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Grace and mercy
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Grace and Mercy. Two words you don’t often hear outside of church. They have probably touched all of us more than we realize. Recently someone gave a simple description of the words that I had never heard before. It was so simple and yet startling. I have no idea who first expressed this distinction between the two, but I have experienced both in my life.

I was a precocious thirteen-year old who wanted to impress a girl. (I like precocious because it sounds so much better than aggravating.) Anyway, my brother and I were with a group of church youth having a small party in the country. My dad’s new car (driven by my older brother) needed to be moved. I quickly volunteered by jumping in the car and proceeding to move it. What I couldn’t see was a rusted old barrel in the weeds which of course provided nice ugly scratches on the car. My dad was so very careful with his cars that I knew I was in trouble.

Pretty much ruined the party for me, I can assure you!

When I returned to my dad and confessed my mishap, he showed both mercy and grace. You see, as someone said to me recently, mercy keeps us from receiving what we deserve. Dad forgave me and let me help try to fix the scratches, thus restoring the bond between the two of us. Grace allowed me to receive what I did not deserve.

Thus we see the powerful distinction between grace and mercy. Mercy prevents us from receiving what we deserve, while grace blesses us with things we never could deserve. You have a very caring and loving Savior who desires to have fellowship with you. Time and again He protected you from things you deserved, many probably resulting from your own bad decision-making. If the truth be known, perhaps you should be serving time in prison.

Perhaps you should have died in a car wreck where your friend lost his life. Many bad things could have come your way but did not because of God’s mercy. Isn’t it time you stopped running from the Lord and listened to Him?

You might say you have been so wicked that not even God will forgive you. That’s just not true.

Remember, mercy and grace travel together. One prevents your receiving justice, while the other brings blessings in your life you could never deserve. Hesitate no longer. Come to Jesus!

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