There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.
~ Lisa Blair
God gives us His grace. His mercy is how He provides our request for help. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary (pp. 341) puts it this way:
Mercy is the act of God. Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel; mercy is His attitude toward those who are in distress.
God’s purpose for extending His grace and mercy upon us is to provide a means of salvation. God’s grace must always precede mercy. Only the forgiven can be blessed with God’s mercy.
Mercy is through the everlasting covenant God made with David, particularly pardoning mercy, and mercies that are refreshed everyday. We must approach God boldly without any fear or doubt. Mercy is ours each day. When in prayer, remind God of the covenant and ask for daily mercies. Mercy is like a daily vitamin, your body must be replenished each day, just as your being is through daily mercies.
The commentary from Barnes Notes, BibleHub.com, reads, “we may obtain mercy – this is what comes first. We need pardon – as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned – our first cry should be for mercy.” Those who understand their need for forgiveness are best prepared to obtain God’s favor.
Finding grace, is finding favor, “strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin and to aid us in the day of temptation..”
As Christians, we have the privilege of boldly coming before the throne, “we are sinful and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.”
Easy way to remember – There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.
Mercy is for past sins; grace for future work, trials, and resistance to temptation. (Vincent’s Word Studies, biblehub.com)
Godis a Trinity. There is only one God, but in the unity, there are three eternal, distinct yet equal beings.
~ C.C. RYRIE Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. 1984
“He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:2-5 NKJV
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are always with us. In the beginning He, Jesus, was with God, long before they created the earth and all there is in it. Long before Christ came to earth to free us of our sins and demonstrate our walk. Long before God breathed life into us. Long before we came out of our mother’s womb. In Him, Jesus Christ was and is life and the light of men. This light shines down on us and because Christ was crucified, bore our sins, rose, and returned to heaven on the third day leaving His spirit to dwell in each of us; his light dwells in us, not just around us. The Holy Spirit completes the Trinity and as a result believer’s have been delivered from sin and its consequences through Salvation.
So go forth this day in the light. Be the bellwether of good cheer. Be kind, thoughtful, trustworthy, honest, respectful and in control. Do not allow the woes of the day affect you and beat you down. Speak to all things saying, “this is the day the Lord has made, I am glad and will rejoice in it.” Psalms 118:24 (paraphrased)
In closing, I want to impress that it is important to teach our children what the scriptures mean and how they impact their lives day-to-day. It is never to early to begin digesting the Word and applying it to our lives. Those who spend time teaching their children the Word are preparing Young Christian Warriors to become mature adults sharing the light in an uncertain world.
We were called before the universe was spoken into being. We were created by God and called to be His people. Our calling is a Holy Calling.
~ Lisa Blair
“who had saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” II Timothy 1:9 NKJV
That is right, we have been called with a Holy calling, one that was made before the beginning of time. God envisioned this world and all in it before He created time before He created the universe. As children, many of us wrote stories about cosmos and its inhabitants, envisioning them to manifest our reality. We were enthralled by our own imaginations, but think, God created all that exists from His thoughts and being God, brought it in into being. Every minute detail manifested to become atoms, that became trees, land, water, nature, us. And, in doing so, He called us, giving us life and a desire to know Him better through His grace. To redeem us from the sin that destroyed Eden and His relationship with Adam and Eve who sinned against Him and stripped us, leaving us in a state of sin. We were called through His purpose to share that God sent His Son, Christ Jesus to save us from our sin nature and spread the Good News of our salvation. It is His gift of grace, not of our own doing.
GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE THROUGH THE DEATH OF HIS SON, CHRIST JESUS
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalms 23:1 NKJV
God has blessed me with long life. I’m 67 today and counting. There is no better life in that I have a wonderful husband, three healthy sons, their spouses and significant others, and two Granddaughters. Working out at the gym right now, took a break to share, ‘our God is a good God’. Praise the Lord, I am grateful.
“You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.
I know we all walk down the path into our destiny, the life God designed for us. We are not perfect but under construction; and for those of us with children have made mistakes while maturing as Christians. I’ve learned not to underestimate or doubt God’s purpose and GPS corrections. He welcomes all who seek Him. He is a God second chances and more. He knows our hearts.
