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Put on Bowels of Mercy

Our God is indeed a merciful God (PS. 136), showing compassion and goodness to the righteous and wicked alike.
The fact that we woke up this morning, that we have a roof over our heads and food and drink is a testament to God’s daily mercy.
More importantly, we have His grace and truth, that is profoundly a testament of His mercy.
When we pray, we come before the mercy seat of God, asking for His forgiveness with daily petitions for ourselves and for our loved ones and even our enemies.
We cannot live without mercy, therefore, let us further understand what it is.

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Put on Bowels of Mercy

  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Our God is indeed a merciful God (PS. 136), showing compassion and goodness to the righteous and wicked alike. The fact that we woke up this morning, that we have a roof over our heads and food and drink is a testament to God’s daily mercy. More importantly, we have His grace and truth, that is profoundly a testament of His mercy. When we pray, we come before the mercy seat of God, asking for His forgiveness with daily petitions for ourselves and for our loved ones and even our enemies. We cannot live without mercy, therefore, let us further understand what it is.
  3. 3. MERCY IS…. A part of the law and it is a promise. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy,” (Matthew 5: 7). We must show forth mercy in order to receive it from God. Showing benevolence, pity, kindness, compassion and forbearance towards someone. Compassionate treatment of those in distress. At its core, forgiveness. Manifested through the gift of grace. Is misinterpreted as a sign of weakness but is actually sign of strength. Not just feelings and emotions , but must be expressed in tangible ways, through your actions and deeds.
  4. 4. A PARABLE ON MERCY & FORGIVENESS As the law so plainly states, we have to show mercy in order to receive it. I can’t emphasis this enough. Now lets consider this parable in Matthew 18: 23-35 “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.”
  5. 5. A PARABLE ON MERCY & FORGIVENESS “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owes. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.”
  6. 6. A PARABLE ON MERCY & FORGIVENESS “So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 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. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
  7. 7. BREAKING IT DOWN Now lets breakdown the meaning of this parable. The King - represents God Servants - represent us Account- to consider, judge, deem and place value on someone’s actions or works Reckon- to compute, count or settle a debt Talents- your works of righteousness Debt means sin Remember in the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our debts”
  8. 8. BREAKING IT DOWN When the king took account of his servants and began to reckon, that represents God judging the works that we have performed on this earth, whether they be righteous or wicked. The servant failed to pay 10,000 talents to the king. Spiritually, this is an individual who fails to obey God and is lacking in works of righteousness. For punishment, the king commanded for the servant and all that he owed to be sold. However, the servant was distraught, falling down and worshipping the king. He begged for mercy and stated that he would pay him all. Subsequently, the King forgave him his debt. So lets further discuss the meaning of debt.
  9. 9. SIN IS A DEBT We learn that sin is a debt. We all are in debt to God. The more we sin, the more the debt accrues and the more we have to answer for at the time of judgement. When Christ was sent to die for us, our sins were placed upon His head, He, himself, being guiltless, (I Peter 2: 21-24). His death and resurrection, led to grace, (Romans 5: 14-15 & 21). Grace is a not a free ride as the churches of this world would like you to think. True grace, is an opportunity and a period of time allotted to us to repent for our sins and obey His laws. A grace period.
  10. 10. SIN IS A DEBT When we sincerely repent, the Lord will forgive us and send us His Spirit to teach us how to obey His laws, (St. John 14: 26) But even after the Lord has forgiven you, even after you repent and obey, you still can’t pay God back. After all, He does everything for us. So even with obedience, the debt is still there. How can that be? Because all of our sins are on our record books, (Revelations 20: 12). The only way for the sins to go away is for Christ’s blood to blot them out of our record books, (Psalms 51, Isaiah 43: 25 & Hebrews 10: 16 -17) This is during the Atonement. Only then will our debt, or sin, be erased. This is the ultimate act of mercy.
  11. 11. MERCY EVEN PUNISHMENT But until that time, we are at risk of sin and therefore at risk of punishment from God. The Lord will render judgement in measure against humankind, righteous and wicked alike. For his saints, He often warns us, giving us chance after chance and will chastise us to steer us in the right path (Revelations 3; 19). When we fall into the judgment of God, no one can save you, (Hebrews 10: 30-31). All we can do is pray. We have to fall on our knees, humble ourselves and ask for mercy and forgiveness. Often times, the Lord will show mercy to us even after we sin and have been chastised. He will give us some reprieve so that we may gain strength to overcome. What do I mean by this?
