The Gift of Mercy
By Dr. Ray Melugin

 

Definition

"He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness" (Romans 12:8)

The gift of showing mercy is the Spirit-guided ability to give practical, compassionate, cheerful love toward suffering, fellow believers.

To emotionally, mentally, or physically relate to those needing that kind of help.

The one with the gift concentrates on giving empathy and comfort during times of distress.

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7)

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galations 6:2)

 

I. Those with the gift will feel pity.

A. Not just the stirring of the emotions
1. Deep-down compassion, supernatural in origin, not just kindness.
a. Divine love, under the Spirit's guidance.
b. Acts in Christ's name.
c. It's object is to glorify God. ("Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus") Colossians 3:17)

B. More than a feeling of pity, the gift requires action
1. Jesus' compassion was expressed in concrete deeds of mercy.
a. Bartimaeus cried, "...Have mercy on me." (Mark 10:46-52)
b. Two blind men cried for mercy. (Matthew 9:27-31)
c. The ten lepers cried out for mercy. (Luke 17:12-19)
d. The demon-possessed daughter was shown mercy. (Mark 7:24-30)
e. The demon-possessed son was shown mercy. (Matthew 17:14-18)

2. James shows works as the action arm of faith.
a. Mercy doesn't end with caring, but with sharing. (James 2:15-16)
b. Believers showed mercy by selling lands, houses to help poor. (Acts 2:44-45)
c. Dorcas made coats, garments for poor widows. ("almsdeeds" could be rendered "mercy-deeds") Acts 9:36-39
d. The newly converted Philippian bailer showed Paul & Silas mercy. (Acts 16:33-34

3. Onesiphorus, literally "help-bringer," (mercy-doer) sought out Paul when in Rome. (2 Timothy 1:16-17)

Note: Paul seems to imply that Christians of Rome feared persecution or shame of association with him in prison. He, with so many friends, only had one coming to show him mercy.

C. Cheerfulness Required "mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:8)
1. Mercy cannot be shown from a sense of duty, with a scowl, or grudgingly.
2. Doing mercy with a growl nullifies the service.
3. The inner stimulus of the Holy Spirit makes the doer of mercy a "god send" burden bearer. (Galations 6:2)

 

II. Mercy, a strengthening factor to many

A. Though mercy must be extended to unbelievers, it's purpose is the edification of God's people, "do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Galations 6:10)

Note: Though the gift of helps releases Christian workers for ministry in the Word and pErnester, mercy is directed to the believer in distress, the outcast, poor, underprivileged, ill, handicapped, retarded, shut-in, hungry.

B. Church ministry grows through the gift of mercy to minorities.

Note: Many inner-city ministries are an outreach of someone exercising the gift of mercy. Mercy deeds do not have to be known for their magnitude, "Whosoever shall give you a cup of water in my name..shall not lose his reward." (Mark 9:41)

C. Deeds of mercy may be the strongest witness to the outside world. (Matthew 5:16) "Let your light so shine before men..."
1. Handicap ministries. "But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed;" (Luke 14:13-14)

Note: Local rehabilitation centers, employers of handicap, and educable slow, and homes who care for handicap, etc. usually will encourage their people to attend a ministry especially tailored to them. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples..." (John 13:35)

2. The impacts of life that are lasting are found in personal relations. "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (I John 3:18)

 

III. Characteristics of the Gift of Mercy

A. Deep loyalty to friends
Note: Loyalty is so strong by those with the gift that they will react harshly when those they love are verbally attacked. John wanted to call fire down upon the Samaritans when they rejected Jesus. (Luke 9:54)

B. Empathize with hurting people.
Note: Mercy shares the pain of others and senses the full scope of emotions. John wrote his first epistle to give joy, fellowship, hope and confidence and to cast out fear and torment. (I John 1:3-4; 3:2-3; 4:18; 5:13-14)

C. Finds it hard to be firm, as thy do not want to offend other people.

D. Senses genuine love
Note: John used the word "love" more than any other disciple.

E. Attract people in distress
Note: When Christ died, he transferred responsibility for his grieving mother to John.

F. Tries to remove the sources of hurt (I John 3:11-15)

 

 
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