Sermon – King of mercy, have mercy. (Psalms 123:1 – 123:4) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Psalms: Songs of Ascent

This series takes us through the last few Psalms in the Bible, called the ‘Songs of Ascent’. They focus on the Psalmist crying out to the Lord in their distress, and also worshipping Him as they are helped & delivered by God.

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Sermon 9 of 14

King of mercy, have mercy.

Rory Kinnaird, Psalms 123:1 - 123:4, 4 June 2023

Rory continues our series in the Songs of Ascent, preaching from Psalm 123:1-4. In this passage we see the psalmist cry out to the Lord for mercy in response to those who are against him - and what it means for us today.

Psalms 123:1 - 123:4

123:1   To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
  Behold, as the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
  as the eyes of a maidservant
    to the hand of her mistress,
  so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
    till he has mercy upon us.
  Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
  Our soul has had more than enough
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the lord, to praise the name of the lord. According to the statute given to Israel. There stand the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

May those who love you be secure? May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels? For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, peace be within you. For the sake of the house of the Lord, our God, I will seek your prosperity. And we have a second reading in Revelation.

We're going to have a couple of bible readings now before Rory comes to preach to us. So if you would like to turn first of all to 1 Peter 2, we'll we'll be Hearing Psalm, hundred and 23 preach to us, but we'll have a new testament reading first. This is 1 peter 2, not on the screen. I'm afraid, so you'll need to find a bible on your table. It's 1 peter 2 and we're gonna read verse 11 to 25.

Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority whether to the emperor as the supreme authority, or to governors who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good, you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil.

Live as god's slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. Slaves in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters. Not only to those who are good and considerate. But also to those who are harsh.

For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and enduring? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this, you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.

For you were all like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and the overseer of your souls. And then we are gonna read Psalm hundred and 23. A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to you to you who sit enthroned in heaven. As the eyes of slaves looked to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a female slave looked to the hands of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord, our God, till he shows us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, lord. Have mercy on us. For we have endured no end of contempt. We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant or contempt from the proud. Now for those who don't know me, I'm Rory, 1 of the members of staff here.

The first time I read this was that I remember reading this recently was at the media fast And I read it and I thought, what the what the Dickens is that and about? And so I quickly moved on to the next song to not think about it. And then I came back to I found out I was preaching it and I was thinking, oh, no. I still don't understand it. So if anyone can enlighten me with that, that'd be very helpful.

Maybe the Lord will as I as I preach. No. I think I do get it. Shall we pray as we start? Yeah.

Let's pray. And father, we thank you so much for your word, we thank you that we're able to just discuss it then, but we also thank you that we can now hear it preached. And we pray father that you will help me, as I preach, help me to point to you by your Holy Spirit. Will you show us the Lord Jesus Christ help us as listeners to hear, not just intellectually, but actually you will plant truths deep down into our hearts. So we pray these things in Jesus' name, amen.

Now I'm sure many of you are familiar with podcasts, I don't know how many of you listen to podcasts. I try and listen to some. There are some Cornerstone ones available. This is not me plugging a Cornerstone 1 then. I listed My favorite 1 at the moment is 1 called The Rest is History.

Anyone heard of that? Yes. Got some nods. Some fellow Geeks You know, great. The rest is history and the rest is history examines, believe it or not, history, and it looks back at various aspects or it it takes particular topics and examines them and to see what sort of lessons we can learn or or to sort of informers of what's going on.

And now some of my favorite ones that they've done are these World Cup podcasts. And they do like the World Cup best kings and queens of England. You know, you can decide is Elizabeth the first, the best monarch. Or is it Oliver Cromwell? It wasn't even a monarch.

What's left field? Or King Henry the eighth, what a legendary was. Yeah? Yeah? Like Tim did you?

Horish, oh, by the way. Or they do the yeah. They do the world cup of British prime ministers. Who was the best prime minister? Was it, you know, Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher.

Yeah? We've got all these ones that we could have, and and you you have to try and work out what makes these leaders good leaders? What is it that makes leaders good leaders? Is it that they lead the country into peace and prosperity is that they are strong and they help those who are in need. Usually, that sort of the things that we're trying to work out is good about leaders.

