisee viewed self with pride, mercy with indifference, and the publican with contempt (Luke 18:9-12). Feeling no need of mercy, the elder son arrogantly averred, "Neither transgressed I at anytime thy commandment" (Luke 15:29). Conversely, a clear picture of self impelled the publican to exclaim, "God be merciful unto me a sinner" (Luke 18:13).”

“David took Uriah's wife and life. Yet destitute of mercy, he hesitated not to judge and sentence a man to death for taking the life of a neighbor's lamb. David's accusation, "He had no pity" (2 Sam. 12:6), was self-condemning. Only by seeing himself and his sin was he able to reclaim the spirit of mercy. Even so, mercy will elude me until I realize that, I, too, "am the man" (2 Sam. 12:7)' “Mercy,” Frank Chesser, Published November 1995, http://www.bible-infonet.org/ff/articles/living/110_11_18.htm).

When we have received much desired and needed mercy, as we do when we come to Jesus Christ in repentance and allow Him to cleanse us from our sins through scriptural baptism; and when we kneel daily in genuine repentance before the Lord, understanding our great need for His mercy, it is easier and much more natural to see and act upon the needs of others who are in the same need. As Ed Bousman wrote, “The greatest act of mercy was the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. God had mercy on us, but He showed no mercy for His Son. The price due to justice had to be paid” (“The Beatitudes,” Ed Bousman, Sermon of the Week, April 1999 (emphasis mine).

HOW does mercy show itself? 1. By gentleness with sinners (Heb. 4: l&5:3; Gal, 6:1; Eph. 5:32), or with those who Christian convictions are different (Ro. 14:1-15:7; I Cor. 8:1-13; 10:23-11:1), or with those whose religious tenets are wrong (II Tim. 2:24-26), or with those whose religious connections are merely different (Mk. 9:38-41; Acts. 11:19-24; 9:26-28) 2. By helpfulness to those who need help (Psa. 41: 1-3; 37:21, 25, 26; Lk. 6:34-36, 38; 10:37; 14:12-14; Ac, 11:27-30) 3. By forgiveness (Prov. 19:11; Gen. 50: 17-21; Num. 12:1-13; Mt. 18:15-35; Lk. 17:3, 4; Ac. 7:60). . . . .( “THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

There are unfortunately those who do NOT show mercy to others. We have an example in the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35. This slave received bountiful mercy but was unmerciful to his fellow slave. I am fearful that this may describe many who stand before the Lord at Judgment. Jesus, in teaching His disciples (and us) how to pray, in the Model Prayer, finished by saying that unless, “you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt 6:14-15, NAS). Being merciful is descriptive EXCLUSIVELY of those who are of the nature of the kingdom of God!

“. . . . God condemned all unmercifulness, because it assumes a position of absolute righteousness and perfect justice, a position which a sinner does not occupy. An unmerciful sinner is just a hypocrite. Unmercifulness shows itself in partiality (Lk. 6:32-37; Jas. 2: 1-13), selfish orthodoxy (Jas. 2: 14-17; I Jn. 3: 16-18) and harsh judgment (Mt. 7:2) (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

God has granted all men mercy in allowing them an opportunity for repentance. When we have recognized God's offer of mercy and have responded, (According to God's terms: faith, repentance, confession, and faithful living) we are then led to offer to others the same mercy that we have received. We cannot save. But we can and must, mercifully, preach the gospel of mercy and grace to those who desperately need Jesus. There are no substitutes for true mercy. And if we are not genuinely merciful, our fruits will show forth the evidence.



Discussion Questions


1) What is the difference between grace and mercy?

Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

The word “grace” (charis) may simply be defined as: “. . . . . the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, loving-kindness, goodwill generally, e. g., Acts 7:10; especially with reference to the divine favor or “grace,” . . . .” (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers).

The word “mercy” (eleos) “is the outward manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it” (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers).

Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (NAS).
1 Peter 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (NAS).
And while the two differ somewhat in their root meaning, we must understand that we also receive forgiveness as an act of “grace.” So it is God's merciful nature that causes Him to “bestow” upon us the forgiveness that is necessary for salvation.


2) Define scriptural “mercy.” Give an example or two from your Bible.

