“Blessed are the MERCIFUL, for they shall obtain mercy.”

Many try to define mercifulness in a humanistic way. They speak of mercy as a virtue and say that if you are good to everyone, they will be good to you.

Well, mercy given isn’t necessarily mercy returned. Jesus was the most merciful person who ever lived, yet He was crucified. If mercy carried its own reward, Jesus wouldn’t have been nailed to a cross, spat upon, and cursed. Jesus received no mercy from those He gave mercy to. Mercy is not a human virtue that brings its own reward. Jesus’ emphasis was that if a person is merciful to others, God will be merciful to them!

Mercy comes from a heart that has first felt its spiritual bankruptcy, has come to grief over its sin, has learned to wait meekly for the timing of the Lord, and hungered for the work of God’s mercy to satisfy them with the righteousness they need.

The key to becoming a merciful person is to become a ‘broken’ person. You get the power to show mercy from the real feeling in your heart that our mercy to each other comes from God’s mercy to us.

Therefore, if you want to become a merciful person, it is imperative that you cultivate a view of God and yourself that helps you to say with all your heart that every joy and virtue and even distress of your life is owing to the free and undeserved mercy of God.

Mercy and its derivatives always deal with pain and distress, which are the results of sin. However, grace deals with sin itself. Mercy deals with the symptoms of the disease, while grace deals with the disease itself. Mercy offers relief from punishment, while grace offers pardon for the crime. Mercy eliminates the punishment due for sin, while grace removes a person’s sin.

Mercy speaks of compassion in action. It goes beyond merely feeling compassion or sympathy. It is doing something good to anyone who has a need. True mercy is genuine compassion with a pure and unselfish motive that reaches out to help those in need. They don’t set themselves above anyone—they stoop to help others.

In Luke 10:30-35 Jesus tells of a Jewish man who was robbed and beaten. He was left lying on the side of the road. A priest went by but didn’t want to help so he kept on walking. A Levite went by and did the same. Then a Samaritan saw the maimed man and stopped to care for him. He bound up the man’s wounds and poured oil on them–that was mercy. He rented a room for him at an inn so he
would have a place to stay—that was grace. By mercy the Samaritan dealt with the beaten man’s wounds. By grace he provided him with a better condition. God’s mercy deals with the negatives of our sin and His grace does something positive for us. His mercy says, “No hell.” His grace says, “Heaven.” His mercy pities; His grace pardons. Mercy and grace are two sides of the same coin offered in salvation through Christ. (Mercy is not getting something bad that you do deserve. Grace is getting something good that you don’t deserve).

Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. As we are merciful to others, so our Heavenly Father will be merciful with us! Jesus reminds us that whatever “you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:35-40). The following are ways this area of Scripture cites on how Jesus says one is to be merciful to their ‘neighbor’:

– Feed the hungry
– Give drink to the thirsty
– Shelter the homeless
– Clothe the naked
– Visit the sick
– Comfort the imprisoned

[ My church, Faith Covenant, just completed an ‘initiative’ called, “Advent Lights,” which used this area of Scripture to help those in their surrounding community with their gifts of time, talent, and treasure. For more info, visit their web page: ].

The merciful become a ‘channel’ of God’s mercy showing kindness to those who need it, and help those who need their ‘wounds’ healed—especially since God has shown them mercy, and that they know that they will need more mercy in the future (“Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?” [ Matthew 18:33 ]; “There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you” [ James 2:13 ]). They also know that they cannot receive what they are unwilling to give.

Jesus said that those who show mercy when there is no earthly reward or recognition, or when it is ‘costly’ or dangerous to show mercy, will experience the “overwhelming” mercy of God.

Merciful people know that showing mercy brings happiness (“Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel” [ Proverbs 11:17 ]). They show it in a few ‘practical’ ways:

– They are ‘patient’ with other people’s ‘idiosyncrasies’ (“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” [ Ephesians 4:2 ]).

– They help anyone that needs help—even if it is ‘costly’ to them [ The “Good Samaritan” ]. (“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them” [ Proverbs 3:27 ]).

