Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
“The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway; It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself“
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I.
Mercy is the Glory of God
After spending eighty days on top of the mountain, speaking face to face with God and seeing His form, Moses asked to see His glory (i.e., he asked to see God’s most powerful quality). (Exodus 33:18) God then appears to Moses and declares that His glory, His most powerful quality is Mercy! (Exodus 34:6)
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, (Exodus 34:6 NET)
Mercy is God’s supply system for every need everywhere. Mercy is that kindness, compassion, and tenderness that is a passion for suffering with or participating in another’s ills or evils to relieve, heal, and restore. It accepts another freely and gladly as they are and supplies the needed good of life to build them up and to bring to peace and keep them in peace. (2)
It is to take another into one’s heart JUST AS HE or SHE IS and cherish and nourish them there. Mercy takes another’s sins, evils, and faults as its own and frees the other by bearing them to God. This is the Glow-of-love. This is the anointing. This is the power of God. (2)
Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4 NET)
Realize, it is mercy, not judgment, that draws mankind to repentance from sin (Romans 2:4. Psalms 103:13,14)
Mercy in the Old Covenant is the acting, the doing, of the God who in the New Covenant is unveiled in Christ Jesus as Love. (1 John 4:8) Just as in the New Covenant the truth of the Eternal Father-Being is that He is love, even so in the Old Covenant behind the veil the truth of Him was made known that He is mercy. Mercy is love in action or lovingkindness. (2)
On Attaining Perfection
We are commanded to be perfect even as God is perfect (Matthew 5:48).
So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 NET)
Since God is fair and just this must be attainable. The command to “be perfect” means to “be merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35–36 NET)
That is, we are perfect in God’s eyes when we are merciful! This mercy is demonstrated when we love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us (Matthew 5:43-47)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43–48 NET)
Two Kinds of Judgment
There are two types of judgment, according to:
1. Appearance and accusation of evil (i.e., condemnation judgment). We are NOT to judge this way (Matthew 7:1-5). (2)
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1–5 NET)
The human heart is a judgment seat before which everyone passes who is seen or thought of in our minds. All-day long, we are seated as a judge in the court of our unseen heart, unseen that is to man, but not to God. Judging others – ceaselessly all day, day by day, and sometimes by night. Judging, judging, measuring everyone, and everything. We judge by whims and feelings and fancies by what we like and what we do not like. We are the center, and judgment is according to what people do or not do in our favor and for our glory and satisfaction. We judge by appearance. (2)
We judge others based on their performance but ourselves based on our good intentions.
We do not always need full and sufficient evidence because we love ourselves, and in that self-love, we think that we know what is right. (2)
Realize, when we judge others, we are judging God (i.e., the servant’s Master), and He is able to “make them stand.” (Romans 14:4,13. James 4:11,12)
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40 ESV)
Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Matthew 25:45 ESV)
That is, anything we do to others we do to God for good or for bad. (Matthew 25:40,45)
Consequently, failing to give mercy, we are given NO mercy!
2. Truth and Mercy (i.e., righteous judgment). We are to judge this way (John 7:24. John 5:30). (2)
Do not judge according to external appearance, but judge with proper judgment.” (John 7:24 NET)
I can do nothing on my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me. (John 5:30 NET)
“Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:15–18 NET)
Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water. (James 3:12 NET)
However, if we judge according to mercy, we will find mercy increasing in our lives. (Matthew 5:7)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NET)
If we use on others the measure of mercy that God has used on us, then that mercy will be measured to us and with an increase (Luke 6:38). Mercy is the only type of judgment you want, or are able, to bear. Therefore, we must become doers of the word of mercy! Whenever we are tempted to judge condemning a situation, we must change that to mercy. (2)
This can be done by praying a simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, please flood this one with mercy to meet all of their needs.
When you pray for FLOODS of God’s mercy to fulfill the need of anyone, we are judging and measuring that which takes away our own weakness and blindness and fills us with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Mercy! (James 2:12,13). (2)
Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:12–13 NET)
Again, the measure which you use for others is the very same measure which will be used for you. (Matthew 7:1,2)
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. (Matthew 7:1–2 NET)
That is, with your own measurement, you will be measured!
Consequently, having given mercy, we are given mercy!
Now that is something to have a BEAUTIFUL ATTITUDE about!
Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me the importance of forgiving others. Please help me to remember all the people who have hurt me so that I can forgive them from my heart. Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross that I might be forgiven. I am sorry for my own sins, and I ask You to be my Savior and the Lord of my life. And now, please forgive me for the things that I have done wrong. Please help me to forgive from my heart all the people on my list. I now choose to forgive [insert the name of the person you are forgiving] for [insert a brief description of what was done to you], and I release [insert the person’s name] into the freedom of my forgiveness. I will not hold these things against [insert the person’s name] anymore. Thank You, Lord, for helping me forgive [insert the name of the person you are forgiving]. I ask now that You set me free from every ungodly influence that [insert the person’s name] has had on my life and that You cut the ropes that have held me tightly to the pain of the past. I’m sorry, God, for blaming You for the bad things that have happened in my life. I now know You did not want these things to happen either. Please forgive me. Amen
The Beautiful Attitudes Series:
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part I: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part II: Blessed are those who Mourn
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part III: Blessed are the Meek
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part IV: Blessed are those that Hunger and Thirst
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part V: Blessed are the Merciful
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part VI: Blessed are the Pure in Heart
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part VII: Blessed are the Peacemakers
- The Beautiful Attitudes – Part VIII: Blessed are those who are Persecuted
(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) Adapted from: What the Bible Teaches about Mercy, Authored by Rex B. Andrews May 1, 1964, Published in 1985 by Zion Faith Homes, Zion, Illinois 60099 (See attached PowerPoints for additional study adapted from this book.)