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We are in a sermon series at my church called “Life Apps”. The series is about how the Bible has many apps that can enhance and improve our life? This past week, the message was titled “Mercy App”. We can have a lot of knowledge but we must also learn how to apply this knowledge. The concept of forgiveness may sound simple but it’s very hard to apply. What are some ideas for applying mercy in our life?
Below is an outline of the message. The outline printed in black is supplied by the church staff in a PDF document at this link and I added the notes in the blue print as I listened.
1. THE MERCY APP IS DIVINE.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,.. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ ” - Matthew 5:43, 44 &46-48 (NIV)
It is clear that to be like Christ, we have to take that extra step to reach out to those that are against us.
2. THE MERCY APP IS INFINITE.
“Then Peter came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No!’ Jesus replied, ‘seventy times seven!’ ” - Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)
We should ask the Lord to forgive us and forgive those that sin against us. We hear the words but how do we do it.
3. THE MERCY APP IS REQUIRED.
“...and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.... If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” - Matthew 6:12 & 14-15 (NLT)
We recognize certain logos like Coke, Apple, and McDonald’s but no logo has the recognition that the Christian logo has. No matter where you go, the cross is recognized across the world today.
4. THE MERCY APP IS ALL ABOUT APPLICATION.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.... On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’” - Romans 12:17-18, 20-21 (NIV)
Forgiveness is aggressive and active because it breaks the cycle of the past. Japan and Germany were enemies to the free world during World War II but after the war, the countries of the free world helped to build Germany and Japan back. Today they are among our friends.
Paul makes it clear; don’t repay evil for evil but take the pathway that Christ has laid by offering love and peace instead of revenge. Remember that every person is a child of God.
5. THE MERCY APP IS AN ADVENTURE.
“Jesus said, ‘Father forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing.’ ” - Luke 23:34 (NLT)
What we want from God is a relationship with Him and an adventurous life together. Sometimes we have difficulties or get off track and that’s were mercy helps; God forgives and we can also. Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing”.
What I took from the message this past week is that forgiveness is very important in life. No one is perfect but we can try our best to follow the example of Jesus; offering love and peace instead of revenge. Jesus is in charge so take time to pray and think things through before you respond to a wrong done to you.
A video doesn’t assure application of God’s Word but it does give inspiration that gets us going. I’d like to share this video with you as it definitely reminds us that Jesus is a friend of everyone and motivates us to follow His example. Simply click this link: Jesus Friend of Sinners – Casting Crowns or on the video below: