Tuesday, August 10, 2010



When Christ was asked, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ He answered:

Mark 12:29-31- And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

This is pretty straight forward:
· Love God with all that you are (see Deuteronomy 6:5).
· Love your neighbor as you love yourself (see Leviticus 19:18).

We clearly understand who God is: Yahweh, Jehovah, The Lord our God.

But who does Christ consider our neighbor? Fortunately for us, Christ clearly answers this question in the parable of the Good Samaritan (read Luke 10:25 – 37).

Luke 10:36
- Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

According to this parable and the discussion that followed, who does Christ consider to be our neighbor?

- Does He specifically mean the people that live in our neighborhood?
- What about the people we enjoy hanging out with?

The message is clear; Christ is telling us that our neighbors are those who need us. Those who need mercy from us are our neighbors (a friend in need is a friend indeed).

What does Christ teach us about mercy and forgiveness?

Luke 6:36- Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Mark 11:25- And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

And as Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, what did he teach us about being encouraging/comforting to others as we have been comforted of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

We can sit and talk about God’s Word all night. We can memorize scriptures. We can have Bible study with our Christian brothers and sisters. We can pray continually!

But are we truly being obedient if we do not apply the things that Christ is teaching us?

Have you ever heard it said that someone is so Heavenly minded they are of no earthly good?

Well guess what. The Bible tells us to apply what we learn!

James 1:22- But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

John 14:15
- If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 13:17- If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Matthew 7:24- Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Bow your head and ask God to reveal to you:
- From who have you withheld mercy?
- Who needs encouragement that you have refused to give?
- Who have you not forgiven?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, my God and my King, break my heart for those in my life that you have commanded me to show mercy, encouragement, and forgiveness. Forgive my pride. Forgive my selfishness. May Your grace, mercy, and love flow through me. Only through Your strength are these things possible. I submit myself to You Dear Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Amen.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Christ tells us to be merciful, as God is merciful.

Luke 6:36
- Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

What is mercy?

To be merciful is to show compassion. To not give someone what they deserve, when what they deserve is ‘punishment’. Combining forgiveness and kindness.

But God’s mercy is infinitely greater than ours! Why?

Because God knows what is in our hearts and minds. He knows our motives. Because He knows everything, He can judge righteously (whatever He does is right, period!).

Psalm 51:4
- Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Romans 9:15
- For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Thankfully, God is full of mercy!

Exodus 34:6- And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

But we don’t know everything. Also, we are clearly told by Christ not to judge others and to forgive anyone we have something against.

Matthew 7:1- Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Mark 11:25- And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Therefore we are merciful out of obedience, love, compassion, etc. Not out of omnipotence or omniscience.

Yet beyond instructing us to be merciful, Christ warns us of the consequences of not showing mercy (parable of the unforgiving debtor – read Matthew 18:21-35).

Matthew 18:32-34- Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

How does the way we treat others reflect our gratitude for the mercy God has shown us?

And to go further, Christ tells us of the benefits of showing mercy.

Matthew 5:7- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Therefore, being merciful benefits us.

Proverbs 11:17- The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Matthew 25:40 (final judgment)
- And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Who are the ‘least of these’?

- The hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, and prisoners.

Who is 'me'?

- Christ!

What does it take for us to show mercy?

- Is it natural for us to show mercy?
- Where do we get the strength to show mercy?

Have you been withholding mercy from someone? Pray that God will give you the humility to be merciful.

How has God shown us mercy?

Romans 5:8
- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

PRAYER: Father, You have shown me such great mercy. I thank You and I pray that Your Holy Spirit will guide me to be merciful. Forgive me when I judge. Forgive me when I withhold mercy. May Your strength and love shine through me as I humbly submit to Your will. In Christ name I pray. Amen.