What are the leaders that we want? Who are they? And in our in our country right now, I suppose we would say our leaders of King Charles the third, and although he doesn't do much leading, I suppose. He's more of a constitutional monarch as well, he is a constitutional monarch. And we have our government, the tories.

I'm sure we're all very happy with the tories. That's usually the feel I get about the conservative party at the moment. I'm not making any comment on them today. But we're looking for a government, and we expect them to be fair, and we expect them to be strong, and to set us rules and regulations that we can obey and adhere to fairly, and that will help us when we're in in the need. When we're shogging for money and rent and all the other things or we that's what we want with our leaders.

And and we expect in our in our democratic system, don't we? In the House of Parliament, we have our MP, Ed Davey, shout out to him. Yeah? He's meant to go into parliament, and he's meant to listen to my views and represent me in parliament. That's what we expect of our leaders.

Whether whether whether we get that is another story, isn't it? See, often, and I think you would agree with me on this. Leaders are sub par and they cannot deliver. In fact, I would go to say that all earthly leaders have these sorts of shortcomings. Sometimes I mean, and you can look at some of the old leaders of the past, and you if you get me talking about this, I would love to talk to you about Alexander the great in Cyrus or all these other types of leaders, but sometimes they get too powerful, and they're so powerful that they have no concern for their subjects.

Sometimes, and maybe this is true of our age now, they're too powerless. And they can't manage the crises that we face, and they seem to get every decision wrong in our opinion. Sometimes, they're so powerful that they get vengeful, and they have no relief for those who dare oppose them. Sometimes they're corrupt and only help those who may be able to help them. So leaders, I think you'd agree, though there's a differing scale, they have shortcomings.

They fail. They don't do what we want them to do. They're they might have the strength, but they might not have the decency to listen to us, to represent us. But I think in this psalm, we have the ultimate answer to our desire for a strong leader. A leader who is both able to act, but not just able and powerful enough to act, but is able to listen and will listen to us and we'll act for our best.

And so I have 2 points tonight. My first point is the king of mercy, the king of mercy. See, this psalmist, just as we might look to our leaders for guidance as we look to our leaders for help and for giving us some sort of help in this world just as we might look to those leaders, the psalmist begins in verse 1. Look with me there. I lift up my eyes to you.

I lift all my eyes to you. To who? To you who sit enthroned in heaven. Who is it that the psalmist looks to? He looks at the 1, he looks up, he probably sees the leaders of this country and thinks they're pathetic.

And he looks up and he sees the 1 who sits enthroned in heaven, or as other translations would have it, he sits on Heaven's throne, his dwelling place is in heaven. See, what is he doing? He's lifting his eyes, and he's fixing them on the ultimate king. This here is the king of the universe. This here is God himself.

This here is the 1 if you look back in chapter 121, is the maker of heaven and earth. This is the ultimate king. This is not a king who is powerless. This is the most powerful king. This is the king of the universe God himself.

That's who he is. That's who he is. And so, what then is our relationship to him? Well, look with me down at verse 2 at the start of that. As the eyes of slaves looked to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave looked to the hand of her mistress.

See? If if God is the God of the universe, if god is the 1 that created all things, all things that we see, then those who live in this world are surely his subject. His servants, or his slaves here. So just as he is the lord of the universe, he's therefore the master Then we in this world are slaves and servants of him. So what does that require from us and how we relate to God of the universe.

Well, it means that we need a correct view of who we are. We are not god. We are not the ones who should be demanding anything of him. In fact, we should realize that as slaves, we have nothing, And we should come to the God of the universe, the king, with humility. As slaves, that means, as servants, that means we come to obey.

It means just as as servants rely on their masters, just as servants depend on their masters to to treat them well to provide for them for all they need, it means we have to be totally reliant and dependent on this king. It means that we owe him total allegiance. That's what it means for us. And so we get this image that the eyes of the slaves are on the hand of the master, the eyes of the maid servant is on the hand of a mistress. There's a totality here of all people.

And why are the eyes on the hand? Well, the eyes are our desire. Their eyes is the the organ of desire, it's what we need, it's what we want, it's what we look for, and we look at the hand and the hand. Represents power, action. I don't know if you've seen this before.

Maybe you've there been to a really posh restaurant or you've been to a wedding and they've they've got some posh caterers in. And the food's coming out, and then you have just 1 person, the the sort of boss, the boss waiter. Don't know what he would be called. Show someone in catering could tell me. Yeah?

