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          Spiritual Gift --- "Mercy"

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." --- (SofS 2:4)
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher               Northgate Baptist Church               F.E.A.S.T Seminar



Rom. 12:3-8, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God Hath Dealt To Every Man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having Then Gifts Differing According To The Grace That Is Given to us, whether Prophecy let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or Ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that Teacheth, on teaching; Or he that Exhorteth, on exhortation: he that Giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that Ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth Mercy, with cheerfulness."

Introduciton:

A. The Greek word "Ellco" (mercy) means to Feel Sympathy With or For Others.

B. The Mercy-Shower is generally Not found Teaching Sunday School or Leading a group since his personality is one of Soft-Spoken Love.

1. He's Not Usually A Leader since he would hurt too much if he had to Scold someone or have to Push to get the job done.

2. People love the Mercy-Shower because of all the love they receive from him --- he's everyone's friend.

C. The Mercy-Shower Should probably take a Counseling Course --- since he is Sympathetic, he has a tendency Not To Bring The Necessary Changes into a person's life to correct the problems that require the counseling.

D. If the Mercy Shower were to pick a Mate For Marriage, who do you suppose they would pick --- Prophecy.

John --- Had The Gift of Mercy

John Spent More Time With Peter (Gift of Prophecy) Than With Any Other Disciple (Luke 22:8; Acts 3:1-11; 4:13-19; 8:14).

 

Characteristics Of The Gift Of --- "Mercy"

I. The Ability To Feel An Atmosphere of Joy or Distress In An Individual or Group.

A. God has given them a level of Sensitivity that when they walk into a group, They Can Discern where these people are emotionally.

B. Many people may be able to hid their true emotions from most of us --- but not from the person with the gift of mercy.

II.A Tendency To Be Attracted To And Understand People Who Are In Mental And Emotional Distress.

A. They have an ability to Look Past The Physical Problem and see that a person is Hurting On The Inside.

1. They not only discern the problem --- but they are Attracted To That Person.

2. They also have a Tendency To Attract that person that is hurting To Themselves.

3. You don't see many people that are hurting being drawn to a Prophet or Teacher --- but rather to the Mercy-Shower.

4. The person with this gift is a Comforter --- He Enters Into The Grief or Happiness of Others.

5. He has the ability to show Empathy.

B. The highest Suicide rate among secular occupations amazingly is that of the Psychologist --- the man with all the answers --- the man who by nature is a Mercy-Shower.

1. The reason is possibly that they attract people with problems.

2. Having the ability to sympathize and empathize with people, he often puts himself in the other person's shoes.

3. If he Takes The Other Person's Problems Home With Him, it drags him down.

4. If his counseling doesn't work, it leaves the psychologist under Heavy Burdens and Frustration because of his Failure To Help People.

C. The empathizer emotionally Goes Through What The Victim Goes Through.

1. He ministers to the Sick, the Poor, the Retarded, the Prisoners, the Blind, the Aged, the Homely, etc.

2. He's willing to deal with people, and minister to those who have needs that most of us feel very uncomfortable working with.

D. The Mercy-Shower seems to always Say The Right Thing At The Right Time.

1. He is the one people Call First when they hurt.

2. When There Is A Death, he is the first to be at the house holding someone's hand or fixing a meal.

3. If you visit someone in the Nursing Home or Hospital, you will usually spot the Mercy-Shower since that's where he spends much of his time.

4. When there is a Promotion on the job or a large amount of money comes in, the Mercy-Shower runs over and hugs and jumps up and down With The Person.

III.A Desire To Remove Hurts And Bring Healing To Others Rather Than To Look For Benefits From The Hurts.

A. The person with the gift of Exhortation says: "Hurt, hurt, don't mess up the hurting."

1. They can See Through The Hurting --- that God is making that person into what He wants him to be.

2. They see the hurting as a very Vital Part of God's Plan for that person.

B. The person with the gift of Mercy says: "I can't stand to see them hurt. Let's Fix The Hurt."

C. Unlike exhorters who look at Suffering As A Means of Growing Spiritually, those with the Gift of Mercy Tend To React To The Idea that God would allow a person to suffer for any good purpose.

1. Those with the gift of mercy find it Hard To Be Firm and Decisive because they do Not Want To Hurt or Offend other people.

2. Very often, the Lack of Firmness or Decisiveness only Causes Greater Hurt and Disappointment.

D. Wives --- When you see your husband really hurting, and God is really working on him --- If You Interfere --- you will only be Prolonging God Activity In His Life.

1. Sometimes the Most Difficult Thing In The World Is To Just Back Off and let someone, we love dearly, hurt until they can't hurt anymore.

