Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. It’s the pardon of something that need not be. In the book of James, we discover a fresh theology of mercy that needs our attention. For James, mercy triumphs judgment and sin as long as our faith goes to work. The delicate delineation of this thought is worth our time exploring. In this sermon series, we will discover how God’s mercy saves us, and how our mercy to one another saves relationships. It is hard to live a life where mercy triumphs . . . but if we can learn to accept it and, in turn, give it, we can draw closer to God.
September 2 | James 1:17-27 | An Undefiled Mercy
A lot of trees have died with authors attempting to explain what “true” religion “ought” to be. Rarely do we hear a succinct and powerful description, but James delivers. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, according to James, is this: “to care for the orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” It is time we take these words to heart. Our religion is only as pure as our ability to care for those who are need of care.
September 9 | James 2:1-17 | A Working Mercy
A faith without works is dead. Lifeless. Pointless. The faith we have in God and in one another must birth in us action and care and a willingness to give of what we have to serve one another.
September 16 | James 3:1-12 | A Merciless Tongue
Our words are used to cut people down and drown people out. Our tongues are like tameless beasts used to both praise the Lord and curse our neighbor. This ought not to be so. For us to live with mercy, we must learn to control the parts of us that seek mercilessness.
September 23 | James 3:13-4:3 | A Gentle Mercy
The true sages of our day live out of a wisdom that is from “above." Wisdom from “below” is bitter, envious, boastful, and full of false truths. Wisdom from above is gentle, peaceable, and bears no trace of partiality. To live with wisdom, we must learn of mercy that is gentle.
September 30 | James 5:13-20 | A Triumphant Mercy
“If anyone among you wanders from the truth and is bought back by another,” . . . they will be saved together. In other words . . . our lives are intricately connected and woven together, so much that when we are suffering, we can call on our neighbor for help, and when we are thriving, we can worship together. These shared moments are God’s triumphant mercies for us.