The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
The Apostle Paul proclaims a God rich in mercy, and rich in grace.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
The most basic Biblical definition of mercy means that God does not give us what we deserve. Grace, conversely, promises God's generosity in ways we do not deserve. Rather than condemn and execute wrath, He forgives and bestows pardon to all who come to Him "through Christ Jesus." Moreover, He provides ongoing blessing by "the exceeding riches of His grace" He will forevermore reveal unto and upon us "in the ages to come."
God loves to forgive and He loves to bless. "He delighteth in mercy… God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ" (Micah 7:18; Ephesians 1:3). Of course, He must do so in a way that does not compromise His integrity, holiness, and justice. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Psalm 145:17). This He did, and this He does through Christ, forever abiding as the God who is both "just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). Those who have trusted in Christ may therefore view themselves in terms of being "accepted in the Beloved" and the objects of God's everlasting favor (Ephesians 1:6). Our Heavenly Father purposes to abundantly provide in a manner that reveals the wonder of His grace and mercy made possible by the wrath of His holiness and justice executed against the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
Do we view ourselves in this way? Do we see ourselves in the context of grace and mercy? If not, we are not rightly seeing the Lord Jesus. Many believers live in a cloud of uncertainty and a sense of alienation because we all know we have not perfectly walked in a manner that reflects God's presence in our hearts and lives. Certainly our wanderings are significant and can become serious if we do not quickly repent and confess our sins to God. However, the primary Biblical truth that leads us back home involves the Person and work of Christ on our behalf. Grace and mercy rightly known in the light of Scripture motivates our return to faith and faithfulness no less than it paved our way to God when we first believed. Indeed, the Lord Jesus serves as both "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
As we walk the walk and run the race, we might look to the right and see our companion mercy. A glance to the left reveals grace accompanying us stride for stride. What wonderful companions, and even more, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus dwells within us to ever remind us of our Father's sublime disposition of blessing and forgiveness. Such remembrance motivates our determination to honor our Lord by a life of grace-empowered faithfulness, and our mercy-illuminated realization we can arise and return in times of sin and failure. Wonderful companions indeed!
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
"Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."
(II John 1:3)
But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.