– They are kind to even those people who ‘offend’ them: “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” [ Luke 6:35-36 ].

Some people think mercy overrides demands of justice and means that people don’t need to pay for wrongdoing. Well, God never violates His justice and holiness in being merciful. He extends His mercy only because His justice has been satisfied.

The supreme act of God’s mercy was what He did for us on the ‘cross’. Because of what Christ did there, He became our merciful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17). Donald Grey Barnhouse said, ”When Jesus Christ died on the cross, all of the work of God for man’s salvation passed out of the realm of prophecy and became historical fact.”

There is a merciless judgment awaiting those who do not accept the sacrifice of Christ. God won’t show sentimental mercy to those who never acknowledged His Son. If we want God to be merciful to us we must confess our sins and ‘turn’ from them.

The merciful don’t tolerate sin–they recognize that sin will be punished. But they do bear the insults of evil men and women with hearts full of compassion. Those who are merciful are sympathetic, forgiving, gracious, and loving.

A merciful person reaches out to forgive, care for, and help others. He doesn’t ‘step on other people’s necks’ or think of himself as superior. God is not only ‘watching’ if you do mercy, but also your attitude while you are giving mercy!

If you are a merciful person God will continually pour out His mercy on you. He will forgive your sins and meet your needs.

Is your life characterized by a ‘merciful’ heart?

“Merciful” Related Bible Verses:

“And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
[ Exodus 33:19 ].

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
[ Psalm 23:6 ].

“As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.”
[ Psalm 40:11-12 ].

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
[ Psalm 103:8

“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
[ Psalm 103:10-14 ].

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”
[ Psalm 116:1 ].

“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.”
[ Psalm 116:5 ].

“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.”
[ Proverbs 11:17 ].

“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
[ Proverbs 21:21 ].

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

[ Proverbs 28:13

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

[ Isaiah 43:25 ].

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;”
[ Lamentations 3:22 ].

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
[ Lamentations 3:22-23 ].

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,”
[ Zechariah 7:9 ].

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

[ Romans 5:10 ].

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
[ Ephesians 2:4-9 ].

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
[ Ephesians 4:32 ].

“And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
[ Colossians 1:20 ].

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
[ Matthew 6:12 

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
[ Matthew 6:14-15 

“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.'”
[ Matthew 18:21-22 ]

“And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’”
[ Matthew 18:33 ].

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
[Mark 11:25 

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
[Luke 6:27-42 ].

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
[Luke 6:36 ].

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
[Luke 6:37 ].

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
[ Luke 17:3-4 ].

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”
[ Acts 2:38 ].

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
[ 1 Corinthians 10:13 ].

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
[ Colossians 3:13 ].

“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”
[ Titus 3:5 ].

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
[ Hebrews 4:16 ].

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
[ James 2:12-13 ].

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
[ James 3:17 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
[ James 5:16 ].

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
[ 1 Peter 1:3 ].

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
[ 1 John 1:9 ].

> > >



Kindness could be defined as an attractive temperament that shows mercy, generosity, and charity to others—an action which flows out of a ‘spirit’ that seeks good and not harm.

In most cases, kindness is not beyond any of us because it usually costs no money to do. It may take the sacrifice of time, energy, or discipline to be thoughtful of others’ needs and to make the effort to act. But, the ‘consequences’ of kindness are incalculable—for such a spirit can ‘ripple’ out to touch the lives of those far removed from the original act. Kindness sows the seeds that can only bear good fruit.

Though the world encourages us to get even with those who hurt us, God has a higher ‘calling’ for those He calls His children. We are to be kind to everyone instead of seeking to “get even.” We are not to seek revenge and payback for evil done to us. We are to be kind and show kindness whenever possible.

The Greek word for kindness is “chrestotes” (pronounced: krey-stah-teys) and “hesed” in the Hebrew. They can be translated as good, gentle, sweet, and useful. It often is related to philanthropy or forbearance. It is the grace which pervades the person’s whole nature, ‘mellowing’ all which would be harsh and austere. The word is descriptive of one’s disposition—the ‘attitude’ in which an act is done—and does not necessarily entail acts of goodness.