Other than the definition, how do the scriptures portray mercy?

The “mercies of God.”

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (NAS).

1 John 3:16, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (NAS).

Luke 1:76-79, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; 77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, 78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, 79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (NAS).

Eph 2:4-7, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (NAS).

Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (NAS).

James 5:11, “Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (NAS).

The scriptures show the mercy of God as a result of His love and in His dealings with His people and others.

Again, when meeting a funeral procession, bearing the body of the only son of a widow, it was said, "And the Lord had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not." The dead son was restored alive to the heartbroken mother. In this place it is fitting perhaps that we mention one of the most touching incidents of the life of Jesus. The heartbroken sisters, Mary and Martha, could not restrain the tears of their grief in the presence of their Lord. This so touched the tender heart of the compassionate Lord that "Jesus wept." The tears of compassion could not be restrained in the presence of the sorrow of those whom he loved. Divine power was available immediately to restore the lost one to them alive and well, but even knowing this could be accomplished, his tears fell like rain upon the arid earth. I am sure the world has never been the same since God mingled his tears with the sorrowing of the earth. Perhaps the greatest exhibition of his sympathy was when he wept over sinful, apostate Jerusalem. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee. How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!" He knew that many in that city hated him and would never be satisfied till their hatred was quenched in his blood; yet the knowledge of their doom brought forth the choking sobs of compassion and sorrow (The Compassion of Christ, Roy Loney, http://www.unity-in-diversity.org/frm_main.htm).

3) When one understands the mercy that they have received from God, what should be the results?

“I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life--namely myself.”
“However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.”
“Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. Christianity Today, Vol. 29, no. 17. ). (i.e. Love others as you love yourself . . . . . . ?)

Tom Moore: “As God is merciful, so are we to be the same! We are, as merciful servants of the King, to be so affected by the suffering of others that we diligently strive to alleviate their suffering. . . . . . . . .” (Blessed Are the Merciful by Tom Moore, http://www.seekyefirst.us/a/blessed_merciful.html).

Wayne Jackson: But we must also consider the consequences within the community when we obtain pardon. The joy of salvation ought to express itself in a concern for others. People, like us are on record, and are defiled as sinners. Shall we not tell the path to freedom, fellowship, and favor with God? "Then will I teach transgressors thy ways" (v. 13)” (The Christian Courier, Jason Jackson, November 2003 - Volume XXXIX, Number 7).

“Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save” (“Rescue the Perishing,” Words by Fanny Crosby).

Jude 20-23, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (NAS).

First, as is the Almighty, we must be merciful toward people's spiritual misery. John said, "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 Jn. 5:19). Those, whether they know it of not, who are lost in sin are in misery. It is up to us, as merciful servants of the Lord, to take the gospel to a lost and dying world. Jesus said, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:15-16). Shedding a tear over those lost in sin and not trying to alleviate the problem is being unmerciful. Remember: "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." That is a statement that carries great responsibility (Blessed Are the Merciful by Tom Moore, http://www.seekyefirst.us/a/blessed_merciful.html).

Secondly, We must show mercy toward those that are in physical misery. We have two obligations in this regard. Our first duty is to be merciful to the saints. Paul said, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10). Furthermore, the Hebrew writer proclaimed that "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Heb. 6:10) (Blessed Are the Merciful by Tom Moore, rst.us/a/blessed_merciful.html" http://www.seekyefirst.us/a/blessed_merciful.html).
Our first obligation is to our brethren, but we also have a responsibility to show mercy to those outside the body of Christ. Paul said, "Do good unto all men…" (Gal. 6:10). The Psalmist declared, "Blessed is he that considereth the poor: Jehovah will deliver him in the day of evil" (Psa. 41:1). Solomon said, "He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth; But he that hath pity on the poor, happy is he" (Pro. 14:21). As we strive to be merciful as the Lord requires, may we keep in memory the words of the inspired writer of the book of James, "For judgment is without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy: mercy glorieth against judgment" (Jam. 2:13) (Blessed Are the Merciful by Tom Moore, http://www.seekyefirst.us/a/blessed_merciful.html).

When we have received the mercy of God, we should be merciful people, seeking to reach out to others who are caught in sin and also in need of mercy, for as Paul wrote,

“And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11, NAS).

