ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN VIRTUES – THE VIRTUE OF BEING MERCIFUL
Hello, friends, I am happy to bring you another message today. I do hope you are satisfied with these series on: The Essential Christian Virtues. We have received many responses encouraging us to continue to bring up these messages under The Healing Words of the MASTER. Thank you for your prayers.
May I use this opportunity to congratulate the Youth Fellowship of The Master’s Vessel Ministry for their successful Youth-Week. It is my desire that you keep growing in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Again I congratulate the joint-fellowship of The Master’s Vessel Campus Fellowship of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture and Abia State University for a new session.
We encourage our youths to join this fellowship and declare their stand for CHRIST this new season.
Our topic today is: The Virtue of Being Merciful.
THE VIRTUE OF BEING MERCIFUL
Our reading is from Psalms 103:8-14
Psalm 103:8-13 (NKJV)
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
Let us Pray.
Our Heavenly FATHER, The FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, YOU are a merciful FATHER. YOU have shown us great mercy. YOU have not treated us according to the many of our wrongdoings. Teach us to acquire the character of being merciful. Use this message to motivate and correct us until we resemble YOU in this aspect…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!
The entire New Testament – and in in fact the Gospels, contain several appeals by people to our LORD JESUS CHRIST to show mercy. Typical examples are the appeal from Blind Bartemeus, in the Book of Mark 10:46-48. The Bible says, the blind man Bartemeus was on the road begging. But on hearing that JESUS of Nazareth was passing through that road, he cried out and said, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” In verse 48, despite the warning to be quiet, he cried out the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
A similar example is found in Matthew 17:15.
Matthew 17:15, we read that a man came to JESUS, kneeling down to HIM and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
The point I am trying to draw out to you, my friends, is that the People of Palestine saw the Ministry of JESUS as primarily a ministry of mercy.
JESUS came to help people come out of their problems. We who are HIS Followers cannot be less. We must acquire the culture of being merciful. To be merciful or compassionate is a supreme attribute of GOD. Our text provides out that clearly that the LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy; HE does not treat us as our sins deserve; HE does not repay us according to our iniquities. As a FATHER HE shows us compassion.
In contrast to GOD the FATHER, the world, and some people in it, are full of acts of wickedness, cruelty and callous killings, sorcery, divination, witchcraft and all kinds of satanic acts aimed at destroying people fill the world.
Friends, let me ask you. Where do you fall in this divide? What have you gained in this exhibition of wickedness? Is GOD pleased with you? GOD has called us to be HIS ambassador on earth. We are to help HIM address the great needs that are found in this world.
There is the command to be merciful. The Bible commands for believers to show compassion and mercy to a certain group of people. The Book of Prophet Zachariah 7:9-10 has the following injunctions:
9 “This is what the LORD is says:
Show mercy and compassion
to one another.
Often times the opposite is what we see in our society where widows, orphans and the poor suffer the worst neglect and domination.
The New Testament has similar injunctions. In Colossians 3:12-14 –
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
In the Classical Teaching of our LORD JESUS on the mountain normally called The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:7, JESUS said,
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy –
Reinventing acts of mercy.
Friends, there is a lack of compassion and too few acts of mercy in our society. There is much cheating, deception, domination, discrimination, prejudice, tribalism, slander, gossip, stealing, robbery and killings. The list is inexhaustible. Many people no longer act and talk lovingly, but threat and violence are in their voice.
There are too few acts of compassion, mercy and kindness. Wickedness, envy, arrogance and high-handedness are the order of the day.
My call today is for us to reinvent the culture of mercy. We have become a society that shows no mercy.
Perhaps I need to remind us of what our LORD JESUS said in Matthew 25:35-36.
Hear the Word of the LORD
35 for I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in; 36 I needed clothes and you clothed Me; I was sick and you looked after Me; I was in prison and you came to visit Me.’
I call on all believers to encourage acts of mercy. All the excuses we give are not acceptable. Some unverified events are depriving us of the blessing of being merciful: showing acts of mercy.
Someone gave out clothes, and it was taken to a shrine for witchcraft rituals. The story goes viral, and people who did not verify its authenticity bought it hook, line and sinker.
May GOD help us to reinvent the acts of mercy. I call on government officials, rulers, politicians who take huge sums of money and neglect utilities and institutions to show mercy. The neglect of educational institutions, hospitals, public water supply, roads and electricity supply: while huge sums of money budgeted for such amenities are converted to private use. It’s act of wickedness: and not mercy at all.
The life of our LORD JESUS CHRIST was marked by acts of mercy. HE went about preaching, teaching and healing every disease and sicknesses. We cannot do less, if we are HIS followers. We have seen people build houses for the poor and widows. We have seen people offer scholarship to the less privileged and orphaned children. We have seen people return money and property to their owners.
Let there be more of such acts of mercy. GOD is well pleased when we do so.
Friends, decide to show mercy always.
Let us pray.
Heavenly FATHER, YOU are a merciful GOD, and compassionate to all YOUR people. For us to be YOUR children we must reinvent acts of mercy. Help my listeners today as they take necessary steps to show mercy or scale up their act of mercy. Link the needy to those who will show them mercy. Help our rulers to remember the needy and the populace…in JESUS Name I pray.
I remain your brother, Amara Uwaeziozi. GOD bless you.