Beth Moore — God's Kingdom Purpose For You
I loved -- did you see in recent weeks in this series on the kingdom when James was talking about his history as a couple with Betty and how he told her, "He is more real to me than the skin wrapped around my bones." We want you to know him like that. There is no way to explain that but I'm going to pray and he is going to give you that kind of a sense of his presence.
But don't waste that need because part of that need, part of that crisis is exactly what has put you in the place to hear his voice. It is not the grief that is a blessing, it is not the mourning that is the blessing but there is a comfort that comes to those who are hurting that is unlike anything else to me in the realm of the human experience. I've known at times when I was coming out of a crisis, I've had the most vivid awareness in my mind that there was about to be a trade off. Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
Because I would know, he has gone so out of his way to make himself known to me. He might as well as shown up in front of me in a multicolored coat. Anybody getting that with me? He would almost do cart wheels for you because you were in such a state of desperate need. And you know when things ease up a little, maybe you're not as desperate for that word to jump off the page. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are we -- I want you to look down at verse 7 that says:
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
I've jotted this down in my notes. I've been memorizing a verse out of the book of James. You sit right where you are because I'm just going to read it to you here very quickly because it really has shaken my world and I knew it. That's the beauty of it is sometimes you already know it's there but suddenly it just begins to jump off that page again, and I want to read it to you. Just hold on just a second here. It says in this James 2, verses 12 and 13.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
I don't set up the rules. God is all-wise and he knows if he doesn't make this a personal issue where we realize that if we are not merciful people we are going to have an encounter with God or season with God where we feel like he is somehow not pouring out that favor in our misery that we have seen him so often do; when he is calling us to a place of mercy.
Somebody is trying to decide today this season of your life whether to treat a situation with mercy or judgment. And I say to you this, because this is where it gets confusing, I mean what if truth needs to be spoken? Oh, that's what it's called in Ephesians when he says "speak the truth in love." Mercy never means we don't speak truth. Mercy never means like we're blind.
Mercy means knowing, eyes wide open what the situation is. We choose to have the heart of Christ toward that person in their estate. We choose to see them underneath the offense that we've taken into the hurt that causes people to hurt people. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Everybody say it because it is a wonderful thing to say, "Mercy triumphs over judgment."
I don't always know if I'm going to be right or wrong in the way I'm going to deal with a situation but what I like to think of to myself is if I'm going to err, let me err on the side of mercy. Let God say to me later, "You know what? You were a little overly merciful in that situation."
But let it not be me -- let it not be me. Merciful doesn't mean gullible. It's compassion to the reality. Just in case you're running out of mercies, that's when I have to go to Lamentations 3 where it says, "God's mercies are new every morning!" You've got somebody in your life that consumes a lot of mercy?
You better be up early. Amen? Amen! One of the things I find is that my own mercy runs out so quickly. I'll know very fast in a situation whether I'm working off of my own love or letting the love of Christ overtake my heart. I'll know very quickly is it human mercy that I'm exercising toward this person or is it God's mercy? Because I'm going to run out really quick. It is going to be like, you know what? I gave you your 10 minutes, pull it together.