Mercy & Grace
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” ~ Titus 3:4-7
In these verses, Paul explains a huge part of the journey in our walk with Christ. Building up to this though is first the summary of where we came from. We were all living in a life of sin prior to knowing God. He gives specific examples of all of mankind living in a foolish way, being disobedient and deceived by all things. We were virtually slaves to our passions and pleasures, while still living in malice, envy and hatred.
I thank the Lord that the message doesn’t stop there with all of us trapped in that kind of life. Instead the writer expounds on the redemption, justification and salvation processes we are given through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is within this text that two magnificent principles are explained: Grace & Mercy.
A very wise man (okay…it was Garth Brooks) was asked the question once of the difference between mercy and grace. I always believed the explanation was a very accurate and beautiful response to the difference we see in those two principles. He said mercy was often seen when God didn’t give us something we deserved while grace was God giving us something we didn’t deserve.
Being honest I know from my experiences and life prior to knowing God that I certainly don’t deserve what He has blessed me with now. Living a life like many of us do prior to living in Him I know that I probably “deserve” a far different and even worrisome future. Instead of Christ taking this stance He shows me (and all of us) His kindness and love in the extension of His mercy.
Even after being spared by His beautiful mercy I am certain that I don’t truly deserve anything more. Yet once again, Jesus shows me His love, kindness and in this case grace. He grants me something I could never reach on my own or even with the help of any person, act or good deed. Instead He shows me His grace. He shows me how God appears to me and how the Holy Spirit is given to me through Jesus Christ. He gives me something that I don’t deserve by any far stretch of the imagination- he shows me His grace through redemption and eternal life in Him.
I am very thankful that we have the ability to serve a God who is so loving and kind to every person. I am also grateful that he gives us the opportunity to renew ourselves in Him and to become an heir to a life with Him for eternity.