4) Describe the unmerciful. What is often the root of the problem for someone who refuses to show mercy? What are the results?

The unmerciful are often blind to the needs of others. They don't see opportunities to be merciful.

Reasons?

A lack of mercy usually finds root in blindness to one's own faults and self-righteousness (See Chesser above), legalism, etc.

The results:

They will not ultimately experience the mercy of God.

James 2:12-13, “So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (NAS).

Proverbs 11:17, “The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm” (NAS).

Matthew 18:21-35, “Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 "And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 "The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.' 27 "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' 29 "So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' 30 "He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 "Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me. 33 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?' 34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 "So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart” (NAS).

“. . . . God condemned all unmercifulness, because it assumes a position of absolute righteousness and perfect justice, a position which a sinner does not occupy. An unmerciful sinner is just a hypocrite. Unmercifulness shows itself in partiality (Lk. 6:32-37; Jas. 2: 1-13), selfish orthodoxy (Jas. 2: 14-17; I Jn. 3: 16-18) and harsh judgment (Mt. 7:2) (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (NAS).

5) How do we show mercy? What is the reward given to the merciful?

Top of page 2:

1. By gentleness with sinners (Heb. 4: l&5:3; Gal, 6:1; Eph. 5:32), or with those who Christian convictions are different (Ro. 14:1-15:7; I Cor. 8:1-13; 10:23-11:1), or with those whose religious tenets are wrong (II Tim. 2:24-26), or with those whose religious connections are merely different (Mk. 9:38-41; Acts. 11:19-24; 9:26-28) 2. By helpfulness to those who need help (Psa. 41: 1-3; 37:21, 25, 26; Lk. 6:34-36, 38; 10:37; 14:12-14; Ac, 11:27-30) 3. By forgiveness (Prov. 19:11; Gen. 50: 17-21; Num. 12:1-13; Mt. 18:15-35; Lk. 17:3, 4; Ac. 7:60). . . . . (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

The Greek definition carries the idea of compassion in action. It is a sympathy that brings about help.
This includes continually serving people in need, even when it is beyond one's own convenience.
God says that those who show mercy on others will receive His mercy.
"Mercy" is love in action. It is loving and serving others unconditionally, not because they are lovable, but because they need love. This is the essence of God's love for man.
Mercy is something that God gave freely on a cross. Truly the cross is compassion in action. As recipients of God's mercy, Christians must continue God's mercy by allowing Him to reach others through them. He has shown His mercy to the highest degree. Can Christians not show mercy to others? (“Evangelism 101”, from “The Interactive Bible” website, by Brent Hunter, http://www.bible.ca/evangelism/e-brent-hunters-evangelism-101.htm).

6) In the last paragraph of our article, we read this sentence, “There are no substitutes for true mercy.” What are some things that people attempt to substitute for godly mercy?

1) “ . . . . . . . in view of what the Bible teaches about obedience to the laws of the land being merciful does not include an unholy mercy. Some people have the idea that mercy is not giving the criminal his just deserts. A slap on the wrist and send him on his way. Such treatment sends the wrong message and only encourages the criminal to do it again (“The Beatitudes,” Ed Bousman, Sermon of the Week, April 1999).

Godly mercy cannot mean connivance with sin. Mercy becomes only sentimental softness or careless indulgence when it ignores justice. Justice and mercy are not mutually exclusive. (Cf. Mt. 23:23; Ro. 3:23-26) Christian mercy must justly condemn sin in order to save the sinner. The most merciful act one can do for a sinner is to cause him to acknowledge his sin, break his heart and lead to repent. Analyze Nathan's strategy when he compassionately applied the divine scalpel to David's heinous sin. (II Sam. 12:1-15) Mercy that slurs over the cruelty and the wrong which men afflict on others, as things merely to be forgiven and forgotten, is a grotesque, immoral caricature of the genuine thing, Christian mercy involves compassion for the sinner, but severity to the sin (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