2. The same thing is true of the husband --- when you see God working in the life of your wife...

3. When We As Parents See Our Children Hurting ----- The Last Thing We Want To See Is Our Children Hurting ----- God, Let Me Hurt, But Don't Let My Children Hurt.

4. Sorry, but God Doesn't Work That Way.....

E. The person with the gift of "Mercy" needs to be careful that he does not Get In God's Way...

IV. A Greater Concern For Mental Distress Than Physical Distress.

A. The person with the gift of "Mercy" is not as concerned about Physical Problems as he is the Inward Hurts.

B. John wrote to give his readers "joy," "fellowship," "hope," "confidence," and to cast out "fear" and "torment." (1 John 1:3-4; 3:2-3; 4;18; 5:13-14).

V. A Sensitivity To Words And Actions Which Will Hurt Other People.

A. If you are around a person with the gift of "Mercy" and you Criticize another person --- they will React Instantly...

B. They hurt with that person you just criticized.

C. People with the gift of "Mercy" are Not Attracted To A Bunch of Critics.

D. They have an enjoyment and unity with those who are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.

VI. A Tendency To React Harshly When Intimate Friends Are Rejected or Criticized.

A. John and James asked Christ if they should call down fire from heaven and Consume The Samaritans who rejected Christ (Luke 9:54).

B. A person with the gift of "Mercy" is Naturally Very Loyal.

C. You Cannot Reject One of Their Friends Without Rejecting Them.

VII. An Ability To Sense Genuine Love --- A Greater Vulnerability To Deeper And More Frequent Hurts From The Lack of Love.

A. John's teachings and personal relationships illustrate that his Primary Focus Was On Love --- he uses the word "love" more than any other disciple.

B. They not only can Sense Genuine Love --- they can also Detect When It Is Insincere.

C. They are not only Vulnerable To Deeper Hurts but also to More Frequent Hurts --- they are Easily Hurt.

1. The gift of "Prophecy" says: "Why fret about it, just don't worry about it.

2. But, The gift of "Mercy" is injured and grieved in their heart.

D. If you are married to a person with the gift of "Mercy" --- They Need To Sense Your Protective Care.

E. You can hurt a person with the gift of "Mercy" and Never Understand When or How You Did It.

1. They are sensitive in ways you would never believe.

2. What is Normal and Natural for You would be absolutely Disastrous For Them.

VIII. A Need For Deep Friendships In Which There Is Mutual Commitment.

A. John established a very close relationship with Christ and with Peter ---- he often refers to himself as the disciple "whom Jesus loved."

B. Naturally a person who is very sensitive --- able to feel hurts --- needs love and acceptance --- also Needs A Sense of Commitment.

C. If they Don't See This Commitment In You --- they will Close Their Spirit To You --- find another friend --- Shut You Out of Their Life.

1. This closing of their spirit to you is the results of their Carnality, not spirituality --- it comes from the Adamic Nature.

2. It may be characteristic of their spiritual gift, but that does not make it right or spiritual.

3. Jesus never closed his spirit to those who were uncommitted to Him --- even His own half-brothers and sisters were uncommitted to Him until after the resurrection.

D. This deep need for commitment and closeness in friendships can easily result in Possessiveness of friendships with others.

1. They tend to be deeply hurt when there is not a mutual commitment to the friendship.

2. Disappointments in one friendship tend to create Greater Expectations and Possessiveness in a New friendship.

3. If Disappointed --- Will Drop One Friend --- Pick Up A New One.

a. Keep in mind, they are Very Loyal to their friends --- When It Comes To Somone Else Criticizing Them.

b. However, They Themselves not only feel justified in criticizing their friend --- if disappointed in them --- they will also Drop Them Like A Hot Potato --- find a new friend.

c. They Are Very Fickled ... They don't want their friend hurt ... but neither do they want to be hurt ...

IX. A Need To Measure Acceptance By Physical Closeness And Quality Time Together.

A. John sought out the closest place to Christ.

1. "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples..." (John 13:23).

2. His need for closeness may have prompted his request to sit next to Christ in glory (Mark 10:35-37).

B. If you want to Grieve The Person With The Gift of "Mercy".....

1. Try reading the newspaper while eating breakfast with them.

2. Watch T.V. while the gift of "Mercy" is trying to talk to you.

3. Come home from a hard day at the office and leave you problems at the office, rather than sharing them with "Mercy".

4. Go off on a business trip on a regular basis and leave "Mercy" behind to take care of the kids.

5. Spend several nights a week in special activities (even church activities) when "Mercy" has to stay home with the kids.

C. Physical Closeness and Quality Time Together is Essential for the person with the gift of "Mercy".

1. All of us are drained emotionally from time to time.

2. However, the person with the gift of "Mercy" is Continually Being Drained Emotionally because of emotional attachments to people who are hurting.

