This broadcaster has 814 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
August 24, 2021 12:00 am
Mercy one overwrote a surprising amount of food and giving food mercy of seeing a person begging for love and giving them love, mercy, or seeing someone lonely and giving them company. Mercy is not a feeling their need.
It is in meeting their needs. True mercy the world doesn't really buy this idea in Christ's day and in our day.
Happiness is having people bow to our needs. The world says whenever you are in control when you have people in your mercy, you have blessed are those who never need a hand, Jesus says blessed are those who are always willing to lend a hand. The world says happy are those whose sin is never revealed. Jesus says happy are those whose private purity is a daily resolution. This is wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi is continuing through his series from Matthew five with this message that he's calling happy are the helpful and whole. He was born in 1897 in a tiny farming community in Western Pennsylvania. One night as a teenager fact he was 17 years of age while walking home from his job at the tire store. He overheard a street preacher was preaching thereby say if you don't know how to be saved. Just call on God.
Well, when he got home he climbed into the attic where he could be alone and called out to God for salvation five years after his conversion, he took his first pastorate in West Virginia. He never had any formal training. Although he would become an incredible student of the word. It would be a great teacher of Christian principles. He entered the ministry, making him about 22 years of age after 40 years of faithful service offering numerous books, pastoring several churches receiving two honorary doctorates leading as editor, a national magazine producing countless articles with the pen laced with his own wits and a bit of sarcasm in a load of spiritual insight.
He finally finished his race. His name was Ivan Wilson. Toes are better known as a W to this or is books, among them the knowledge of the holy of the pursuit of God are now considered across denominational lines as Christian Classics the love by many. He definitely stood for the gospel. In fact, in an era where liberalism swept into mainline Protestantism in the early and mid 1900s toes or wrote these words, we are not diplomats but prophets and our message is not a compromise.
It is an ultimatum toes or further challenge the average American church that grew stale.
Over time he would he would write these words.
One characteristic that marks the average church today is a lack of anticipation when Christians meet, they do not expect anything unusual to happen. Consequently, only the usual happens in that usual is as predictable as the setting of the sun. We need today a fresh spirit of anticipation that springs out of the promises of God as we come together with childlike faith more than anything AW toes or had the ability to challenge the believer to dig into the word he wrote this we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others, nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.
He compared on one occasion the Bible to wristwatch and with a touch of sarcasm he wrote, if God gives you a watch.
Are you honoring him by asking him what time it is or by consulting the watch I recently finished reading again is little book the knowledge of the holy. For those of you who read his books, you know that even though his most favored books centered on theology toes or had an unusual ability to challenge the Christian with the truth of believing theology was not enough.
In fact, it was dangerous unless we lived it and abated what he wants, reminded an audience.
He reminded them of this truth when he said the devil is a better theologian than any of us, yet he remains the devil interesting thought.
On one occasion. AW toes are preached through the Beatitudes.
He made the comment that if you turn these eight Beatitudes inside out, you would know exactly how the world thought so I I sort of took the challenge, which is still true 50 years after he said it and I turned these Beatitudes inside out and paraphrase them in verse three, the world would say happy are those who can say I've got it made. Jesus Christ says happy are those who recognize they haven't got a chance verse for the world says happy are those who never have to cry about anything Jesus Christ says happy are those who never stop crying over sin. Verse five the world says happy are those who know how to climb the ladder. Jesus Christ says happy are those who voluntarily come in last for six the world says happy are those who stuff themselves with the things of life.
Jesus Christ says happy are those who are starving for something beyond this life for seven. The world would say Blessed are those who never need help or a handout.
Jesus Christ says blessed are those who are ready, ever ready to lend a hand in verse eight, the world would say happy are those whose private perversion is never revealed Jesus Christ would say happy are those whose private purity is a daily resolution.
Let's take a closer look at verse seven Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy now before we find out what Christ is saying we need to understand what he is and say two things.
He is not saying that could lead to confusion. First, Jesus Christ is not saying if you show mercy to others, you will receive mercy from others in return. Have you found that to be true.
If that were so, the most merciful man to ever walk the planet would have been given mercy by the mob instead. He was given a rugged cross, right. David showed mercy to King Saul twice. David could've taken the life of this cruel and vindictive, paranoid king who threw spears at him trying to pin him to the wall and who for years trying to hunt David out Achille so he wouldn't take the front of Israel, even a got a promise to on one occasion if you study his life. You know how in the middle of the night while Saul and his men were sleeping in the open. David crept up and cut a piece away from Saul's cloak when he could have cut Saul's throat. David showed mercy.
Saul grew more vindictive, it's possible to show mercy to people who turn their back on you, who in response reject you treat you badly, so the Lord is not saying if you show mercy to others, you'll have people giving you mercy and return. Secondly, Jesus is not saying if you show mercy to other people. You will learn mercy from God.
