Free Audiobook Download of the Month: Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road by Timothy J. Keller.
The Book Review by http://www.monergismbooks.com/Ministries-of-Mercy-The-Call-of-the-Jericho-Road-p-17007.html
Description: This book builds a biblical foundation for works of service to the church and to the world at large. Some lay blame for poverty and need on oppression; others on laziness. Pastor Keller demonstrates that the biblical viewpoint is far more sophisticated than either extreme. He sets forth scriptural principles for mercy ministries, suggests practical steps to begin and persevere in active caring, and deals perceptively with thorny issues. Balanced and informative! Includes discussion questions.
Mercy ministry is working to alleviate the burdens of another person, it is meeting their real or perceived needs through Gospel driven deeds. Mercy ministry is kingdom ministry. It incorporates all of the effects of the coming of the kingdom of God and thus is a visual, viable representation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through whom all things are redeemed, first partially in the old covenant, then really and more fully in the new covenant, and finally and completely in the kingdom to come. This kingdom principle and God’s own pattern of “mercy ministry” can be traced throughout Scripture, beginning at creation and continued through these last days.
The incarnation of the Son of God is the most complete illustration of mercy that we are given in Scripture. Jesus Christ is the true Adam, who subdues all creation to God causing it to bear fruit for God’s glory; He is the great high priest who extends mercy and forgiveness to all in need; and he is the great deacon who identifies with and pours himself out in costly service to the poor. Through his preaching and miracles, Christ demonstrates how the kingdom of God restores all of creation and how the effects of sin are healed under His rule. The incarnation ultimately illustrates God’s mercy in that Christ humbles himself in many ways and to great depths in order to alleviate the burden of sin. Jesus Christ is described as being mighty in word and deed and we are called to follow him as our example.
In these last days, the church represents Christ to the world, following his preaching and example by working to heal all the effects of the fall, thereby manifesting the redemptive kingdom of God. The internalized reality of the gospel is the primary (original and foundational) motivation for Christians to show mercy. If we truly know and comprehend fully that we were enemies of God saved by mercy alone, we are both open and generous to the outcasts and unlovely. Christians are clearly called to follow Christ’s example in humble service by each of us setting aside ourselves and considering others first. Jesus clearly teaches in Matthew 25 that we will be judged not only based on our profession of faith but also on our deeds. The call to mercy is not only to the individual Christian, but to the church corporately. The church is called to show mercy through the calling of Deacons who are ordained to care for the needs of the people (this is one clear indication that mercy is not only suggested to but required of the church).