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God's Mercy and Grace

by Mark Nickles  
2/11/2020 / Devotionals

            Imagine you’re driving through a small town, in a terrible rush to reach your destination, and to your frustration, you get pulled over for speeding. Now, imagine you go before the judge for pronouncement on the fine, and to your surprise, the judge offers to pay your speeding ticket for you. You would probably think something along the lines of, “This day couldn’t get any better!” But, imagine further. Suppose the judge, having paid your fine, proceeded to treat you to a steak dinner. At that point, you might be pinching yourself to make sure you were awake!

            This is the scenario which the late evangelist Billy Graham once experienced. It’s an entertaining story, but more than that, it’s a fantastic illustration of God’s mercy and grace.

            When a person receives mercy, it means they are saved from the penalty of their own actions. The judge paying Billy’s fine was an act of mercy. This is what happens to those who come to God, through Jesus Christ; they are saved from the eternal consequences of their sin, otherwise known as hell. Titus 3:5 talks about this when it says that those in Christ are saved, not because of good things they do, “but because of his mercy”. God desires to save us from the natural result of sin.

            Grace, in a way, is even better than mercy. Grace is given when someone receives a good gift that they do not deserve. The steak dinner was grace. Again, Titus 3 addresses this when it says in verse 7 that Christians have been “justified by his grace”, so that they would “become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Let’s be honest: you and I could never deserve to be God’s heirs, set to inherit eternal life in His home/kingdom, which is Heaven. That is an act of pure grace.

            That’s why ANYONE can receive God’s mercy and grace through Christ; because it’s a GIFT, not something to be earned. Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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