And he just littlefinger. And then something happens, like, whoa. Power. Yeah? Oh, something else happened.

And But if you look at the the waiters and and the waitresses, the the eyes are always on That person waiting for instruction. Yeah? You may maybe you haven't been to posh restaurants. I don't know. Maybe you eat at McDonald's most of the time, that probably doesn't happen.

Yeah? But maybe you've seen a dog in his master. You know, those people that train their dogs, Paul, and then because it knows he's gonna get fed. Yeah? I'm not gonna do.

I'm not gonna roll over. Yeah. It has movements. And then then there's action, so the eyes of the slaves are always on the hand of the master. Or maybe maybe you're familiar as a as a parent or as a child of a parent with the movement of dad to the pocket where the wallet is.

Oh. Always looking for that. A bit of money there. So the eyes are looking at the hand. They're waiting for direction.

They're waiting for provision. And what is it that they're actually waiting for in this psalm? And what does it show us about the character of the king of the universe? What type of leader is it? What is it that their eyes are looking for his hand to deliver?

Well, look with me at the end of verse 2. So our eyes look to the Lord our God till he shows us his mercy. His mercy. That's what the servant of God looks for, his mercy. What does mercy mean?

Well, mercy is undeserved, unmerited favor. It's grace. It's everything I don't deserve. I I I get. It's I don't deserve this stuff that that God gives me, but he gives it me.

That's mercy. Nothing that I could do as a slave to deserve what the master gives me. Yet he does. And you can see that the servant in this psalm expects it to happen. They're patiently waiting.

Did you see the word till? So our eyes look to the Lord of God till he shows us his mercy. He's gonna show us his mercy. They they know it. They know that he will show them mercy.

It's really interesting as well in this psalm. I don't know if you noticed. The psalms the psalm begins with I. Do you see that? I lift up my eyes to you.

Yet in verse too, it goes, so our eyes look to the Lord, our God. Yes, he's an individual, but he knows that he is part of a bigger group, a bigger community of God's people. But not only does it change from I to our and to was, but it changes from you to you who sit enthrones on heaven, to what? To the Lord, our God. The Lord, our God.

This is the covenant name of God. This is Yahwe. This is the personal, relational, name of God, to the God of the universe, the king of all creation, is known by name, by his servants. And now I think And I don't know if the Tsamas meant this, but I think this is meant to cast our minds back somewhere. And I think it's meant to cast our minds back to exodus.

Because in exodus, what are the people of God in? At the start of exodus, what are they in? They're slaves, they're in slavery in Egypt, and they're crying out to God for help, to the king of the universe, to help. And does he help? Yes?

Good. I'm loving nodding heads. We're with me. He does. He helps.

And he and he comes and he appears to to Moses in the burning bush, and he reveals to Moses for the first time who he is. I'm yahweh. I am who I am. I am the covenant God. And so it is an exodus that he's gonna make a name for who he is.

It's an exodus that he's gonna show that he is the merciful God and the king of the universe at the same time. He's the king of the universe as he defeats all opposing powers in fair and judge is fair, but he is showing mercy all throughout that time as he leads them out of slavery, into the wilderness, and what does he give them in the wilderness the tabernacle, and I can see you're all excited about the tabernacle. Why? Because in the tabernacle, in the place called the Holy of Holy's You have the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant resembles that God is ruler, but on top of the ark of the covenant is what people the mercy seat.

How good is that? On the on the top of the ark of the covenant is the mercy seat. So in the Holy of Holy, which resembles and is meant to symbolize the rule of the king of creation. There is a mercy seat So it is not just the throne room of the King of Creation, but it is the mercy it is the throne room of the merciful King of Creation. For on that mercy seat, a sacrifice is made, blood is sprinkled, and man Kindelah with God?

That is incredible. And so god is merciful to his people, and God continues to be merciful to his people, though they don't deserve it, by the way, as he leads him all the way into the promised land. And so, the pilgrim, the pilgrims are looking to the God of mercy. Because he's always acted in mercy towards them. They look back at the exodus.