  12. 12. CHILDREN OF ISRAEL Take the children of Israel for example. God described them as a stiff-necked and disobedient people. Despite countless warnings and chances, Israel continued to sin against the Lord, desiring to be like the nations of this world. As such, the Lord punished them greatly. They served under many captivities, were kicked out of their land and many were slaughtered. They lost their identify, wealth, language and beauty. In Deuteronomy 28, it reveals a small remnant was brought into ships as slaves to a land unknown to them.
  13. 13. SLAVERY ABOLISHED We know that slavery was extremely cruel and harsh, especially in the US. However, there were children of God amongst the slaves and the Lord heard their cries and remained with them even still. Ultimately, slavery was abolished in 1865. This was God’s mercy. But where there is goodness, Satan always follows.
  14. 14. JIM CROW LAWS Shortly after slavery was abolished, Jim Crow laws emerged, to mandate racial segregation and to marginalize blacks. Not to mention the ongoing lynchings and killings, yet God never forgot the remnant of Israel. He brought up leaders and activists during the Civil Rights Movement. God moved people in society, people in positions of authority, to change laws in our favor and so the Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1965. This is also God’s mercy. For though we are still subject to the curses that were brought upon us as a nation, the Lord lifted us up so that we could have room to grow and to become seasoned in His word.
  15. 15. THE UNFORGIVING SERVANT Now let us move on with the parable. The servant’s debt was forgiven. However, when he saw his fellow- servant that owed him some money, he was cruel and harsh, demanding payment. His brother (fellow-servant) begged for forgiveness and mercy, yet the servant refused. Instead, he had him thrown in jail until the debt was paid in its entirety.
  16. 16. BREAKING IT DOWN In this case, the debt represents offenses made by others, whether a family member, friend, church member, co worker or stranger. When the servant had his brother thrown in jail this can be liken to a person unable to forgive or show mercy to someone who caused offense or pain. Offenses can be small or great. They can be seldom or happen often. The person who hurts you may apologize or they may not. Regardless, we have to show everyone mercy and forgiveness as our Savior would have us to do.
  17. 17. IT’S NOT EASY It is not always easy to do this. It sometimes goes against our flesh to forgive. Why? We all have different personalities. Some individuals can move past conflicts quickly, whereas others tend to hold onto the hurt, letting it fester. Satan will replay the offense over and over in your mind, and then anger grows. He will mock you for NOT getting the last word or the upper hand. “I should have said this” or “The next time, I’m going to tell them this.” Anger leads to malice and malice leads to hate. We know to show ill will (malice) or to hate anyone is a sin against God. It is breaking the 6th commandment, (Matthew 5: 21-22 & I John 4: 20) That is why the Lord says, let not the sun go down on your wrath, (Ephesians 4: 26)
  18. 18. GRUDGES BE GONE! When you are unable to forgive you are holding a grudge(s) towards someone. We hear that word often so lets define it. A grudge means persistent ill will or resentment towards someone due to past injury or offense. GRUDGES ARE NOT JUST MERE THOUGHTS OR FEELINGS. It will affect how you treat people.
  19. 19. GRUDGES BE GONE! But did you know the primary person you are hurting is YOU! YOU carry the hurt and pain. YOU carry the anger. Like a cancer, it will continue to grow and spread, consuming you. It is like heavy baggage, weighing you down and preventing you from walking towards Christ. It will stunt your spiritual growth. We have to let go. We have to forgive, to show mercy and to love one another, for the sake of our OWN spiritual well being.
  20. 20. IT IS POSSIBLE How can we do this? Through fervent prayer and the Holy Spirit. Have a earnest conservation with the Lord and ask Him to help you in the matter. And rest assure, He will help you if you are sincere. Auntie Marjorie said in her testimony, one day, that she will do good things for people that have hurt her, because it strengthens her. That amazed me and her words stuck with me. So try it. What you do varies, depending on the nature of the relationship.
  21. 21. IT IS POSSIBLE Start simple. Just be courteous. Be nice. Say hello and smile. Ask them how their day was. Use kindness and the testimonies as a weapon to fight against Satan. Keep in mind, this individual may not reciprocate the kindness. That’s ok. That is where longsuffeing and patience comes in! We cannot control the actions of others but we can control our own actions. Most importantly, pray for them everyday and pray for yourself. It is possible that your good example can ultimately influence them in a positive way. And we know that God has the power to change people’s hearts and can move someone to show you favor.
  22. 22. IN CONCLUSION In conclusion, we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us. We can turn the other cheek, we can forgive, we can show mercy and we can love our brothers, our sisters and our enemies. God has not left us empty handed. We have the tools, resources and support from the word of God, from our church family and from our heavenly family above. I encourage all of you to put on bowels of mercy and to follow in the footsteps of our Lord, Jesus Christ. By doing so, you will excel in the faith and nothing will hold you back. May God be with you all. Amen.
  23. 23. CLOSING SCRIPTURES Psalms 86: 5 “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Colossians 3: 13-14 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”