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36. Be ye therefore merciful, as your father also is merciful.
37. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39. And he spake a parable unto them, can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40. The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master.
41. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceives not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42. Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
Let’s look at instructions about how to practice mercy toward others. First of all we show mercy when we do not judge others, when we do not prejudge or judge at any time others and set ourselves up as an authority about other people and about their lives and who they are and how they are living. Jesus says you be merciful, as our Father is merciful. I am at amazed in the Scripture how many times we look for a role model and examples and the Scripture always stands up Almighty God, like Peter said be ye holy for I am holy saith the Lord. When he looks for a model for holiness, he doesn’t pick out some individual person, but he picks out God as the great model. Here he is saying when you practice mercy; you must practice it like your father gives mercy. We all understand what it means for us to cry out for mercy, and here he is saying show mercy by not judging people, don’t put yourself in the place to determine whether they are right or wrong or to tell exactly whether they are condemned. He said we show mercy when we do not condemn others. Judging others is Gods job, not ours; we are not supposed to condemn them. Jesus confronted the religious leaders of his day and the religious system of his day; because they had such regulations outlined until they knew exactly by the way a person acted or looked whether or not they were religious and measuring up to the Jewish law. They were ready to condemn, so Jesus took them head on with messages like this saying it is God in heaven alone who has the power to judge and condemn. We show mercy when we forgive. Forgive and it shall be forgiven you. Each one of these instructions carries with it a very special blessing. If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge, if you don’t want to be condemned, don’t condemn. Condemn not and ye shall not be condemned. If you want forgiveness, we must forgive. If you want to be forgiven you must practice forgiving others otherwise it will block your ability to receive mercy and forgiveness. If you hold a grudge it puts you in a position where you cannot receive blessing and help from God. That is the reason why blaspheming and sin against the Holy Spirit is so powerful, it is not that God would not have the power to forgive, but once you go that far you put yourself in a position in which you can no longer receive his forgiveness, mercy and grace, because you will not open up your heart and mind to God to receive. Here he is saying if you don’t forgive it closes the door to your forgiveness. In the Lord’s Prayer the only part of that prayer emphasized when he was finished was forgiving people there trespasses. We show mercy also when we give to others, this is not just giving to God, if you even give a cup of cold water to someone who is thirsty in his name that you are giving it in retrospect to him, he is also going to present this question to us in the end, when he says I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, and I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, and I was in prison and you came to visit me. They say they do not remember this time, he said if you do it unto the very least of these people, that we have done it unto God. What this means is that Jesus takes your actions of mercy and grace that you bestow on others as an act of ministry to him directly. After all we are being a blessing to the members of his body and those that are not in the body, and Jesus writes it down as credit in your favor as ministry unto him. He says to give to others, the blessing that returns to you is it shall be given unto you, pressed down, good measure, shaken together, and running over. Sometimes the Lord calls upon you to give when you are in dire need. I once gave a needy student one hundred dollars, money I desperately needed, but the Lord impressed me to give it to this young person, by the end of that week, there was a deposit to my good of a thousand dollars, that is what I call good measure. I know it works, Jesus said it first of all, but I have seen it work in my own life. Barnabas gave all he had to fund the revival, he gave to the homeless, and his name was changed from Joseph to Barnabas, otherwise known as Mr. Encourager. He encouraged people with the way he used his money and the way that God worked through him. Just as our Lord flowing out of our heart he wants that grace and mercy flowing into our lives and to flow out to others, when that happens God is manifesting his mercy and blessing to others. Working through us is one way he blesses for his own glory and honor. We will be blessed with the same measure that we measure out. On the mount Jesus said you will be judged by the same measure in which you judge others, in other words what you require of other people is what God will require of you. God sees the measure that comes from our hearts and he measures us by that measurement. We show mercy to others when we admit our own faults and shortcomings instead of just talking about others faults and failures. How can we even see the little speck in someone else’s eye, when we are looking through the beam that is in our own eye? This is an exaggerated example, but it carries the weight of the point. We show mercy when we don’t pick at the splinter in their eye, until we take care of the plank in our own eye. One brother at a church I pastored would get involved in the service and pray and then get up from the altar and go get some people and take them to pray and then would spend his time trying to tell them how to live, then by Wednesday night service something would have happened to get him out of sorts with someone and he would have a temper tantrum and would come to church with the sulks and if we had a good service and he would come to the altar again and pray through again then he would be the first one to go and try to get someone to come to the altar, and after a while this kind of pattern became old. No one wanted to see this man coming and no one wanted to respond to him, and some told him that he needed to straighten out his own life and get solid in the word and in the love of God, before you try to show others how to live. You don’t have to be absolutely perfect to preach the word, but it helps if people know you practice what you preach. You can be the person that causes someone to give up on their faith because of your requirements for them that exceed what the requirements are that you give yourself. Make sure the standards by which you live are the ones that measure up to Gods standards. Jesus is saying to his disciples that he wants them to be a blessing to other people by showing mercy, don’t judge, don’t condemn, if they do you wrong forgive them. He keeps coming back with these great blessings and rewards if you show mercy, give and it shall be given to you. Following the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ I think we can come to understand what it really means to be merciful as our father in heaven is merciful, because he looks down upon us all who were undeserving and unworthy and he loved us anyway. And it was while we were sinners that Christ died. If God can look beyond our faults and love us and see our needs and show mercy and grace, I believe some of those great attributes can come into our own hearts.
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