Pastor Ronnie McDougall : The Gift of Receiving and Giving Mercy

Light Breaks Through · 43:45 · Recorded December 4, 2016

The Gift of Receiving & Giving Mercy

Luke 1:76-79 (NIV) “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Mercy is an attribute of God’s character!

Mercy: Compassion, kindness or forgiveness shown especially to someone a person has power over.

What does God’s mercy do for me?

1. Rescues me from myself.

Timothy 2:5 (CEV) There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us.

Psalm 50:15 (NLT) Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”

2. Connects me to God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

3. Qualifies me to become like Jesus.

How can I give as good as I get?

1. I can overlook irritations and offenses.

Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (MSG) “Be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.”

2. I can be kind when it’s not expected or deserved.

Proverbs 3:27 (NCV) “Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (CEV) “Don’t be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to every-one else.”

3. I can let go of past hurts.

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) Love…is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

4. I can believe the best in others!

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Lamentations 3:20-23 (NLT) “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.”

Study & Discussion Questions
  • Read the definition of mercy in your notes and think about a time when someone showed you mercy. What was the compassion, kindness, or forgiveness they extended to you? Were they humble and graceful in expressing this? Were you humble and graceful in your response? How have you shown mercy to others?

  • Look again at the three things Ronnie listed of what God’s mercy does for you. Share with your small group at least one example from each of these areas. Pray together, thanking God for his mercy that is so deep and far-reaching in your life.

  • Think about a time someone offended you. Did you let it go? Were you able to actively choose not to be offended and extend mercy to that person? Does remembering the many offenses that Jesus overlooks daily help you to make a greater effort at this? What can you do in the moment of irritation or offense to release it to God and move forward with that person in grace?

  • Ronnie talked about how we perceive our rights today. We’re told all the time we “have a right to…” or we “deserve” something. John 1:12 tells us that as believers he’s given us the “right” to become children of God. What rights does that give us? The right to be more like him? The right to fulfill his purpose for us? What else? How can you act on these rights you’ve been given in Christ as you live out your faith each day?

  • Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with your children. Share with them that this is how God loves us and how he asks us to love others. Part of this love is showing mercy, just as he’s done with us. Review the second half of the message notes together over dinner and talk about how we can make great choices to look past the irritations we encounter, we can surprise people with kindness, we can forget about past problems and move forward in grace, and we can always choose to believe the best about others. All of this is a choice – a choice to grow to be more like Jesus a little bit every day!

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