Our children also walk with Him, make detours, but return to Him in due season.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, [a]And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Continue in the Lord, He is with you and covers you, and your children as they grow into adulthood and old age.
God’s invisible qualities are present in our life.
~ Lisa Blair
Contrary to popular belief, too many of us, Christians, are blind to the invisible world God created for us. We do not see the pure wonderment of his Workmanship. The Arabic version says that His properties are invisible to us because they can only be known through the eternal power and Godhead. When we are aligned with the Father, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us, the beauty and magnificence of the world are revealed to us. We begin to see the light of nature that His people have enjoyed since the beginning of time.
We begin to see the unity in all things and start to understand that nature, man, and all of the things of this earth are one, created by the Great Creator. Our passion for God’s presence is present in all things. The revelation of his Supremacy becomes visible through the invisible realm of His creation.
If nothing else, this should turn us from our wicked ways, fall to our knees vowing obedience and dependence upon Him who created us and leave our heathen/worldly lifestyles behind.
I have a Christian friend who shared that he had fallen away from the Lord. It was a slow tug back into his old life and was awakened when he was struck with an illness and taken to ER. His words are – ‘always stay alert,’ stay in the spirit, and see the invisible workmanship of the Lord, humble yourself to His way, His will, and His light.
Acts 1:8, KJV reads:
“But ye shall receive power, after that, the Holy Ghost comes upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
In this scripture, power (dynamai) refers to strength, the force of power behind supernatural events, i.e., the creation of the earth and all that is in it; the power of Jesus to work miracles because He is God. The power is seen in the crucifixion of Christ.
As believer’s, we are called to witness to those who are blind and destined to live in what they see, the sins of this world. ‘Paul teachers that every man, that has known God or not has rejected this knowledge of God and replaced it with idolatrous thoughts of another of their own making.(one passion ministries)’ As witnesses, we must share the invisible workmanship and wonderment of God’s world, both supernatural and natural, they are gifts from God and His sacrifice made to open our eyes.
Romans 1:20 NLT (Tyndale House) reads:
20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
God’s invisible qualities are visible to those who believe. We have no excuses for falling short of denying ourselves and sharing the Good News. Paul warned that God is not pleased with His followers who fall subject to their worldly sorrows, do not repent, and once again pick up their cross. We should do all we can to stay in God’s good graces. Do not look back to salvage your blinders. We have no excuses.
Images – YouVersion.Bible.com.Roger Coles; Google Images
References: Romans 1:20, YouVersion.Bible.com; Romans 1:20. BibleStudytools.com; Romans, 1:20,21 Commentary, preceptaustin.org; Romans 1:20. KJV Word Study Bible. Nelson Thompson Publishers; No Excuse – Romans 1:19-23. Onepassionministries.org
For many years I felt the Lord was a punishing God. Words such as sorrow suggested that we were a hurt people. The truth is we are a hurt people, we are a sinful people who must come to a place where our sins are no longer acceptable as our guiding truth. Satan uses sin to capture and control us, to lead us to a hellish death. When we become remorseful and recognize the sorrow we have weighed down upon ourselves, and the God who loves and protects us, we enter into a state of Godly sorrow.
Godly Sorrow is only Mentioned Once in the Bible
Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. Paul uses this term to explain to the Corinthians that they once lived a sinful life that would lead to worldly death, hell, upon departing this earth but had successfully turned away in earnestness to overcome their sin and repent.
Godly Sorrow is an Acute Sense of Sadness
Godly sorrow is an acute sense of sadness we experience when we sin. We feel sadness because we know we have committed sins. We know we have saddened the Lord, just as the Corinthians knew after Paul taught them that God is the Way and the Light. Palm chastised the Corinthians for their dissentions against the church. He intended to cause them to think and having accomplished this task caused them to repent. Paul knew they were remorseful and regretful for their actions of falling back into disbelief, but he also knew that neither would lead to salvation without true repentance and restitution. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.
