Mercy, Baby; Mercy

A noun is a person, place or thing – and Mercy is a noun. But Christ didn’t say to work out mercy; but to be merciful.  An adjective; a word description for a verb, an action taken.   You could well term this Beatitude “Mercy in Action” it is an out flowing beatitude.  Something stemmed from a clear understanding of what underpins all mercy – and that something is Justice.  Lets look at the legal process of a criminal trial.  There is a standard of behavior the Community vicariously sets through elected officials.  That standard, or law, is broken.  After capture and arraignment, evidence is given against  the defendant at a trial.  From there, a judgement is decreed.  Will you sit under the Great Judge where since His judgments are infallible -Justice is always done.    Or will you sit as judge yourself; screening out Godly behaviors which impede your willfulness?  We must remember…   There are only two sentencing options:  Freedom or Death.  But If you do the crime, you must do the time. Now listen.  All people stand under the Judgement of God.  And this lesson is about climbing higher in Bible Ground. To stand mute and whole-heartedly seek to better understand Judgement and Justice – the twins which foster and empower Mercy.  There must be justice for Mercy to act.   

Godly Judgement is True Justice

When the Bible is the standard of measure in the court-room of our lives – then we can be sure about the Truth.  The Great Judge’s name is El-Roi.  He sees our unrighteous behaviors – the indulgences we’d prefer to hide will be weighed against the Pure Truth of God’s Word.   Our unrighteous behaviors assure both indictment and sentence are against us.  This judgement is immutable. .  God’s judgement are objective and  unimpeachable.  The elegance of this Truth is that Justice will be done.  This often-quoted phrasing is most helpful:

  • Justice is getting what we deserve
  • Mercy is not getting what we deserve
  • Grace is getting what we don’t deserve

Justice must Proceed Mercy

You know what we think?  We think mercy is being nice, like the Sisters of a pious religious order.  But mercy cannot be that.   We must first travel through the town of Justice before we can continue in Mercy.   Justice comes from  judgement (both ours and God’s).  We weigh facts like a judge and call upon one of only two standards.   Either our standard of measure is the Bible, or something which accommodates our indulgence.   Let’s look at better understand Mercy.  I offer two observations:

Mercy is lending to the Lord:

  • He that hath pity upon the poor –  lendeth unto the Lord – and that which he hath given, will He pay him again – Proverbs 19:17 (KJV)

Are you reading these words clearly?  The job of Mercy is to tangibly convey compassion on the guilty actions of others.   And when we submit to that Instruction, we are actually offering a loan to God – to cease from other pursuits and become His envoy other people – most of whom are unlovable.  What’s more, the concluding promise is that God will pay back the loan.   He will pay those willing to become His ears, eyes, hands and feet – in showing mercy toward others. This is my first observation. Secondly…

Mercy is an override of Justice

Once Justice is establish, Mercy takes the inevitable guilty verdict and turns attention to the healing of the person of the healing of the circumstance.  But this can only happen when living under the Standard of the Bible.  Be we choose a standard which introduces and accepts  behaviors different than Bible Ground.  And once we tamper with the Truth; we birth a morphed mercy; one which judges using our personal views as the standard.  The invariable result is a warped mutation of mercy.   The two kinds of Justice; both affect being Merciful:

  • Unjust Justice
  • Just Justice

Unjust justice is when the standard of judgement – or the law- is of our own making.   Its the feeling and actions we take when others infringe on our rights, our bias, our selfishness.  We clamor for rough sentencing as measured against our personal  forms of justice.  We demand consequence be invoked upon others.   selfishness is at the heart of unjust justice – we get angry because our needs are not being met, because others get in our way, that we are not being treated with the the respect we deserve.  – The principle here is that our idea of right and wrong comes first. That is the definition of selfishness. And when we act selfishly – we put ourselves above the law of God; and His way

  • An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels – Proverbs 18:1
  • Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.  When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it – James 4:11
  • For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing – James 3:16 (NASB)

But we are warned against placing ourselves on the Throne of our lives; for living to our own standards.

  • I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you – Romans 12:13
  • Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit – Philippians 2:3

Just justice is when the standard of judgement is God’s – His perfect law – when we are authentically in the right and have been violated or dominated by others.  To seek justice in that case is appropriate

The Reward is Mercy Returned

This is the only Beatitude which rewards with the same stuff as what the Believer is instructed to offer.   The reward for obedience in being merciful is the gifting back of more Mercy from God.  I see three immediate out-workings of becoming Merciful, is to permit we

  • Live with greater mercy
    • Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – 2 Peter 3:18
  • Better understand God’s mercy to you
    • He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy – Titus 3:5
  • Receive more capacity for mercy
    • We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing – 2 Thessalonians 1:3

Please enjoy the Video, Lord Bless You as You Go


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