Monday, February 16, 2009

Mercy & Grace

What is Mercy and Grace? Isn't the very word self explanatory..? Maybe not..I would like to expound of these two terms for a humor me..

Mercy - Is when you Deserve something you Do Not Get !!

Grace - Is when you Get something you Do Not Deserve !!

I know when I first heard these two terms described this way, it caused me great pause..I have pondered this and chewed on it to try and discover what exactly is meant here..You might call this a play on words, you might feel this is over simplification of the two words..But I find this to be an exact fit for what they mean to me..

What is Mercy? People will often say..God have mercy on me.. or God have Mercy on us all.. or we seek God's Mercy..If you notice Paul when writing almost every letter he started out with "Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord"..He actually uses Grace every single time and more often than Mercy..however he uses them often is my point..I found the word to be listed over 260 times...according to Strong's Concordance..This idea of Mercy has been so watered down in our culture today that we have very little understanding of what it means..

Websters reads this way - Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary; clemency.

Bible dictionary says - "God's forgiveness of his creatures' offenses,"

So we get Forbearance, Forgiveness, compassion...

So lets look back at the definition I started this with..It is when you deserve something you do not get..We ALL deserve eternal condemnation from God because of our sinful self..but God has compassion and doesn't give us that punishment if..

we believe in Jesus Christ and accept His Lordship over our life...then Grace will come and take away the punishment owed to us..So God's mercy is HIM sparing us, forgiving us, having forbearance on our souls..but that only comes one way..which leads us to the second term..

GRACE..God's favor or help," "pleasing quality, favor, good will,...Thru Grace and Grace alone we are able to be forgiven (have mercy on)..but there is a catch..The only way to receive this Grace is to Believe in Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection as just payment that was due us but thrust upon Him instead...

SO now lets go back to the definition I used at the beginning for Grace.. Get something you do not deserve..Is it becoming clearer..? You get forgiveness, even though you fall short of God's righteousness..You get compassion..You get forbearance..even though you really don't deserve it..because we will never meet God's perfect standard on our own..That Grace that we receive even though we don't deserve it comes from Jesus Christ Alone..He stood in place of us..He bore the sin of humankind so that His people would be saved..remember Jesus did not come to condemn(because we are all already condemned), but He came to Save...

See we must understand that God is so HOLY and so PERFECT and so RIGHTEOUS that He can not look upon sin..HE HATES SIN..UTTERLY AND PROFOUNDLY..Once you grasp that, then you can see just how important Jesus Christ is to all of mankind..Without Jesus Christ, there would be no Mercy..No Grace.. Jesus takes our sinful self and covers it so the Father can now have a relationship with us..making us acceptable in God the Fathers eyes.. All this talk about Mercy and Grace has no real meaning if we cant understand how we are able to receive it..and why we need it..The how and why are prerequisite...The How is thru Jesus Christ and the Why is because we are sinful and fall short of God's expectation (since the fall of Man with Adam and Eve)..

Here is the best part..Nothing we can do can merit God's Grace..More bible study, larger tithe checks, more servant hood, church attendance, helping the poor, lending those in need a hand, mentoring your children..etc,...Nothing you can do will merit Grace from God...except FAITH..Faith in Jesus Christ...Faith in the just payment for our sins acceptable to God as evidenced by the resurrection, to serve as eternal priest for our sake..Our Holy, Just and Perfect God was satisfied with Christ's sinless life in place for us..

I heard on a radio show once where a speaker was describing how Christ intercedes for us...and this is what he said.. It is like a little young boy who loves his mom more than anything in the world and he wanted to show how much he loved he went out to the garden and picked a whole bunch of flowers and weeds and brought them to his mother as a sign of his love..The mother then took the bunch from her young son and proceeded to remove all the weeds and dirt and raggedy flowers until all she had left was a beautiful bouquet..See Jesus takes all our weeds and dirt( our sins and ugliness and unrighteousness and mistakes) and removes them and presents to the father a beautiful person, holy and acceptable to God the Father..So no matter what we have done or how sinful we might be..Jesus will remove that for us just as the mother removed the weeds for that young boy and what is left is just perfect and acceptable...

Jesus Christ desires to make intercession for us..but remember what Jesus had to say in Mark 8:38(amplified)" For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous (unfaithful) and [preeminently] sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory (splendor and majesty) of His Father with the holy angels.

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