Godly Sorrow is a Kind of Wretchedness
“Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. Godly sorrow results from a heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin.” Our spirit grieves, and when Godly sorrow has its way, we resolve to stop repeating the sins, turn away from our carnal nature and pick up the cross and do good. We cleanse ourselves through prayer.
Results of Godly Sorrow
Doing good, is the result of Godly sorrow. It is through Godly sorrow that we can release the guilt and shame for our sin nature and actions, and repent asking for forgiveness and vowing to never return to them. Repentance is not an emotion, it is our decision to change. We have to make the decision to turn around and change our lives to truly repent. We repent and believe through faith. Faith comes after repenting and surrendering our life to the Lord. It is through God’s grace that we are forgiven and given new life to move forward. It is through God’s grace that we receive salvation.
God Sorrow, Repentance, and Salvation are Ours
Not all of 1 Corinthians 7 is intended for us. Some of it is intended for the Corinthians. However, repentance and salvation are for everyone who calls out to God to save them from their sins and believes that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to join God in heaven. God restored the discipline of the church of Corinth and sin, and He restores us. We sin through our (own) actions and complicitous approval of those sinning in our scope of influence. The church was complicit by not addressing incestuous behavior. We are complicit when we do not speak out against sin and do not address the offender.
Sorrow Cannot Merely Be Guilt through Discovery
“We must be very careful that our sorrow for sin is not merely sorrow that has been found out, but sorrow which, seeing the evil of the sinful thing is determined never to do it again and has dedicated the rest of its life to atone, by God’s grace, for what was done.” (Barclay)
Godly Sorrow, Apology and the Holy Spirit, Intercession on Our Behalf
When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes and helps us apologize to God and repent. This is accomplished through confessing our sins, not by denying them or defending them because neither is true confession.
Godly Sorrow is the Lining of Our Repentance
While Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in scripture, it is the lining of our repentance. Repentance separates godly sorrow from worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces true repentance. Worldly sorrow is not really sorrow, it is the only resentment that has been found out (William Barclay). If we do not feel Godly sorrow for our sinful actions, we are not able to truly repent and turn away from them with God’s help. Without godly sorrow, we would repeat the offense, given a chance to do it again. Godly sorrow not only hates the act, but it also hates the nature of the act itself. Without godly sorrow, we are bound by our sin nature and remain in the camp of the evil one.
God Separates Us From Our Sin Through Our Decision to Change
Like the Church at Corinth, we are growing (maturing) when we repent and turn away from sin. God can separate us from our sins and place them as far away as the east is from the west, but He is only able to do so when we are cleansed and convicted to the point of wholehearted confession and repentance. It is through God’s grace that we are saved.
Images – YouVersion/Bible.com; Google Images-Knowing Jesus.com
References – What is Godly sorrow? Gotquestions.org; Studylight.org: 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, Commentaries – Charles Barclay, Albert Barnes, Coffman, John Gill; Nelson’s Quick Reference by Warren Wiersbe; Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine; KJV Word Study; Youtube:2Corinthians_BrettVarner; 2 Corinthians_JasonJack
We are weaponless and vulnerable without prayer. Being in prayer mode throughout the day strengthens our resolve and our relationship with Our Lord.
~ Lisa Blair
Prayer is needed at all times. It catalyzes, activates, everything that happens in life. It empowers us to persevere in difficulty, exude hope in all situations, and reside in a state of patience despite the prevailing circumstances.
It causes us to supplant blaming God, and reviling others for our current conditions with peace. It provides hope (in eternal life), enduring faith, and rest in knowing God is with us and will see us through this walk, called life.
It is crucial that we develop (our) practice of continual, persistent prayer. This means throughout the day, in good moments and uncomfortable times. Prayer can be as simple as calling on Christ, a single sentence or a long(er) dialogue. You can do it standing, sitting, on your knees, or prone on the floor. Your eyes can be open or closed. Your hands can be 🙏🏽 pressed together, or open.
Our God is good and receives us as we are in the moment, pleased that we invited Him into our heart.
We are called to rejoice in the Lord. And , have hope which is founded on faith, and faith on the Divinity of God.
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.