D. Because their battery is constantly being drained, they need physical closeness, quality time, intimacy, and a genuine sense of commitment or they suffer on a deeper level than most of us can imagine.

X. A Closing of Their Spirit To Those Who Are Insincere or Insensitive.

A. Words and actions which reflect Insensitivity To The Feelings of Other People are quickly recognized and Reacted To by those with the gift of mercy --- they will tend to Close Their Spirits to these people.

B. Mercy is willing to get in there and hurt --- but if he detects an insincere or insensitive spirit (real or imagined) he will Shut You Out of His Life.

C. It is Extremely Difficult for "Mercy" to have an Open Spirit to "Prophecy" (insensitive) --- they are diametrically opposite each other.

1. Preaching against sinful activities of back-slidden church members.....

2. Preaching against false teachers.....

3. "Why do you have to be so hard on people....."

4. You answer, "What about the Bible ... what about God?"

Ans: --- "Thats not important, what about my friend?"

D. This is why these Spiritual Gifts must be lived in the Spirit and not the flesh.

 

Misunderstandings of The Gift of --- "Mercy":

I. His Sensitivity To The Spirit And To The Feelings of Others May Cause Some To Feel He Is Guided By Emotions Rather Than Logic.

Because that person is a caring, compassionate, loving, accepting, and forgiving person; it may appear to some that they do not operate on the basis of logic but rather emotions.

II. The Avoidance of Firmness May Appear To Be Weakness And Indecisiveness.

A. The prophet or teacher can be very effective in expressing firmness.

B. "Mercy" has the tendency to express tenderness and love.

III. Their Sensitivity To Words And Actions Which Cause Hurts May Appear To Be Taking Up Another Person's Offense.

A. When they see or hear about someone hurting another person, they can feel the hurt as well.

1. They tend to take up the other person's offense.

2. Their motivation is right, but they have gone about it the wrong way.

B. The Prophet, Teacher, and Organizer may think that it no ones business; but the person with the gift of Mercy Makes It His Business.

IV. The Ability To Detect Insincere Motives May Cause Some To Feel That He Is Hard To Get To Know.

When they detect insincerity in a person, they back off, and sometimes close their spirit to him.

V. Their Attraction To And Understanding Of Those In Distress May Be Misinterpreted By Those of The Opposite Sex.

A. A person of the opposite sex tends to be drawn to those with the gift of mercy because of their ability to be sensitive, understanding, and responsive listeners.

B. A young lady (with the gift of mercy) meets a young man hooked on drugs --- he begins to share with her how he is hurting inside...

1. He feels frustrated --- lonely --- anxious --- hopeless --- destitute --- disillusioned --- disappointed --- nothing is going right --- nobody seems to care --- life is the pits.

2. This fine Christian girl (Miss. Mercy) knows that Jesus Christ is the answer --- she reaches down to help...

3. What "Mercy" doesn't realize is that little by little she has come down to where the enslaved person is...and now both are trapped.

4. It all started by reaching out to help.

5. "Mercy" must be careful not to get down to the level of the enslaved.

C. A young men (with the gift of mercy) reaches out to help a young woman with problems...

1. She begins to lean on him for support.

2. He begins to like the leaning...

3. Before you know it they are involved in something he never intended.

4. It all started with a desire to help.

 

How Does A Person With The Gift of Mercy Act
When He Is Spiritual --- "Walking In The Spirit".

1. Attentiveness --- They know what is happening around them.

2. Sensitivity

3. Fairness

4. Compassion

5. Gentleness

6. Meekness --- A willing to bear criticism if necessary, in order to help others.

7. Deference --- Willing to submit --- willing to give the right to someone else --- respecting other people's rights.

 

How Does A Person With The Gift of Mercy Act
When He Is Carnal --- "Walking In The Flesh"?

1. Attentiveness turns to Unconcern --- They could care less if anybody else is hurting or not.

2. Sensitivity turns to Callousness --- That sweet tender spirit turns into harshness --- and closes against you.

3. Fairness turns into Partiality --- Favoritism --- taking sides.

A. Usually in favor of someone who gives them the attention they need --- friendship --- physical closeness --- etc.

B. Sometimes, this may be even to the neglect of those who are very close to them.

C. If this action is the results of being hurt themselves --- "Fairness" no longer comes into play --- only the fact that they were hurt --- their spirit is closed.....

4. Compassion turns into Indifference

5. Gentleness turns into Harshness.

No one can be so unmerciful as the person with the gift of mercy, who is walking in the flesh.

6. Meekness turns into Anger.

7. Deference turns into Rudeness




      
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