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What Does It Mean to Be Merciful?

What Does It Mean To Be Merciful

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 (NKJV)

In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave a great outline for every person who would aspire to follow Him (Matt. 5:1-7:27).   God incarnate stood there and spoke many promises—all of which contained a blessing.  Jesus opened up His sermon with a series of statements—each of them contained a promise and a blessing (Matt. 5:3-11).  Right in the middle of these opening statements Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy."

As I read this I thought to myself, "This seems reasonable," but what exactly did Jesus mean by the word mercy?  Well, the word, mercy used here in this verse was translated from the Greek word, eleeo, (el-eh-eh´-o), and it means to be compassionate, by word or deed.  

We can see mercy being spoken of in the Old Testament as well, but this time it is derived from the Hebrew word hesed, and it is one of the most commonly used words to describe God's Character—it speaks of mercy, kindness and a dedicated love.  

Q:    So what does this mercy look like in tangible actions?

It is a loving compassion in action, willing to rescue or give help to those who are afflicted.  Mercy doesn't help others in an attempt to look good, nor is it a passive concern for those in need.  True mercy is selfless and is willing to act because there simply is a need for action.  In short, genuine mercy comes from a person who genuinely wants to help others.  

As I thought about this I couldn't help but reason within my mind—Mercy describes Jesus' heart and life.   I then thought about the promises within this verse as well—Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful…" This word blessed actually means, supremely blessed, or happy.  It actually describes those who are favored by God and therefore they are very happy.  

I find this principle to be true in my life.  When the Lord prompts me to help someone and I am used in their life, I find I am the one who is being just as blessed as they may be.  God doesn't have to use us in helping others, but He allows us to so we can be blessed (happy).  

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these things today.  Let's choose to be merciful to those in our life today.  Let's remember how Jesus was merciful to us and make it our focus to imitate Him.  

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. Ephesians 5:1 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: According to Matthew 5:7 what can we learn about our being merciful to others?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to show others mercy today?

APPLICATION: Let's make it our goal to look to the needs of others and then be willing to help them as God leads.

Let's pray…

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your mercy upon our lives.  Thank You for showing us what mercy looks like in action by allowing us to see how Jesus lived.  Help us to show this same type of mercy to others today Lord.  In Jesus' precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000