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You've probably heard the word grace before. You've probably heard the word mercy before. But have you ever really understood what these two words mean and how they're different?
Let's start with mercy.
Mercy is withholding a consequence or punishment that you deserve.
When Jesus shows us mercy, it's Him holding back on something we've earned. You and I deserve punishment for our sins. You and I deserve to be disconnected from the father because we've sinned against Him.
But when He doesn't give us what we deserve... that's mercy.
And what's grace?
Grace is the opposite... sort of. Grace is giving someone a gift they don't deserve.
Jesus gives us both. Think about that for a second...
Not only does Jesus show us mercy, saving us from the punishment of God that we deserve. He gives us the gift of grace, doing the work for us to have a relationship with the Father.
But it's not about wiping our slate clean. Those things still happened. God wouldn't be perfectly just if he just erased everything. Instead, he does something called imputation.
(Big Word Alert!)
He actually imputes His right to us. Jesus was perfect in life and that's important to know... because when He saved us, He was able to transfer that perfect obedience, that perfect holiness, that perfect relationship with God... to us!
Everything is a gift. The good things and the bad things.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
-- Romans 8:28
It doesn't say all things except for the bad things. Suffering, joblessness, hunger, shame, brokenness, death, disease, cancer... ALL of these things work together for our good!
Our God is so big, He's so capable.
And He uses all things to compel us to Jesus.