June 7, 2016- Grace
Merriam Webster dictionary gives 8 definitions for the word “Grace”. The first definition is the one that I believe is the most important: a. unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification b. a virtue coming from God and c. a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.
Other definitions (in short form) include approval or favor, mercy or pardon, privilege, an attractive trait, a short prayer at a meal, and a sense of propriety or right. Several of these could also fall into the meaning above.
When I gave my life to Jesus in 1993, sadly I wasn’t given any instruction or help from the church to begin my walk with Jesus. Most of what I know now I have learned on my on, by the grace of God. I attended church twice on Sunday and went to bible study on Wednesday and attended any special event they held.
People were kind to me, many gave me their phone numbers when I was first saved and said if I needed to talk or had any questions, I could call them, but I soon found out that many of them were only doing what they had been taught was the right thing, they really didn’t want to be bothered, they didn’t really have time for me, so I had to do a lot of praying and I had to do a lot of research on my own. I have never refused or put off anyone who wanted to talk or had questions about Jesus.
Sometimes I think that many of them, even though they were raised in the church, still had no real clue what it meant to be Christian. Christianity is not a denomination, it is a spiritual relationship, it is the constant learning of how to live a spiritual life, it is striving and learning to walk with the Lord and completely accept him as your Lord and Savior.
We falter, we sin, we fall down, but if we have faith, full faith in Jesus, he will pick us up and set us on the right path again. He will be by our side, forgiving us, protecting us and guiding us if we would just let him.He will shine his Grace upon us.
Today I am thankful that “His Grace is Sufficient for Me”.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
June 8, 2016 – Mercy
Our dictionary and the bible are chock so full of words that it is almost impossible for any one person to know them all and their meaning. Many people walk around showing mercy to others, but how many of us really understand what mercy is, especially when it comes to God.
I had an understanding of how to show mercy, but really didn’t know the exact definition. I have been researching lately on words and actions directly referred to in many of the popular bible verses that are quoted the most often, and many of the words associated with different actions in the bible.
According to Merriam Webster, Mercy is: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment, a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion, compassionate treatment of those in distress. Of course this is the shortened version as there is almost a whole page of definitions, but I found these to be the most relative.
The first line of this “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power” reminds me also of God’s grace. It seems that the two of them should always go hand in hand with each other.
As followers of Jesus, it is also up to us to show kindness and mercy to others. It kind of goes along with the saying to “treat others as you would have them treat you”. Don’t you often need help in these troubling times? Aren’t there times when you could use a big dose of mercy?
Today I am thankful, not only for Gods Mercy, but for the mercy of others and for the ability to show mercy to those in need.
Ephesians 2: 4-5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Psalm 51: 1-2
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.