They look back at the tabernacle and they say, there is a god who is totally merciful, giving what we don't deserve, allowing for an access into a relationship with him. That's what they're singing about. That's what they're looking to. Now in the same way, it gets better. It gets better for us because we go forward In the story of the Bible, may come to the Lord Jesus.

And what is it that Jesus does for us? He leaves the throne room of mercy. We sang about it just before, becomes fully man to show us mercy. He comes onto the scene, and he says, blessed are those who are merciful for they will be shown mercy. He is the merciful, King of Creation that becomes fully man.

So that he can go to a cross and display mercy to all who believe in him. We just read about it in ephesians, didn't we? Rich in mercy. And then we can be alive after being dead in our transgressions. There is love and mercy on the cross of the lord Jesus Christ.

And so we sing when when we survey the wondrous Cross, did ever such love and sorrow meet or Thorn's composed of richer crown. See, the merciful King of Creation wears a different crown on that day. 1 of Thorn's. Why though to set slaves free? And so Romans chapter 3 verse 25 calls Jesus the mercy seat.

He calls him the mercy seat. And so Christ in his great mercy and in his great love brings us into the service of the king of the universe. And so let me ask you this question, because you might be here, and you might not know this mercy. Well, you can know it. That's the incredible thing.

You can know the mercy of God. You can know the merciful king of the universe if you were just come to the cross and experience and know and trust that Christ was merciful for you, that Christ shed, we sang about it just before, great songs before, shed his precious blood so that we can be his, that we can be his servants, that we can be his slaves. We sing a song, and can it be? How incredible is this? See, We have experienced if we are Christians, the undeserved, unmerited favor at the cross, And ever since that moment, we have been experiencing that favor throughout our lives as Christians.

Do you know that? That right now, whatever your circumstance, God treats you in grace. And so we can expect humbly as slaves that God will do so again. Just as the pilgrims looked to god, the king of mercy, because he's always acted in mercy. We too, look to God, the king of mercy, to Jesus, the king of mercy, because he's always acted towards us in mercy, hasn't he in the cross of the lord Jesus Christ?

And so then, In the light of that, what does the Psalmists ask for? What does the pilgrims ask for? What do they appeal for? Well, here's my second point. The prayer for mercy.

So we've just had verse 1 to 2, and in the light of those 2 verses, You get this communal prayer of God's people. And what is the prayer that they sing? Because remember, if you have forgotten and you've been coming to this series, and we've told you time and time again, they're going up to Jerusalem to celebrate some festivals, and as they go, they sing these songs. To encourage 1 another, to warn 1 another, to help 1 another on the way. See, I went to went to a concert yesterday, in Manchester.

What a rubbish drive that is, by the way. Went to a concert. We saw a band called the Arctic Monkeys. You might not have heard of them. That's absolutely fine.

Fantastic band. Great musically. And as they I mean, as they sing their songs, the majority of people in the crowd know the words off by heart. Yeah. And they're singing them along.

Apart from me, I can't remember. So I just cannot get song words in my head, so I just sort of make noises And then I would think you look like an absolute weird though. But should I do anyway. But what's the difference between that. Or for instance, yesterday, the FA Cup, there they are.

They're singing their songs, they're singing their chants together. What's the difference between those things and what these are singing. Well, I don't think. Number 1, that in the Arctic monkeys, people are singing to encourage 1 another, and to lift people's spirits, and to remind people of great true spiritual truths. I don't think when the FA in the FA Cup, as Manchester United lost and poor man knew.

As they lost, I don't think they were singing singing laments, were they? It's all it usually goes from singing praise to your team when they're winning to absolutely slandering team to sing in, you're not fit to wear the shirt. Barry, it's the biggest religion ever, isn't it football? Whereas here, In dark times and in positive times, we sing. We sing.

We sing. We don't sing once. And then that's it. Glad that's over. No.

We sing and we sing and we sing. And what is the prayer that they sing? We'll look down at verse 3 Have mercy on us, lord, have mercy on us. Have mercy on us, lord, have mercy See, here, you can hear it. Can't you?

There is a deep anguish, there is a deep need in the in the singers prayer. And they they've lifted their eyes on the King of Mercy because they need to appeal for mercy at this time. Why do they need to appeal for mercy? Looked down with me at verse 3 second part, for we have endured no end of content. We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogance of contempt.

From the crowds. See, they appeal for mercy because they face quite frankly a merciless situation. See those words? Content. Content.

