Christ tells us to be merciful, as God is merciful.

Luke 6:36
- Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

What is mercy?

To be merciful is to show compassion. To not give someone what they deserve, when what they deserve is ‘punishment’. Combining forgiveness and kindness.

But God’s mercy is infinitely greater than ours! Why?

Because God knows what is in our hearts and minds. He knows our motives. Because He knows everything, He can judge righteously (whatever He does is right, period!).

Psalm 51:4
- Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Romans 9:15
- For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Thankfully, God is full of mercy!

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,

But we don’t know everything. Also, we are clearly told by Christ not to judge others and to forgive anyone we have something against.

Matthew 7:1- Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Mark 11:25- And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Therefore we are merciful out of obedience, love, compassion, etc. Not out of omnipotence or omniscience.

Yet beyond instructing us to be merciful, Christ warns us of the consequences of not showing mercy (parable of the unforgiving debtor – read Matthew 18:21-35).

Matthew 18:32-34- Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

How does the way we treat others reflect our gratitude for the mercy God has shown us?

And to go further, Christ tells us of the benefits of showing mercy.

Matthew 5:7- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Therefore, being merciful benefits us.

Proverbs 11:17- The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Matthew 25:40 (final judgment)
- And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Who are the ‘least of these’?

- The hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, and prisoners.

Who is 'me'?

- Christ!

What does it take for us to show mercy?

- Is it natural for us to show mercy?
- Where do we get the strength to show mercy?

Have you been withholding mercy from someone? Pray that God will give you the humility to be merciful.

How has God shown us mercy?

Romans 5:8
- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

PRAYER: Father, You have shown me such great mercy. I thank You and I pray that Your Holy Spirit will guide me to be merciful. Forgive me when I judge. Forgive me when I withhold mercy. May Your strength and love shine through me as I humbly submit to Your will. In Christ name I pray. Amen.