Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Miracle of Mercy

What exactly is mercy? What is the difference between mercy and grace? For a long time, I did not understand mercy or the difference between mercy and grace. I knew that when I prayed, I thanked God for the mercy and grace He gave me every night, but I didn't truly understand the difference. I just knew how grateful I was that I was saved from my sins.

I am very grateful to understand now. Grace is the precious gift of salvation that we get when we accept Jesus as our savior. It is receiving a gift that we do not deserve. Mercy is not getting punished for our sins because of the grace we received by accepting Jesus as our saviour. It is not getting what we do deserve.

“The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day" ~Lamentations 3:22-23

Mercy involves forgiveness, kindness and compassion, something that God has daily towards his children. He loves us just as much despite the many times we mess up, sin and are weak. He overlooks our flaws, and sees us as we will be one day be rather than as we are now. What an amazing Heavenly Father we have!

“The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy.” ~James 3:17

Mercy is also something people have toward each other. In fact, God tells us in several scriptures that He wants us to have mercy toward others; the following is one:

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you"
~Ephesians 4:32

What does that mean to us? It means that he wants us to be kind to others, even those who hurt us or offend us. He wants us to be quick to give second chances.  God also wants us to be patient with other people's quirks, like He is with ours. He wants us to have compassion, and to help others that we see hurting or who are helpless. And, God also wants us to reach out and love those who others don't want to associate with. Is He asking a lot? He isn't asking us to do anymore than what He does for us. In Matthew 9:13, Jesus says he would rather have mercy than sacrifice.

So, like many, I have a way to go on my journey when it comes to mercy. For me, the easy part is to help those that are hurting and to be kind to people I don't know. I am still working on turning the other cheek, and being kind to people who have hurt me deeply. I am praying for guidance, direction and answers. I have read that as we face ourselves, walk meekly before God, and thirst for righteousness, God produces more mercy within us.

What are your experiences with mercy?

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" ~Matthew 5:7
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