Ridicule. And what was it? How much of it? We've endured no end. The word is if you read the KJV, the King James version or even the the original, it's like we're exceedingly filled with contempt, like like a a glass that's been filled with with contempt and contempt, but it's overfilling.

They've they've just had all of this this contempt, and this ridicule. This the soul has had more than enough. It's it's overflowing, as people seem to direct verbals, verbals after verbals after verbals against them. Why? Well, it's probably an attack on the piety or their their holiness.

See, remember, they're trying to live as God's people. They're trying to live for him. They're trying to say, we live for 1 God. And as they pilgrim on the way up to Jerusalem. They live walk at dangerous road where people who may be a Lukewarm, Jew, who has no real hair desire to follow the living god mocks those who want to follow living god with all of their hearts.

It may be gentile nations who follow many different gods who look at them who who serve 1 gods. And they mock them, and they pour contempt on them. Because of their desire to live as god's people in this world. See, the words are the proud actually means complacent or at ease. It's someone who is so at ease with this world, that has no moral compass, that has no that has no thought of the divine or the moral, it pushes all of those things out the way, says there's nothing there's no sin There's no judgment.

That's not something we have to worry about. We're good enough as we are. We live however we wanna live. We all do what's right in our rights. The arrogant are those who are high and lofty, who feel that they are superior to all of these people, and it's these people that are mocking and ridiculing and pouring contempt on the people of God.

It's a relentless, merciless situation. As people mock and show derision for the people of God. You don't believe the things that you believe, do you? I mean, it's no different for us, is it? For you, for being a Christian, you don't believe that the that Jesus was really the son of god.

I mean, he got that himself, didn't he? He don't really believe that he died and rose again. You don't really believe in a final judgment of hell and and and a possibility of heaven to you. That's such fairy tale nonsense. Have you heard this sort of stuff before?

As you have a different opinion than your family and they they mock you at any given chance where the families are all together and you're picked up and and and displayed as someone who's so odd. And worth making a joke out of. That's because you have a different opinion on sexual ethics you're either seen as a weird prudish person, or you're so old and outdated that you have nothing red even to say to anybody anymore. I'm not looking to anyone, in particular, there when I say old. What you don't have sex?

You surely want to try before you buy? What a nonsense sentence that is, by the way. And you might be thinking, well, I don't always get these things, you know, generally, it's alright. But listen. Don't turn your ears off.

These voices are everywhere. You turn on your TV, and the TV is screaming at you, that you are in the wrong, that you are worth mocking and deriding, that you are worth pouring on contempt, And so we live just as these pilgrims lived in a world that is merciless. There is no forgiveness. There is mocking, there is contempt, there is disgrace for us who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. That's our world.

Are you familiar with it or have you turned off to it? What I love though is that there are 3 verbs of opposition, aren't there? There's 3 verbs of the opposition. Do you see this? Get content twice, get ridiculed once.

But the word mercy is also said 3 times. I don't know if this is the purpose of this of the Tsarmus. But I feel like it's reminding us that, yes, there is opposition in this world, but as soon as you drive yourself to the King of Mercy and you go to his throne room, there is enough mercy to deal with that opposition. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 16 says this, let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence. Why?

So that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. It's as if he read this song. So in the throne room, yes, we live in this merciless world. Yes, we live in a world that mocks and derides us, and Paul's content on us. But in God's throne room, there is enough mercy and there is enough grace to deal with it.

And so what is the mercy required? What do they want these pilgrims? Is it relief? Is it release from all of this stuff going on. Well, I think ultimately, yes.

Right? We want an end to all of this mocking and and derision. In Revelation 6, you you get this amazing picture of souls underneath an altar and they say, How long sovereign lords, before you judge the inhabitants of the earth. There's a desire that that that that there will be mercy, and there'll be release, and there will be relief. But that day isn't today.

And the answer to that prayer is not when they sing the song. Because those saints under the altar get given a white robe and say just a little bit longer. We should make us wanna pray, come lord Jesus bring this day of relief and release, although not yet. It's not yet. They only they didn't sing this 1 and then go few.

Opposition gone. Thank you, Lord. No. They sing this again and again and again 3 times a year. Because there's always gonna be opposite in this world.

