Talk notes for Beatitudes Merciful and Pure Oct 28th 2018


The Sermon on the Mount

Beatitudes

Merciful and Pure

Readings – Math 5 1-2 & 7-8;       James 2 13 – 17;          Ezekiel 18 5-9; Psalm 24

 Talk is recorded on Ascension Church website here  they are only keep for a couple of months

 

  • Today we are looking at two linked Beatitudes

7 God blesses those who are merciful,     for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

 

In all these sayings of Jesus [Beatitudes], a current behavior or attitude is linked with a future outcome. Jesus teaches that what we do now will have a bearing on our futures.

 

 What does it mean to be Merciful, showing Mercy?

 

Just what is mercy?

What does it mean to you to be merciful or for others to be merciful to you?

 

John Stott says – Mercy is compassion for people in need

Dictonary.com says

Compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’spower; compassion, pity, or benevolence:

The disposition to be compassionate or forbearing:

The discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.

 

German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, ‘Christians … must share in Christ’s large-heartedness by acting with responsibility and in freedom … Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behaviour. The Christian is called to sympathy and action.’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theology of Liberation)

 

  • Matt 5 7 “You’re blessed when you care.

            At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. [Message]

 

How can you show a commitment to justice and mercy in your life?

 

 Michelle Smart says –  The Old Testament and the New Testament stress what’s really important – justice, mercy and faithfulness (Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8; James 1:27). The lack of justice shown by the religious teachers [of the time] reveals the hollowness of their outward religious observances. In contrast, Jesus’ followers, aided by the Holy Spirit, will live servant-hearted transformed lives of faith and love.

 

  • We are judged on our mercy to others

If we want God to be merciful to us then we need to be merciful to others

Just having faith isn’t enough if that faith is not shown in how we live and how we treat others.

 

John Stott says – Our God is a merciful God and shows mercy continuously; the citizens of his kingdom must show mercy too.

 

James 2 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”-but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

 

Mercy is forgiving others, who do not deserve it, helping other with no hope of return.

Mercy is helping those worse off than us, not just our friends and those who say thank you

 

John Stott says – we cannot receive the mercy and forgiveness of God unless we repent, and we cannot claim to have repented of our sins if we are unmerciful towards the sins of others.

Jesus said in Matt 18 [Message] The unforgiving servant

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’

 

And in James 2 12-13 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

 

Also 1 John 3:16

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Robert said to me – Mercy is God’s way, it releases God’s power and grace into this world; whereas judgment destroys mercy, and we ourselves end up under judgment.

 

We are to be the Light to the World and the Salt that seasons.

Mercy to others is part of how this works out

 

  • You’re blessed when you care.

            At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. [Message]

 

Finally for me  it is our Christian duty to act as God does to us. He shows mercy to us,  ccompassionate and forbearance, forgiveness and pardon,  so we should show this same mercy to others.  If we show mercy to others then we are more likely to have others show mercy to us and we all want others to be merciful to us don’t we?

 

If we do not show mercy then how can we expect mercy?

 

We want Gods mercy and forgiveness ourselves, us being merciful is giving that love and forgiveness back to others and thereby sharing Gods love.

And just as we do not deserve Gods mercy but God gives it to us so we need to give out mercy to others.

 

  • What does it mean to be Pure of heart?

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.  [Message]

 

Mic 6:8.  They neglect the heart of the Law – faithfulness to God and his covenant, justice and mercy towards the marginalised

 

 Psalm 24

3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their savior

 

John Stott says – the person with a Pure Heart is one who does not lift up his soul to what is false, idols, and does not swear deceitfully. That is, in his relations with both god and man he is free from falsehood. So the pure in heart are the utterly sincere. Their whole life, public and private, is transparent before God and men. Their very heart – including thrir thoughts and motives – is pure, unmixed with anything devious, ulterior or base.

 

So “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.  [Message]

Hebrews 12.14 
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, without which those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

James 4.8
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

David in Psalm 51 asks God to create in him a clean heart, which he knew God alone can do

 

For me being Pure of  Heart is about being a person that is focused on God first and always, trying to hear him and live His way, allowing Him to shape me.

Now I admit I do not get it right all the time, but I am trying to continue to put God first just as Jesus did

and also to put others first by treating them as Jesus did.

With Love, Care and humility

 

Let us pray

Robert said  –  we need to discipline ourselves, have ‘long obedience in the same direction’, allow God to form and shape us – it’s about the inner core of a person. And this is needed by us all rich and poor alike, every human being.

 

Father God we pray in Jesus name that you will create in us a Pure Heart one which will show Mercy to all.

Amen

Matthew 5 One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them.

7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.

 

James 2 13 – 17

12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”-but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

 

Ezekiel 18  5-9

5 “Suppose a certain man is righteous and does what is just and right.6 He does not feast in the mountains before Israel’s idols[a] or worship them. He does not commit adultery or have intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period. 7 He is a merciful creditor, not keeping the items given as security by poor debtors. He does not rob the poor but instead gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy. 8 He grants loans without interest, stays away from injustice, is honest and fair when judging others, 9 and faithfully obeys my decrees and regulations. Anyone who does these things is just and will surely live, says the Sovereign Lord.

 

 

 

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