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Dr. Ricky R. Hurst is a native of Carroll County, Georgia, and has been an ordained Baptist Minister for over 30 years. He has served as pastor in Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia, as well as the Director of Donor Relation for the Virginia Baptist Foundation.
Ricky is a graduate of Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, the SouthernBaptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond.
He is dedicated to the Gospel Ministry, and to sharing the Presence of Christ through preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. He and his wife, Joy, have three sons: Nathan (wife, Vanessa), Samuel, and Jeremiah (wife, Allison). Ricky’s hobbies include creative writing, antique book and bottle collecting, nature, and gardening.
Upcoming Sermon Titles and Texts:
September 3, Season of Spirit & Love
“Blessed are Those Who Respond!”
Exodus 3:1-15 & Matthew 16:21-28
September 10, Season of Spirit & Love
“Blessed are Those Who Turn Back!”
Ezekiel 33:7-11 & Matthew 18:15-20
September 17/Season of Spirit & Love
“Blessed are Those Who Forgive!”
Psalm 103:1-13 & Matthew 18:21-25
September 24/Season of Spirit & Love
“Blessed are The Merciful!”
Jonah 3:10-4:11 & Matthew 20:1-16
Note from Pastor Rick:
Where can we find mercy in our world? How far do we have to look? Perhaps we can find it within ourselves, our homes, our neighborhoods, our temples, our mosques, our synagogues, or our churches. The Scriptures teach us most clearly the principles of mercy. The Old Testament Hebrew term for mercy is hesed, meaning unfailing, enduring love. This is how God revealed himself to Moses and the Children of Israel in Exodus 34 and Psalm 103. The hallmark of Jewish faith and practice is found in the LORD’s requirements for his people: “Be passionate about God’s mercy, practice justice in all your relationships, and walk in humility with God.” (Micah 6:8).
According to our well known Jewish Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, mercy is the most prized virtue and practice of those who follow him: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7). Jesus encouraged his followers to remember that the way to obtain forgiveness is to humbly ask God: “God have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13). He also challenged the religious to learn the importance of seeking mercy rather than sacrifice (Matthew 9:13, 27), and condemned them for neglecting mercy: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23).
Jesus was very sensitive to those who desired mercy, healing the blind, the lepers, the cripple, and the demon possessed who cried, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matthew 9:27; 15:22; 17:15; 20:30). Jesus practiced mercy and expected those who follow him to practice it also: “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” (Matthew 18:33). He has reminded us that we will one day be judged according to how we have had mercy or not on the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:31-46). His brother must have recalled this when he wrote: “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13).
I hope we can believe in and practice mercy in every area of our lives. If we can, life will be more meaningful and eternal life more fulfilling. Imagine if we practiced the same mercy we have personally experienced from God. Perhaps we should ask the question, “Have we experienced mercy from God?” This is where we must begin, asking God for mercy. The Lord knows I need it. How about you? See you in church on Sunday and Wednesday, where we will be seeking God’s mercy together.
Grace, Peace, & Love,