Freedom of decision to give is essential to kindness. The help given by the person showing it should be done freely—without compulsion—not reducing it to be a merely obligatory, mechanical, legal act rather than an act of free-moral agency of the heart.

We know that sometimes doing an act of kindness is difficult in itself, let alone doing it with a concerned, warm and generous spirit. We must always remember, however, that Jesus did it, that our Father God requires it of us if we are to be like Him, and that He has given us His Spirit to enable us to do it. The choice is ours.

We all can show kindness to others. All it requires is a consistent obedience to God’s Word, a ‘filling’ of His Spirit, and a willingness to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit—as we are empowered by the Spirit. Kindness can change this harsh world on a person by person basis, and you will be ‘rewarded’ for doing so!

We know it is easy to show kindness to those who are pleasant, friendly and kind, but God has a higher ‘calling’ for Christians. He wishes us to be kind to all people, even those who are mean, ungrateful and unkind. God is our example again, for He shows kindness at times even to the ungrateful and wicked. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” [ Luke 6:35 ].

This godly trait and fruit of the Spirit comes from the Holy Spirit empowering our lives. When we think of kindness, we may think it is timid and weak, though often it takes great strength of character and determination to let the Holy Spirit empower us to be kind to others—especially those who have a tendency to wound or do us harm. The world can be an insensitive and brutal place at times, but when we demonstrate the virtue of kindness to others it can soften the harshness of the situation.

Again, God is our ‘model’ of kindness. His gracious gifts to us are more than we deserve. They are unearned and unmerited by us who have willingly sinned against Him, and have either ignored or neglected His awesome purpose for our lives. However, despite this, His gifts of life are nonetheless unforced and an abundant manifestation of His kind nature. He does not return evil for evil, does not bear grudges, or ‘burn’ with resentment to get even (as we may do). Rather, He freely gives even to ‘evil doers’, while He patiently works toward the completion of His ultimate purpose—for all to be ‘saved’ and come to know Him intimately!

God’s kindness ‘saves’ us from harm, and illustrates the immensity of His grace towards us. His kindness also demonstrates His great love for us. This serves as an example for us to follow. As we are ‘filled’ with God’s love, we are to demonstrate this love towards others as we show kindness to them—even in difficult situations. The “Samaritan” did not inquire whether or not the wounded man was “one of his own.” The only criterion was that he needed an act of kindness performed for him in his desperately weakened situation. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” [ Ephesians 4:32 ].

When Paul illustrated how love acts, patience leaped into his mind first: “Love suffers long” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Immediately following that, he writes, “and is kind”—giving the impression that love and kindness belong together to such an extent that we can conclude that without kindness no act is truly done in love!

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” [ Colossians 3:12-14 ].

Being kind and merciful is evidence that we have God’s Spirit in us, and that the love of God is ‘working’ in our hearts—producing good ‘fruit’. For proof of the importance of passing on God’s kindness—expressed in His giving us His Spirit and promising we will receive yet more mercy for being merciful—listen to Jesus’ words:

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ …And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” [ Matthew 25:34-36, 40 ].

Kindness is something that we must develop, but we don’t have to do it by ourselves—because God has ‘enabled’ the Christian with His Spirit. This ‘fruit’ is especially sweet tasting, and a major factor in producing “perfect unity.”

“Kindness” Related Bible Verses:

He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.”
[ Psalm 112:9 ].

“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.”
[ Proverbs 11:17 ].

Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.”
[ Proverbs 14:21 ].

“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
[ Proverbs 14:31 ].

Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.”
[ Proverbs 19:6 ].

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
[ Proverbs 19:17

“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
[ Proverbs 21:21 ].

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,”
[ Proverbs 25:21 ].

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
[ Proverbs 31:26 ].

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
[ Micah 6:8 ].

Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
[ Zechariah 7:10 ].

“Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.”
[ Luke 6:30 ].

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
[ Luke 6:35 ].

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
[ Acts 20:35 ].

“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
[ Romans 2:4 ].

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”
[ Romans 11:22 ].

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
[ Ephesians 4:32 ].

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,”
[ 2 Timothy 2:24 ].

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