Now that we have a general idea of what grace is (if you haven’t read “Grace?” click here) I think it would be a good idea to dig a little bit deeper into the mystery of God, and who He is, by looking at his awe inspiring mercy!
Lets take a look at what the definition of mercy actually is, it may help us!
Mercy = compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Now before we dig into the Bible, lets take a look at this definition and unpack it a little.
- God shows Compassion and Forgiveness
- Towards us, sinners.
- He defiantly has the power to harm.
This verse is great lets break it down;
- “We were by nature objects of wrath” we all deserve Gods just wrath and judgment.
- “BUT, because of His great love for us, GOD, who is rich in mercy” Ok this is the turning point in the verse that provides Joy, so we all deserve Gods just judgment, BUT because God loves us SO MUCH He sent His son to die for us.
- “Made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” This is so great, it really helps us get a good picture on how much God actually loves us. Its not that he HAD to send his son to die, or he HAD to provide a way for us to be righteous in His eyes. NO, He wanted to because why…? Because He LOVES US, that’s why!
- Mercy–not getting what you do deserve / withheld punishment
- Grace–getting what you don’t deserve / unmerited favor
- Mercy is like a judge finding you guilty, but then withholding any punishment. Grace is getting something you could never have imagined. An inexplicable gift. It’s like the same judge awarding you $10,000,000.00, after finding you guilty
- Think of it like Grace, is an extension of mercy! Without mercy, Grace would not exist
Lam 3:39 (NIV) Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?
Jer 21:14 (NIV) “I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord.”
Num 32:23 (NIV) “…You may be sure your sin will find you out.”
Punishment is good and so are consequences, they lead us on the right path, and help us learn from our mistakes. God has tons of mercy towards us or we wouldn’t be going to heaven when we die.(If you are a Christian) That should get you fired up for Christ and the Gospel.
Does that make God weak? because He shows so much mercy?
By no means, it takes more strength to show mercy in situations than to retaliate. Retaliating is the easy answer, its what most of us would choose, we would want to take revenge. But God shows patients, when we wouldn’t. That takes strength.
We should strive to show mercy as God does, we shouldn’t live as revenge seeking vessels, but instead we should be “Mercy Vessels”
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