Can you believe we're already on the fifth week of our Beatitudes study?! I've really enjoyed going through this series with you and studying these 8 verses from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. There's nothing quite like digging into Scripture and uncovering what it means in our lives, and I'm excited to get started on this week's verse! In case you missed them, here's week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4.
The Beatitudes, Week 5
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." Matthew 5:7
Isn't it funny how slow we are to give mercy and how quick we are to expect it from other people? So often we hear "an eye for an eye" or "they deserved it," but those phrases take on a whole other meaning when we're the guilty party, don't they?
Mercy is defined as "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm." In other words, it's not punishing someone when they deserve to be punished. This week's verse tells us that those who extend mercy to others will receive mercy themselves, and it builds upon the 4 previous verses that we've been studying these past few weeks. I love how Jon Piper connects the first 4 beatitudes to this verse. "Mercy comes from a heart that has felt it's spiritual bankruptcy (Matt. 5:3), and has come to grief over its sin (Matt. 5:4), and has learned to wait meekly for the timing of the Lord (Matt. 5:5), and to cry out in hunger for the work of his mercy to satisfy us with the righteousness we need (Matt. 5:6)."
Mercy is a gift from God. It begins with Him. We can extend mercy to others only when we recognize the punishment we deserve and the mercy that God has extended to us through His Son, Jesus.
Here are a few more verses for reflection as you consider mercy this week.
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:1-5 (emphasis mine)
"The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made." Psalm 145:8-9
Every breath that we breathe, every blessing that God gives us is a gift of undeserved mercy. And when we recognize that, mercy will spill over from our hearts and onto other people. Mercy doesn't begin with us; it begins with God. Praise God for withholding the wrath that we deserve and pouring out His mercy on us!
Each week I design a new iPhone background with a different verse and share it on the blog. Seeing Scripture several times throughout my day reminds me of truth, strengthens my faith, and helps me me memorize God's Word so I can accurately share it with others. Feel free to download, pin, and share these backgrounds as many times as you would like!