This sermon is part of the sermon series "Change of Heart". See series.
Suppose someone were to describe you as "a bleeding heart?" How would you feel about that? That expression is often attached to the word "liberal," and used disparagingly to describe people on the far left of the political spectrum. But what other words or descriptions does the term "bleeding heart" bring to mind? A soft touch, a pushover, someone who always feels sorry for people, who can't say "no." My guess is that most of us wouldn't be entirely comfortable being described as "a bleeding heart." But then what did Jesus mean when he said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy"? What kind of heart does he want us to have toward people in need?
This morning we come to a turning point in these eight sayings of Jesus known as The Beatitudes. The first four Beatitudes have been very inward in their focus—examining and exposing our hearts toward God. They are personal and solitary in their focus. In these next four Beatitudes, we get a glimpse into Christ's heart for people. As we do, we're going to discover that our hearts need to be changed if we are to see people and the world the way Jesus does. So once again let's unpack this Beatitude and then see how Jesus put it into practice and what it might mean for our hearts to become like his.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." Remember that word "blessed" describes the highest state of well-being available to a person. It's more than lucky, more than happy. To be blessed is to be in the best possible position a human being can be in in this life. I didn't say the best possible circumstances a person ...
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