There's always gonna be people who oppose Christians. And so before the ultimate release, we must endure. We adjure no end. We endure no end. And that is what we have to pray for mercy to Peter.

1, 3 says this. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory in goodness. Yes, we live in a world that's merciless, but god has given us everything that we need to face. We read 1 Peter 2. Super words, aren't they?

I mean, I would like to read it all again, but I haven't got time. But live such good lives verse 12 among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. So we're to live good lives in the face of these sort of these these these voices that are so dismissive of our faith. And then and then how do we do that? Well, we've been given the greatest mercy in the world.

We've given the Lord Jesus Christ and the example that he has given us the 1 who committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth. But when they held their insults at him, derision mocking ridicule. He did not retaliate when he suffered. He made no threats, instead he entrusted himself to the 1 who judges justly. And then in 1 peter 4, he goes on to say, as a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

It's the world. For you, have spent enough time in the past doing what Pagan shoes do, living in debauchery, lost, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, intertestable idolatry, they are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless wild living and they heap abuse on you. See, we live different to this world as Christians. We live for Christ. We're given everything that we need to go, we live a different life to this world, a different way of living, and it will bring abuse and and and it will bring in thoughts on us.

But we have all that we need in Christ, to face those things. So what are we praying for? We're praying like Christ as they held insults on him. That we will not retaliate in kind, that we will not fall, that we will not sin. We're praying that rather than that, we're gonna show mercy for those who are merciful will be shown mercy.

We're praying that in the light of suffering, we can pick up our eyes, and we can see the God of mercy. So that we may live in this world and remain steadfast, so that we may endure. That's what we need to pray for. That's what we need to pray for. So how are you doing with this?

Maybe and I said it before, this is the first time you've come face to face with the merciless merciful, sorry. Get my words right there. King of the universe. Well, come, know him. Know him personally as these farmers do.

Have a relationship with the god of the universe. And Christian, you have experienced you should have experienced these things, and maybe Maybe you're thinking actually, I I maybe haven't experienced these things. Why haven't I experienced these things? And that'll be a good question for you to Am I living a holy life that that is separate from this world and looks different? So different that people question and are dismissive of me, but then maybe also you just need to see that the voices are everywhere.

But also, we're in a family. And so if 1 of us goes down, we all go down. If 1 of us is hurt, we're a body. We all get hurt. It was great, wasn't it in lockdown for those who were here.

In lockdown, we we we took this tagline. If 1 part of the body suffers, we all suffer, isn't it great to be reminded of that? We just heard tonight, Afghanistan, our brothers and sisters in Christ's offering that should hurt us. When I hear of my youth group, and if they or suffering in the front line at school, that should hurt me. But those words against them are words against me.

A my savior. So let's feel each other's pain. And then in the light of those things, let's pray for each other. Prey. Pay for ourselves.

Pay for each other. Let's come to the throne room of mercy. Let's thank God that he has acted in the most incredible moment of mercy on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, as he shed his blood to say, was that a thank God with all of our hearts that he has done that for us. Let's thank God that ever since He did that for us. Ever since we trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, he has acted in mercy towards us, and we can sing that great song, greatest thy faithfulness, Mornings by Morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand hath provided greatest thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. Let's pray to see those mercies, and let's pray for mercy to face this merciless world. And as we pray for that, let's pray for the mercy of ending all suffering. When Christ returns and brings final relief and final release. No more mocking, no more ridicule, no more of Christ servants taking that, just ultimate gain.

Let's pray for that. Let's pray. Father, we thank you that, yes, you are the king of the universe, but you are the king of mercy too. We thank you that this is ultimately expressed in the cross of our lord, Jesus Christ. And so we pray father that in the light of that, you will help us to see how you've abundantly blessed us in in mercy.

And we pray father that you will give us the mercy required to live in this world. And as we do this father, we pray that we will have our eyes fixed on that day when you return. And you bring final relief, and final mercy. How was long for that day? How our prayer become lord Jesus?

Will you come, lord, and bring your ultimate reign of mercy and faithfulness and joy and glory. We pray these things in Jesus' name, our men.

Preached by Rory Kinnaird
Rory Kinnaird photo

Rory is a trainee pastor at Cornerstone and oversees our Youth Work with his wife Jerusha who is also a youth leader.

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