Lessons - Devotional - "Mercy"

I’ve been a part of this congregation for 12 years now, and during that time most of you have had a conversation with me where “I didn’t seem all there”.
I know some of you are like, “Aren’t you were always that way?” Fair enough.
- One time I’m about to pass out b/c I’ve worked 48 hours straight
- Next time, it’s back pain from my motorcycle injury
- I’m weak & sick most mornings (probably from Celiac Disease)
- Stressed out b/c my todo list hasn’t had less than 150 items on in 8 years
- ADD / APD so I hear every conversation and can’t focus on any of them
Some days it’s all of the above! ..and then my dear brother or sister asks if I noticed that so and so seemed a little quiet today… and I’m thinking I probably wouldn’t notice if the walls were missing.
But I love talking with you all. I’m not trying to zone out on you... and you always show me patience & mercy.
How wonderful is that mercy shown to me!

And that’s what I want us to think about just for a moment here: showing grace, mercy, and patience to others. And not just to those in the church who love you, but also to those in the world who don’t know or care for us.

We all want understanding and patience from others toward us, right?
Are we equally as ready to give that understanding & patience to them?

We always have a reason when we fall short: 'I’ve been sick', 'I’m just too busy', 'my computer crashed', 'dog ate my homework'.
We expect mercy and get upset if it we don’t get it.
But when someone else doesn’t deliver for us! Do we jump all over them, report them to their boss, or talk bad about them to others?
Brothers, do we become the unmerciful servant of Mt 18 who has been forgiven so much, but forces what we want out of our fellow servants?

That worker that didn't offer you the great service you wanted.. Did you take the time to find out that their spouse just left them? or that they have family dying from cancer? or that they are being sued for all they own?

We can get a million lessons on patience & mercy just by driving through Charlotte traffic. I kid you not, while pondering this lesson on mercy yesterday, I saw a vanity plate on a car in front of me that read "g&mercy". I smiled, then watched that car accelerate to prevent the car in the right lane from getting in front of it... then once that car was trapped behind a 3rd car, the 'mercy' car slowed down to prevent it from getting behind it too!
Maybe I misread their plate... it mighta said ‘beg for mercy’!
Hope that wasn’t anyone’s plate in here. If so, there’ll be an invitation offered in just a minute.

Would we drive any differently if we had a bumper sticker that read “I’m a Christian”?
Really, we do carry that message, even if not written on our car.
Do we drive like we wear Christ’s name?
Do we treat others like we wear Christ’s name?
Do we treat them as we would treat Christ?
inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me (Mt 25:40)

How can we look past our problems and look at the needs of others, being patient & merciful to them?
We can’t on our own, but we are able to do so in Christ because God has first shown us grace & mercy.
Eph 4:32 - And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

It is because of God’s Great Mercy that we can be merciful to others. It is also why we can be counted righteous on the great Day of Judgment, but only by accepting His Grace in obedience to the gospel.
If you haven’t done that, let us help you do so tonight.

If you are a Christian and have been forgiven much, but are having trouble showing mercy to your fellow servants, let us know so we can petition the Father on your behalf.

We invite you to come forward and make your need known, while together we stand and sing.