Face value that may seem, what it says unless you study the through the analogy of Scripture comparing Scripture with Scripture, we discover that we do not earn mercy by extending mercy, salvation from God is not merited. However, salvation from God is received and receiving mercy from God is our present tense experience and our future tense experience multiple Titus the Christ saved us according to his mercy.
Titus three verse five in Ephesians chapter 2 verse four Paul writes that God has saved us, being rich in mercy, in other words, it's impossible to be saved without the mercy of God and salvation is unmerited. It is the gift of God.
Here's what I believe is happening.
This beatitude has more to do with our relationship with other people than what God I believe you can understand the Lord to be saying this, since you are people who have and will receive the mercy of God.
Prove it by showing mercy to other people.
In other words, one of the distinctives of Christianity. Audibly, the demonstration of mercy not only from God to us, but through us to others showing mercy to others is not a condition to receiving mercy from God. It is proof that we have showing mercy is evidence that we have received God's mercy.
I think this is behind the apostle John's text when he asked the Christian student. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him literally has no mercy on him, how can the love of God be in him.
First John 317. We will learn the love of God. But how can we claim to have the love of God and be unloving. How can we claim to have received the mercy of God and be unmerciful Jesus Christ as you want to be truly happy. Demonstrate to others what you perceived and will yet receive mercy from God. Yet to understand as well, but the world of Christ, did not admire mercy. Romans admired power and justice and might, the philosophers of Christ day even called mercy, and I quote from one of them a disease of the soul.
While in India.
I was moved by the masses of people who were considered untouchables lowest caste in this Hindu culture. Children would run after us offering us cheap plastic necklaces for whatever change we could give them we would drive by corners and there would be women carrying babies on her hips, begging their lives filled with unspeakable difficulty in sorrow and no mercy anywhere. The religion taught them that these people it simply reincarnated as untouchable simply because it affected live evil lives and what they were experiencing was what they deserve. Interesting. I met a Christian woman there in India who had gone among the people in her area inviting elementary age girls from the untouchable caste to a school that she created. She dressed them in clean uniforms and then in a public bathroom that she had scrubbed clean set them in tidy rows in every day taught these girls their education. That's mercy. What would motivate anybody of anybody mercy the fact that we have received mercy from God.
Mercy went off the road, simply sing a man without food and giving them food.
Mercy is seeing a person begging for love and giving them love mercy is seeing someone lonely and giving them company.
Mercy is not in feeling their need. It is in meeting their need.
That's true mercy, but the world doesn't really buy this idea in Christ day and in our day.
Happiness is having people bow to our needs. The world says whenever you are in control when you have people here mercy. You're happy. So Joseph was really living it up then write in Genesis 42 where his brothers came along to Egypt in need of a food and now they are bowing before this young ruler, not realizing that he is there brother. They sold in the slavery. Joseph now had them at his mercy and gave the mercy that ladies and gentlemen is undeniable proof that God's mercy and impacted Joseph's heart long before you want true happiness show mercy you want to be truly unhappy, don't show mercy.
Be stingy with people.
Let everybody know the people down the street art and across the street or in the newsreader getting what they deserve. Talk like that in the living room to your children show no mercy while you're at it you might study the life of Joseph Stalin. Stalin means steel. This Russian premier. One of those powerful men on the planet had millions of people at his mercy and he showed no mercy. This man of steel that had seven bedrooms each of them would be closed that night as tightly as a safe, for fear of being assassinated. He feared that those he lead with his steel boot might show him the same mercy. He even employed.
I read a servant full time to do nothing more than monitor and guard his teabags so terrified there's a happy man for you is on top of the world. The truth is the servant who watched over his teabags probably enjoyed his tea more than Stalin ever did or could Solomon put it this way, the merciful man ultimately does himself good, the cruel man only hurts himself. Proverbs 1117.
There is mercy and forgiveness in their there's mercy when you withhold what someone deserves. When you refuse to get revenge even when that person is at your mercy and you can hurt them or humiliate them or ignore them.
Mercy is the imitation that of Christ, who is merciful and salvation.
The hymn writer put it this way you'll recognize these lyrics by God's word. At last my sin. I learned then I trembled at the law I'd spurned till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary and what happened mercy.
There was great mercy was great and Grace was free pardon, there was multiplied to me there. My burden soul found liberty where Calvary the one who shows the guilty mercy reveals the truth that he has received the mercy of Christ in his past. He is experiencing it in his present he will experience the mercy of God in his eternal future.
You could say this way. Happy are the helpful Jesus Christ goes on to deliver another upside down, backward counterculture truth on how to find happiness how to put away the me attitude to discover the Beatitudes.
Remember the word beatitude simply means true, genuine happiness.
