The power of grace and mercy
Together, they will set you free from sin, guilt and shame.
Imagine you were pulled over by a cop for a traffic offense. You were guilty. You knew the penalty, the punishment. But wait. The officer turns to you, advises you to be mindful about traffic laws, and lets you off the hook. Just like that. It happened to me.
If something like that ever happened to you, then you’ve been a recipient of mercy. You were let off the hook, when you didn’t deserve it.
Mercy is when you don’t receive what you deserve: punishment.
Maybe you haven’t received mercy for civil law breaking, but if you’ve given your heart to Jesus, then you have met the God who is ‘rich in mercy’ (Ephesians 2:4). What did He do? He let you off the hook when you didn’t deserve it. Paul wrote:
“He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5, NLT).
Instead of punishing and giving us what we deserve (Romans 6:23), He saved us from the punishment. That's mercy. Isaiah said it this way:
“He took the punishment we deserved, and this brought us peace” (Isaiah 53:5, ERV).
Grace: Even better than mercy
Mercy is not cheap. It is expensive because it costed His Son’s life to set us free. And while, mercy is good news, just wait till you hear about Grace. Grace is much more than mercy.
Here’s the difference. Mercy is when you don’t receive what you deserve: punishment. But grace is when you receive what you don’t deserve: reward.
Do you get the difference? Read it again until you’ve figured it out.
What grace and mercy look like
Here's a few examples of grace and mercy in action:
- The prodigal son received mercy when the father accepted him. Grace when he threw him a party.
- The thief on the cross received mercy when he experienced forgiveness. Grace when Jesus promised Him paradise.
- We received mercy when God chose us and saved us from the punishment for our sins. Grace when He gave us eternal life (1 John 5:11); made us sons and daughters (John 1:12), and reserved an inheritance for us for eternity (1 Peter 1:4).
Mercy and Grace are amazing. That’s why we sing so many songs about them!
Not only is grace amazing. It is also the central theme in the Bible. It is about a gracious God who pursues, came for us, cared for us, and is coming again for us.
This is Amazing Grace
Here’s a few ways the Bible describes the grace of God:
Grace is God’s gift to me: “All of us need to be made right with God by His grace, which is a free gift through Jesus Christ.” (Romans 3:24, NCV)
Grace is for everyone: “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people” (Titus 2:11, NLT).
Grace comes through Jesus: “For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17, NIV).
Grace is received by faith: “God saved you by his grace when you believed.” (Ephesians 2:8, NLT).
Grace is God’s gift for all eternity: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Grace is God’s gift of forgiveness: “But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:15).
Grace is God’s power to change: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16).
The power to save a wretch like me ... and you
Yes, grace changes people. The apostle made it clear that the gospel of His grace and mercy is intended to turn people to God and from their sins (Romans 2:4). Grace not only forgives; it changes, transforms, rewires everyone who enters into a relationship with Jesus.
There is more. When grace happens, gratitude happens. “And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory” (2 Corinthians 4:15)
You can live a life of gratitude to God, not because of anything you did, but because of what He did for you. If you have put your trust in His Son to save you, He says He has given you life, and has saved you:
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Like to thank God for His mercy and grace? Here’s what you can do:
- Make a list of your grace and mercy experiences
- Talk with God over the list, and thank Him for each blessing
- Share your experiences with your friends, and spread the joy
- Keep the list, add to it and return to it when you need to remember His goodness
- Praise God for His mercy! Praise God for His grace!
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