Lamentations 3:22-23, "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
We would be nothing without God's grace and mercy, but do we really understand their value and the difference between them. In today's blog, I want to elaborate on these two gifts from God in a small, concise way so we can each appreciate them more.
This past week we sang "God Shed His Grace on Thee." What are we asking for when we ask for His grace? Grace is God's unmerited favor -- we can't earn this gift from God. Grace can also be defined as 'God giving us what we don't deserve.' "Jesus tenderly offers absolute grace. He forgave an adulteress, a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing Him, and a man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians. Grace is absolute and all-encompassing, extending even to those who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words He spoke on earth (Luke 23:34)." odb.org This endless gift of grace reminds me of the lyrics.. 'Grace, grace, God's grace.,. grace that is greater than all my sin.'
So what is God's gift of mercy? Mercy is God sparing or not giving us what we do deserve. As in the Lamentations verse above we are reminded that even if things are bad, we are not consumed by them, only because of His mercy. 2 Corinthians 4:9, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
M. Henry says, "Had we been dealt with according to our sins, we should have been consumed long ago; but we have been dealt with according to God’s mercies, and we are bound to acknowledge it to his praise." When we talk with God about our struggles, we will more readily see the mercies He provides to us daily. One of God's greatest mercies is time... time to turn back to Him.
We may feel we are too sinful to have any hope of God's grace and mercy, but there is no one beyond God's reach. His offer of grace to save is for all who chose to believe in Jesus' life, death and resurrection. In 1 Timothy 1: 15-16, we are reassured by Paul that none of us are beyond hope..."Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life."
Hebrews 4:16, "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."