Look at verse eight Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Happy are the holy blessed are the pure in heart, you study the Scriptures and discover the fact that there is positional purity and practical purity. Positional purity is the work that God does for Christians. Practical purity is the work Christians do for God. Positional purity is really another term for justification. We are justified. We are declared sure we are declared righteous or right by the work of God for us at salvation. Paul wrote in Romans chapter 3 2324 for all of sin and fall short of the glory of God and are justified, declared sure before God right with God by grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Positional purity is the easy part, but is from our perspective on our side of the equation, because God accomplished everything so that we could be positionally pure, practical purity is the hard part. You struggle with that today.
So did I. This is our responsibility.
This is what we are and do for God and you notice in this text that the emphasis is not on the hands, but the heart, our hands are related to mercy our heart is related to purity mercy is an external activity. Purity is an internal quality.
By the way whenever the Bible talks about the heart is talking about the center of the personality in the Bible, the heart is the mind, the emotions and what the will, the heart refers then to what makes you who you really are Jesus Christ it out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 1234. Solomon wrote as a man thinks in his where heart, so is a that's who he really is the real them the real with their thinking and their heart so that the happy then are those who diligently and passionately desire purity in their heart which means purity in their mind purity in their emotions purity in their will purity what they think purity and what they decide purity and how they allow themselves to feel purity is from the word catharsis which means or refers to integrity. It is akin to the Latin word textus, which gives us our English word chased noticed the promise of the text. Blessed are the pure in heart, here it is, for they shall see God. The tense of that verb is future continuous tense one author paraphrase the text read it this way than happy are those who pursue purity in their mind, emotions, and will because they will continually be seeing God for themselves. In other words, they will see like none other. The hand of God at work. How we as believers, as we walk with God and as we commune with God and purity Mark see his hand in creation.
We see the creation received in circumstances we see his hand in culture. God is at work in the pure in heart, privileged to see it one wears me put it this way, spiritual site leads to spiritual insight. We see him at work throw was once asked if he wanted to read the newspaper and he responded that he had read one once already.
I like this perspective better.
John Wesley once said that he read the newspaper to see what God was doing in his world.
Do you think of it that way you look at it that way. Can you look at your world. With that perspective, the best way to see the hand of God at work in your own life and the lives of others and in the life of your world is a heart that continually asks God this is the daily pursuit of purity like David who prayed create in me a clean heart. Oh God is another way of saying, Lord, I want to see what work in every possible way. Blessed are those who can see with their heart, but a better translation and those with pure hearts. He promises those who passionately pursue private purity. This is in your heart. Nobody sees what he knows but God mercy everybody sees it. You have an impure heart and be merciful, pure heart. God knows God sees pursue that and you will see the work of God in your world in your life and circumstances. In other people's lives as well. It will demand and require this resolution prayed with David created me daily. Today, this moment, clean heart before the Hubble space telescope was launched it had experienced a number of delays. It was supposed to launch. I think it was in the 73 launched an 80 this amazing telescope orbits the earth 360 miles up races around the globe once every 97 minutes. Can peer into space and they can see is it worth 7 billion light years away.
There was trouble early on before was launched and the delay lasted seven years. The lens had been manufactured but now needed to be protected while everything else was completed and the place was found where the lens could be stored. Sterile clean cell in the Lockheed facility in Sunnyvale, California at a cost of $8 million a month.
You thought your rent was bad. Okay this is what this cost.
I found it fascinating that scientists understood that the best way to see the heavens is through clean lens believers catch it pursue a pure heart recognize the rest way to see the activity of the God of heaven is with a clean heart AW toes are set up this way you can see God from anywhere. If your heart is set to love him and obey him. By the way, for me wrap up by just saying a few more words about this gentleman. He lived what he preached. He was both helpful and holy. He was committed to passionate about his wife you imagine this plus her seven children never owned a family vehicle. They use public transportation when they needed to go anywhere and then toes or gave away most of their money. He wrote these convicting words to me and was all the quote.
It will cost something to walk carefully and slowly in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time Russia balance confusing motion with progress but to walk slowly and carefully pay off in the long run is another way of saying listen.
Whatever you do don't give your new year with the world says about having listen to what Jesus Christ says the world has it all turned inside out. Jesus Christ really straightened the Christian in effect, ladies and gentlemen is someone who has given Jesus Christ final word. The last word.
What is he saying in these two principles show mercy pursue purity and that no matter what the world says is that true, genuine, happy seen today that the teaching Jesus is unique. Thanks so much for listening today. This is wisdom for the heart Stephen Devi as our Bible teacher for this daily program. He's currently teaching from Matthew five in a series called overcoming the me attitudes. I encourage you to install our app to your phone so you can access all of our Bible-based resources any time you want or need the wisdom international app will work with your smart phone your tablet or smart.
It's free to install and use it as a great companion for your personal Bible study.
Our ministry is on social media and that's a great way to stay informed and interact with us, we'd enjoy interacting with you online. Thanks again for joining us today will continue this series on our next lesson. So don't miss. That's next time here on wisdom