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Blessed are the Merciful

by James Madsen, Pastor of Discipleship

This is much easier to live out in theory than it is in practice. We live in an age where people are so easily offended, where we stubbornly insist we are right—and we feel compelled to make sure others know how wrong they are. But Tim Keller says that when we become a Christian, we give up our right to be offended. Just as God no longer counts our sins against us,
we should no longer count other people’s sins against them. What is your internal reaction to that? For many of us, the initial response is anger, followed with, “But you don’t understand how awful that person was to me.”

The Beatitudes not only reveal the ideals of the kingdom of God, they also reveal where I still wrestle with God’s ideals. They vividly point out to me where I need Jesus to die for my sins. As I come to Jesus and ask to receive His grace and mercy, transformation begins in my heart. One way to read the Beatitudes is to see them as a description of how the grace of God takes hold of our lives. The truth is that we cannot give mercy to others until we begin to grasp our vast need for that same mercy. When our hands are full of God’s mercy toward us, it will certainly overflow to the lives of others.