2) The man who regards his relationship to God as a matter of piling up merit by doing a certain number of religious acts with a view to his purchase of heaven, may well be treating his fellow man with that same, exacting, “pound-for-pound” justice. Is it not a structural weakness of the extremely pious also to be utterly pitiless in their dealings with others? At least the self-righteous tend to show this fatal defect of being exceedingly critical of others who have not arrived at their superior standard, so critical to the point of considering it as rendering service to God to show no mercy to them! (Cf. Mt. 18:21-35; Jn. 16:2; Jas. 4:11, 12; also Mt. 9:13 and 12:7) (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

3) Another substitute for Christian mercy is mere pity, that natural tenderness of heart which may be but an unreasoning impulse Christian clemency is actuated by principle, not merely emotion, and must be just. Because mercy is the right hand of love, it always seeks intelligently to do what is in the other person's best interest, fully knowing that they may be ungrateful and selfish, unjust and evil (Mt. 5:45; Lk. 6:35) (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

4) What Mercy Isn't:
Of the two Greek words in the Authorized Version that are translated as mercy in the New Testament, eleeo and eleos are used 59 times. Mercy is not simply the withholding of punishment, but it is the act of giving help or having compassion on someone who is afflicted. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy [Greek, eleeo]" (Matthew 5:7). The lovingkindness of Jesus Christ gives to us Eternal Life. "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy [Greek, eleos] of our LORD Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life" (Jude 21). Our Salvation is an act of the mercy of God, completely unwarranted by our past actions. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). Not only are we the objects of God's mercy, but we are enjoined to be the givers of mercy. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful" (Luke 6:36). Only as we demonstrate mercy, do we receive God's mercy. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7) (“What Is Mercy” by Tom Stewart, from the “What Saith the Scriptures” website, http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Fellowship/Edit_What.Is.Mercy.html).

5) Service most pleasing to God is not merely outward ritual, in which the unmerciful legalist may pride himself, but godlike dealing with our weak, sinful fellow humans. God commanded certain rituals to enable sinners to partake of His merciful forgiveness. But by these rituals God has always intended that man should learn to BE merciful. Any religionist, who can be unmerciful with those who have not his same apprehension of the rituals or his understanding of the doctrines or his own religious stature, possesses a FALSE religion, according to Jesus. (Mt. 9:9-13; 12: 1-14) It should be no wonder that Jesus views deeds of true mercy to others as done (or not done) to Himself (Mt. 25:34-46; cf. Prov. 19:17) (“THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW VOLUME I” Copyright 1968 College Press Harold Fowler).

What does Jesus say about mercy in the Sermon on the Mount alone?

Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (NAS).

Matthew 5:21-26, “You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 "If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 "Truly I say to you, you shall not come out of there, until you have paid up the last cent” (NAS).

Matthew 5:38-48, “You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 "But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 "And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 "And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you 45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? 47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (NAS).

Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (NAS).

Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (NAS).

Matthew 7:1-5, “Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 "And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye” (NAS).

Nothing could more surely convince me of God's unending mercy than the continued existence on earth of the church (Annie Dillard, Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 2.).

Life Is Precious Beryl Caves, president of Windsor-Essex County Right to Life Association since 1974, first became active in the Right to Life movement 30 years ago as a result of her own crisis. “As a young mother, I'd always dreamed of having at least four children,” says Caves. “But my husband and I lost our third child due to a miscarriage. I was surprised to [learn the baby we lost was] a fully developed, very small child about three inches tall. “An abortion clinic recently opened about a mile from my home. I couldn't believe that anyone would want to kill her unborn child. I thought if every woman could see her baby, she would want it to live. That's what eventually drew me into the pro-life movement.”
Caves admits that in today's society, speaking out for the unborn is often like fighting an uphill battle. But she won't give in. She's committed to “speak up for those who can't” no matter the obstacles. When she's able to help a young woman or couple understand what an abortion entails and connect them with counselors at a nearby Birthright office, it's a great reward (“Mercy in Action,” Simon Presland, The Lookout, February 15, 2004).

Every misery that I miss is a new mercy (Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entries 7739-7742.)


Beatitudes Lesson One   |   Beatitudes Lesson Two   |   Beatitudes Lesson Three   |   Beatitudes Lesson Four   |   Beatitudes Lesson Five   |   Beatitudes Lesson Six   |   Beatitudes Lesson Seven   |   Beatitudes Lesson Eight   |   Beatitudes Lesson Nine   |   Beatitudes Lesson Ten



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