Encouragements for our troubled times No. 70

COVID-19 Series | Date: 22 July 2021

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Pastor

Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

In this beatitude, the Lord is not saying that we can earn His mercy and forgiveness of our sins by being merciful. It is our duty to show mercy to our fellow man, it’s required in the law, ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ An act of mercy cannot pay for sins that we have committed nor cancel them out, it is merely the fulfilment of that requirement of the law. So, what does this beatitude tell us?

“O how blessed are the merciful.” There are two degrees of mercy. Common mercy, which is kindness, compassion, and forgiveness; shown to those who are in need of help or seek our forgiveness. And Divine mercy which is pure mercy. It is kindness, pity, compassion, and forgiveness shown to those who deserve no mercy, in fact, the opposite, they deserve the wrath and judgement of God. As the Lord’s children, we are expected to show both degrees of mercy. As we are still part of the human race we are expected to, at least, show common mercy to our fellow man. And as the Lord’s people we are expected to be like Him and to reach out in pity and compassion and kindness to sinners; even those who persecute us, and be willing to forgive them and love them. This is no more than God expects from those who themselves have received Divine mercy and forgiveness of all their sins.

“For they shall obtain mercy.” There is a great blessing in showing mercy, for those who show mercy are more likely to receive mercy in return. When we are in need those who have received mercy from us are more likely to show mercy to us. There is no guarantee of this when we are dealing with fallen men and women, but, as a general rule, people are more inclined to sympathise with those who have been kind to them. But the real blessing is received from God for He will show mercy to those who are themselves merciful. He will incline others to show mercy to those who show mercy and He will deal with them in mercy because they have been merciful. This doesn’t mean He will be more inclined to save them and forgive them; that will only be shown to those who put their faith in Christ who takes away our sin, but He will show kindness and compassion to those who, themselves show kindness and compassion to others.

In no way do we imitate our God better than in showing mercy. Mercy is a great attribute of His and should be in His children.