Saturday, October 12, 2013

31days // Mercy & Grace

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 //

For a really long time, I didn't understand the difference between mercy and grace. I knew they were both good things from God, but that's about it. I thought maybe they were synonyms, but in the past few years I have learned that they are very, very different. 

Understanding what these things are, and how our God so freely gives them, has made the world of a difference in my pursuit of purity. I want to take some time today to dive into these things, and come back to that verse listed above to see what God says about them. 

{Happy Saturday, by the way!}

{mer-cy}

-kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly- (source)

I have come to understand that mercy is not getting what we deserve.  The fact of the matter is, we are all human. We all mess up, though our mess ups may look different. But the Bible clearly states that 
everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. {Romans 3:23}

God has every reason to punish us, ya'll, and yet He doesn't. He has every reason to give up on us due to our repeated shortcomings, and yet He doesn't. He had every reason to keep His son, as we were a rebellious creation, and yet He didn't

He doesn't punish us, because He doesn't see our sin. He never gives up on us, because of His love. And He didn't keep His son, He sent Him. 

That, my friends, is mercy. We could be treated very, very harshly, but instead, are treated with kindness and forgiveness. 

{grace}

-the free and unmerited favor of God- (source)

You see, grace and mercy are far from synonyms; they are opposites. While mercy is not getting what we deserve, grace is getting what we don't deserve. God doesn't just give us mercy. Mercy is saving us from an eternity away from Him, and God goes far beyond just that. He gives us Himself, now, as sinners. And that is grace. 

God has no reason to dwell with us, and yet He does. He has no reason to keep and keep and keep and keep forgiving us, and yet He does. He has no reason to promise to abide with us forever, through all of our shortcomings, and yet He does

We didn't earn any of these things, and we never could; that's why they are unmerited. But regardless, He does dwell with us, He does forgive us, and He does abide with us. 

With understanding of these two incredible gifts of God, we can go back to that verse in Hebrews and understand the power of it. There's one other word that is bolded (pun unintentional, but I'll take it!): boldly

These gifts are ours as children of God. We don't need to timidly approach Him anymore, we can boldly approach Him! We can confidently approach Him, knowing that these gifts will be ours for the taking. 

I have finally come to understand that I will never deserve these gifts. They are not dependent on my obedience, that's just not how God works. And praise Him! Because understanding this has freed me from striving, when the striving is unnecessary. And quite honestly, the striving doesn't get me anywhere. 

What does get me somewhere is understanding the amazing and unfailing love of our God. A God who so freely gives mercy and grace, even though we don't deserve it. 

The pursuit of purity may be a challenging one at times, but when I grab hold of God and who He is, He will never fail to help me. 

Be blessed, loves. :)


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