PAR·A·DOX: A SEEMINGLY ABSURD OR SELF-CONTRADICTORY STATEMENT OR PROPOSITION THAT WHEN INVESTIGATED OR EXPLAINED MAY PROVE TO BE WELL FOUNDED OR TRUE.
THE PARADOX OF JESUS’ BEATITUDES: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 NIV
WHAT WE TEND TO BELIEVE: Blessed are those that are forgiven, for they will be shown mercy.
'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Acts 20:35
THE OPPOSITE OF MERCIFUL IS SELF-PRESERVATION AT THE COST OF OTHERS.
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:10-13
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 9:25-29
Then a despised Samaritan came along… Luke 10:33
4 STEPS OF MERCY:
1. WE MUST SEE THE DISTRESS.
…Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man... Luke 10:33
2. RESPOND WITH COMPASSION.
…he felt compassion for him. Luke 10:33
3. COMPASSION LEADS TO ACTION.
…Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. Luke 10:34
4. MERCY IS GIVEN DESPITE DIFFERENCES.
The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ Luke 10:35
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” Luke 10:36-37
Mercy (Greek word Eleos) is kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them.
THE PARADOX OF JESUS’ BEATITUDES: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 NIV
WHAT WE TEND TO BELIEVE: Blessed are God’s favorites, for they will see God.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 1 John 4:11-13
WHEN DISCIPLES PURSUE THE PRESENCE OF GOD, AND THEN START POURING OUT THE THINGS OF GOD INTO OTHERS INSTEAD OF HOARDING IT FOR THEMSELVES, A REVIVAL IS THE RESULT!
HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS?
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:26-27
➡ INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO SHOW YOU.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalms 139:23-24
➡ INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CHANGE YOU.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalms 51:10
➡ INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO FILL YOU.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
✓ WHAT WE CONSUME WILL EVENTUALLY CONSUME US.