Every journey requires a rest stop. Let’s stop here and take in some Psalms. Hear what the psalmist says about Jesus. Rest confidently in the promise that the Lord is your stronghold, even in times of trouble. Give thanks to the Lord today, with all your heart.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
Mentioned well over 300 times in the Bible, mercy is a word we probably ought to pay more attention to. Especially in this day and age when politics and religion are getting co-mingled in ways that often make us forget that first and foremost, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
The biblical definition for the word mercy, as used by Jesus in his sermon on the mount, is this: to be compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace); have compassion (pity on).
Meanwhile, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way: 1. a refraining from harming offenders, enemies, etc., 2. imprisonment rather than death for a capital crime, 3. a disposition to forgive or be kind, 4. the power to forgive, 5. a lucky thing; blessing.
This episode, as well as talking about what mercy is, we also focus on how to live a life of mercy in our day to day lives. We’ll look at 1 Peter 3:8-12 in the ERV (Easy to Read Version).
So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind [compassionate; merciful] and humble. Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive a blessing. The Scriptures say,
‘If you want to enjoy true life and have only good days, then avoid saying anything hurtful, and never let a lie come out of your mouth. Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. The Lord watches over those who do what is right, an, and he listens to their prayers. But he is against those who do evil.’
Listen in to this week’s episode to see some examples of how this might look in your own life.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5
If the best inheritance I can get by being humble is the earth, I’m not sure that sounds like a very good deal.
Let’s face it, the earth is kinda falling apart. We’ve got natural disasters galore, terrorism everywhere, racism that lingers despite our ‘enlightenment’, climate change and social injustice every direction you turn. It’s a mess.
But God only gives good gifts, so there must be more to it than what we currently see.
Turns out, there’s a lot packed into this one tiny verse in Matthew 5.
Often, when we think about the words meek, gentle or humble, we envision someone who is quiet and unassuming. This tends to be, in our mind’s eye someone who’s a bit of a wallflower. While this may be true in some cases, I think the best way to determine what a humble person looks like is to look first at what a non-humble person looks likes.
And boy, do we have some great examples. I’m not going to name names; I assume you don’t have to think too hard to come up with a list of at least 10 people who are, in fact, quite arrogant and loud about it. And beyond that list, all I really need to do is look in the mirror to find someone who’s far less humble than she’d care to admit.
While an arrogant person is often perceived to be loud and abrasive while a humble person is quiet and demure, God doesn’t look at what’s being projected out of us. He merely looks at our hearts and knows the state of our pride.
Arrogance is a lack of dependence on God. Humility is recognizing God’s rightful place in our lives and ceding that place to Him. It’s giving up our own agenda and right to rule our lives in order to seek God’s will in all things.
Tune in to this week’s episode as Brandy examines the third beatitude and what humility looks like, as well as the inheritance we’re longing for.
“I like Jesus in the New Testament, but I could do without the God of the Old Testament. He’s just a bully.”
It’s a common complaint, so this week Matt and Brandy sit down with a special guest to talk about it. Is God the same throughout scripture? How can we trust that such a wrathful God is also a compassionate Savior? Join us for a lively discussion!
Gregg Chastain is the Pastor of Sandy Community Church in Sandy, Oregon. You can find out more about this church or contact Gregg by clicking here. You can also follow SCC on Instagram or Facebook.
Community Church of Sandy – A congregation of believers that merged from Community Presbyterian and Fellowship Bible Church circa 2015.
The world has been riddled with bad churches since the dawn of civilization. Corruption, infidelity, abuse, just plain old indifference can be seen throughout the generations, not to mention flat out heresy. So how, in a world full of so many choices, can a person find a church that, while flawed, isn’t outright dangerous? How can you recognize a healthy church where you can find both truth and grace, wrapped up in an atmosphere that appeals to you?
Join us this week as we Flashback to an early episode from season 1 where we address those very concerns.
This is a much larger topic than we had time to fully cover in just one episode, so if you have questions or need help finding a healthy church in your area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.