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Beautiful Choices // Sermon 5


Beautiful Choices: The Beatitudes
Part 5


Matthew 5:7
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”


1. Today we get down to the real and authentic characteristics of being a Christ follower: mercy and forgiveness.

There's a lot of faking you and I can do, but here's the test of all tests for us: can we be grace giving and forgiving when we've been hurt and wronged? And who among us hasn't been hurt and wronged?


2. First, the Bible teaches us that God is merciful and forgiving.

Mercy is His nature and His character.

A) The Bible says in 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, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” 
Exodus 34:6-7 KJV

In fact, no less than 7 times those attributes are attributed to our God. And all of us are benefactors of that mercy.

B) Lamentations 3 says:

“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT

Mercy, loving kindness, forgiveness - new every morning! I can't over expend it. I can't run out at 3:30 in the afternoon. And it never gets stale, new and afresh every single morning. All 21,866 days of my life I've lived off of all kinds of food. None I really don't like. It's been sustenance to my physical body, but what has truly sustained me - kept me safe and secure - brought me through the fire and the flood - the good times and the bad - is the fresh mercies of my Lord!

And so it is for you! God sees where you are.

God knows your every struggle.

He sees every tear.

He feels every pain.

And because He is Mercy and He is Grace, He reaches out, He catches us when we fall, He picks up the broken and shattered pieces and lovingly and compassionately puts them together and makes something beautiful out of our lives!


3. Now that's God and His nature and character. And this wonderful God says to you and me:

“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” 
Matthew 5:7 NLT

A) So not only is God merciful, but He calls us to show mercy to others.

B) Who do we show mercy to?

“Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.” 
Jude 1:22-23 MSG

1. Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith.

a. Many struggle with their faith.

(1) Easy to be at peace with our faith and frustrated with those who aren't.

(2) How we respond to one struggling will make the difference between them making it or not.

(3) “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:1, 3 NLT

b. This cuts to the very heart of some of our struggles.

(1) Self-righteousness...

(2) Impatient with strugglers...

(3) Restore and remember you can fall too...

2. Go after those who take the wrong road.

a. Let's be real today. None of us are perfect. And often times we fail and bring shame and embarrassment to ourselves and others. This is the perfect time for mercy to be given. Piling on, or gossiping, or avoiding is not the answer. Mercy is the answer.

b. It was a new day when I realized that I didn't always have to be right and not everyone was going to do it my way. The revelation I had was from God and it was He is the Judge, not me; He sees the motives, not me; and He sees the heart not me. And what He calls me to do is love unconditionally and without prejudice.

c. That means that as Christ-followers, we need to develop a forgiving heart and practice forgiving -forgetting - and moving on.

(1) If someone wrongs us, to be merciful means we have compassion on them. So rather than return harm, you seek to do them good. Mercy chooses not to repay evil for evil, but as Paul said, "overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

(2) Who among us hasn't been wronged and hurt? Some here know indescribable pain. I don't even pretend to know the depths of which some of you hurt.

And I know it is easy for me to stand up here and preach to you and tell you what you ought to do. The push back I often feel is "But Pastor, you don't know what I've gone through. If you had experienced what I have you'd understand that I can't just "move on."

(3) I do understand that. I may not know your pain and the scars and wounds. But I do know of a solution. It's not an easy one. It's not always a comfortable one. It's not the one we always choose. But it is one that works and is honored by God.


Be merciful. Practice mercy.

How do I do that?

1. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

A. Release this stuff in prayer

B. Counseling

C. Fake it until you make it

(1) Now that'll get your attention. I'm simply saying that you practice kindness when you don't feel like it.

You forgive when you don't really want to. Say it to yourself "I forgive _________."

(2) Say it to the person.

When it's brought up by someone else say "You
know, I've moved on from that. The Lord helped
me forgive them."

(3) What if they don't ask your forgiveness?

Forgive them in your heart and your speech.


REFUSE TO WALK IN OFFENSE.

2. Remember, always remember, at all times remember just how much God has forgiven you of and how often and frequent He forgives you of all the sin and harm you bring about.

Is it any wonder He can say to us and expect us to remember "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy"?


So, go easy on those struggling with their faith and those who have taken the wrong road. Jude then says, "Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. Sin stinks."

3. Tender with sinner without condoning the sin

A. Remember, sinners can't help but sin.

B. Remember where you were when Jesus rescued you.

C. Remember, there's no virtue in harshness.


"I don't accept this behavior or your choices, but I care about you and where you are with God."


Questions:

1. Who do you need to forgive?

2. Who do you need to ask forgiveness of?

3. Who is on your heart today that needs you to show some mercy?



Worship Set


Nothing Is Impossible 

- Jonathan Hunt

Chorus 1

Through You I can do anything
I can do all things'
Cause it's You who gives me strength
Nothing is impossible
Through You blind eyes are open
Strongholds are broken
I am living by faith
Nothing is impossible

Verse 1

I'm not gonna live by what I see
I'm not gonna live by what I feel

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

Deep down I know that You're here with me
And I know that You can do anything

Misc 2 (Bridge)

I believe I believe
I believe I believe in You
(REPEAT)



A God Like You 

- Kirk Franklin and William Jeffrey

Chorus 1

Everybody wanna be like You they
Want power and grace like You but
See there is no God like our God
There's no one like You
Who gave their life like You and
Who paid our price like You see
There's only one God that's our God
There's no one like You

Verse 1

Who can touch like You
Or heal us like You do
We stumble and we stray still
You always let us through
Who makes all things new
And comes to our rescue
Death hell and the grave
They could not conquer

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

You became just like me
To unlock and set free
This prisoner that was deeply wounded and redeemed
The me I could not see

Verse 2

Some may worship things
But what joy do they bring
They try and hide the stains
But can they set us free
See where would we be
Without Calvary
A King upon a tree
So the whole world can see

Misc 2 (Bridge)

Healer Father Savior
Counselor Friend Provider
Was is and forever
That's why I just wanna be where You are
I'll travel life with You
No matter how far
(REPEAT)

Misc 3 (Interlude) 

Hey hey hey (4X)

Misc 4 (Pre-Chorus)

(I glad that You) became just like me
To unlock and set free
This prisoner that was deeply wounded and redeemed
The me I could not see

Misc 5 (Ending)

There's no one like You
There's no one like You
There's no God like our God
There's no one like You


The Stand  

- Joel Houston

Verse 1

You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

Verse 2

You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

So what can I say
And what can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

Verse 3

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
My life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

Chorus 1

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

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