The Happy Church Planter: Merciful

Truly happy Christians extend mercy to others because they’ve experienced the mercy of God.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. ~ Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

READING: Luke 10:25-37

Desperate, broken people cried out to Jesus for mercy, such as two blind men: “Have mercy on us, Son of David” (Mt. 9:27); a Canaanite woman with a demon-possessed daughter: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David…” (Mt.15:22); and blind Bartimaeus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mk.10:47). People tried to quiet him down, but he just kept screaming for mercy. Christ called for him and gave him back his sight.

Jesus is the most merciful person who has ever lived. He healed sick people, gathered little children in His arms and forgave a woman who was going to be stoned because of her adultery. And our Lord said mercy is one of the keys to being a happy Christian.

Many of us have been hurt, betrayed and wounded by life and by the actions of others. We have also hurt, betrayed and wounded others. The mercy of God changes the equation. God did not ignore our sin. Instead He poured out His wrath against it upon Jesus. God’s mercy, forgiveness, healing and blessing were all purchased by the cross.

Truly happy Christians extend mercy to others because they’ve experienced the mercy of God. Mercy is more than sympathy or emotion. The Good Samaritan showed mercy through compassion that noticed someone in need and offered practical help.

Look around! Our communities are filled with desperate, broken people who need mercy. God has called us to be happy (merciful) church planters and to plant happy (merciful) churches.

Jesus, quoting the prophet Hosea, told us:“Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mt. 9:13).

Father, Thank You for Your mercy to me in Christ. Teach me to receive, give and model mercy. Amen.

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