Do you have a perfect family?

Obviously not. There is no perfect family. That’s why our family needs mercy.

When the rich man’s will was read, his wife was very upset: he left everything to his fishing buddy and nothing to her!She drove immediately to the cemetery to cancel her order for his headstone.The stonecarver said, “You’re too late. I already carved it just like you told me: ‘Rest In Peace.'”The woman thought a moment and then replied, “Okay, then, I’ll pay you a little more to add, ‘Till we meet again!'”

Rather than revenge, families need to extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Jesus promises a blessing to families who are merciful.

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

The first four beatitudes deal entirely with inner principles – principles of the heart and mind. They are concerned with the way we see ourselves before God. The last four are outward manifestations of those attitudes – those who in poverty of spirit recognize their need of mercy are led to show mercy to others. Those who mourn over their sin are led to purity of heart. Those who are meek always seek to make peace. And those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are never unwilling to pay the price of being persecuted for righteousness’s sake.

God is merciful to all.

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

God’s mercy is bigger than any of your mistakes.

There are three very similar attributes of God that will help us understand mercy better: love, grace, forgiveness. Love is constant, mercy is in time of need. Grace gives us what we don’t deserve, mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve. Forgiveness deals with sins, mercy deals with trouble.

Have you received God’s mercy?

If you have been given mercy, give mercy.

The concept of mercy is seen throughout Scripture. Mercy is a desperately needed gift of God’s salvation and the Lord requires us to follow His example by extending mercy to others. Jesus promises a special blessing to those who are merciful. How can we show mercy to our family?

1 – Do Good.

Mercy does good for others even though they don’t deserve it. Jesus tells us to love, pray for and do good to others, even our enemies. Find opportunities to be kind and loving to your family, even when they don’t deserve it.

2 – Be Good.

Mercy is an attitude. We really can’t honestly do mercy unless we are merciful. What are the attitudes that mercy holds? Don’t hold a grudge. Don’t capitalize on another’s failure or weakness. Don’t publicize another’s wrong. Show a gracious and merciful attitude to your loved ones.

3 – Make Good.

The best way we can extend mercy to our family members is to show them how they can find mercy with God. In other words, help them trust Jesus as personal Savior. How can we do this?

  • Sympathy – Recognize their lost condition without Christ.
  • Confrontation – Willing and desire to present the need for Christ.
  • Prayer – Constantly bring their name to God for salvation.
  • Proclamation – Make sure they hear the Gospel in multiple contexts.

Perhaps no more beautiful illustration of mercy exists in the Bible apart from God’s mercy in Christ, is that of Joseph and his brothers.

Through jealousy, the brothers sold Joseph into slavery, convincing his father that he had been devoured by wild beasts. In the following years Joseph through his faithfulness to God and his masters, rose in position in Egypt until he was second in power to Pharaoh himself. It was a famine that drove the unsuspecting brothers down to Egypt to buy food. Joseph recognized his brothers, dealt with them compassionately, and had them bring his father and all their families to Egypt where he could nourish them through the remaining years of famine.

Where vengeance and anger were certainly justified, Joseph showed only mercy and love. Why? Because those who are shown mercy will show mercy and will be happy. No path to happiness is found in selfish living and indifference to others. Instead, when we have experienced the mercy of God then we will show mercy to others.