(GOD’s Love Tokens)
Do you remember as a kid going to the grocery store with your parents and they would make the statement before you either left home or upon exiting the car (usually it was mom) would say “don’t ask for nothing, don’t touch nothing or there will be consequences? Can you think back, if you behaved she would give you a quarter or the cashier would give you a token – with your mom’s approval to go play the toy drop machine in the front of Fiesta or The Piggly Wigley? Is it a faint memory for you to think of a time when you’d be naughty or misbehave knowing you should have received a well-deserved spanking or some form of punishment but she gave you a pass. That was grace in our earthly parent form!!! Just thinking about that simple level of love – caring, kindness doesn’t compare to that of GOD’s Grace toward us – directly. So I’d like to start with the simple definition of Grace.
Grace is one of the Key Attributes of GOD: First of all it is Free!!! It is unmerited favor by GOD that cannot be earned – remember it’s Free. Think of Grace as GOD’s wondrous benevolences to the undeserving.
There are two types of GRACE – there’s “Common” Grace and “Saving” Grace
It may be difficult to view how the Grace of GOD can have two distinctions: 1) – Common Grace and 2) – Saving Grace.
GOD gives the Common grace gift to all men: which would be the gift of life, health, strength and to some special skills such as neuroscientists, engineers, scientist and doctors that have helped cure diseases. Nations, communities, families and individuals all benefit from the common grace of God. It says in:
Matthew 5: 45 – “that you may be children of your FATHER in heaven. HE causes HIS sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. It’s important that we not take ‘common grace’ for granted.
Then there’s Saving Grace, which on the other hand, is a perfection of GOD’s character and is exercised only to a specific group of people – according to
Ephesians 1: 4 -6 4 For HE chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in HIS sight in love 5 HE predestined us for adoption to son ship through JESUS CHRIST, in accordance with HIS pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of HIS glorious grace, which HE has freely given us in the One HE loves.
This unmerited blessing of forgiveness is not rewarded by our works, no matter how much work we try to do. Our faith and belief reminds us of the forgiveness that helps us in our walk. This Grace does not come to us by works, and it cannot be earned through church activities or attendance. Common Grace is freely bestowed on all. We would like to believe it is deserved because of our works this grace can never be earned. But GOD’s saving grace is poured out HIS people. That fountain is JESUS the channel of that grace. If not for the work of CHRIST on the cross to atone for our many sins, the grace of GOD would never be extended to us and we would be required to pay the penalty for our sins to satisfy the justice of GOD. HE has chosen us to belong to HIM and only HIM. My GOD loves me, but is under no obligation to save me or any man or woman from sin, but HE gives HIS saving grace to whom HE will for those who hear, believe, repent, confess and are baptized into the body.
Remember, Common grace refers to the Sovereign grace which GOD bestows on all of mankind regardless of their spiritual standing before HIM, while Saving grace is that special dispensation of grace whereby GOD sovereignly bestows unmerited divine assistance upon HIS elect for their regeneration and sanctification. According to
Ephesians 2: 8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of GOD: Not of works, lest any man should boast, so if we were able to do it we would never stop boasting about it.
It’s so important that we know we need HIM and not the other way around. Man is helpless without GOD. An additional scripture to reiterate this would be
Titus 3:5- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS mercy HE saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the HOLY GHOST;
Which leads me to the next Key Attribute of GOD!!! Which is Mercy.
The definition of Mercy is having compassion and forgiveness shown to a person that deserves punishment, but the punisher chooses not to although they have power. It’s the aspect of GOD’s love and further manifestation of HIS unlimited grace. It is simply GOD not giving sinful mankind what they so rightly deserve. The mercy of GOD is fundamental in all that’s in our world. From the beginning of time of creation to procreation –recreation, the mercy of GOD underpins every positive experience and achievement of man. Referring again to salvation from sin that come through the mercy of GOD. Many came to JESUS for healing and forgiveness and would often cry for HIS mercy and HE graciously accommodated that and so according to
Jude 1:21 eternal life will be ours by the mere mercies of GOD. Even Moses said in Psalm 90:14 says, “Oh satisfy us early with your mercy that we may rejoice and be glad all our days”. GOD would not only give us mercy, but make sure it’s available to HIS people in unsurmountable measure!!! That’s powerful.
I like the idea of envisioning Mercy as the sister to Grace (Grace being the elder sister); because she sets the pace for Mercy to flow. Both Grace and Mercy are aspects of GOD’s love to mankind that remains a mystery to man. We being fallible beings – mere men often make mistakes, but Grace and Mercy can be described as GOD’s commitment to us because HE is infallible. HIS grace, mercy and ultimate Love toward mankind can be seen from the beginning of time. If it were not, we would not be here today. I love how The Old Testament is “law focused” and the New Testament is “grace filled” so from Genesis to Revelation the Bible is saturated with the grace of GOD and in HIS infinite wisdom intentionally made sure mankind would know the exact responsibilities through every aspect of the Word of GOD from beginning until the end. It’s a fantastic read!!!
As my typical way of encouragement for you I have a song for you to listen to. I love this song and may it give you joy as it does for me.
Now back to Mercy. Horizontally practicing mercy towards each other can be a very challenging act of love, even though we ask and pray for that from Our Heavenly FATHER we humans find it very difficult sometimes to practice. While HE bestows that on each of us and it is expected that we do the same to each other, however difficult the challenge.
I Chronicles 16: 34, the author wrote. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for HE is good; for HIS mercy endures forever.”
We can’t ever forget about HIS goodness.
We need always ensure our response to GOD’s mercy as endless praise because we are products of that mercy.
GOD gives us I said HIS Love Tokens – Grace and Mercy as I stated in the beginning.
Grace is eternal and it was planned before the world began.
2 Timothy 1: 9 says ‘GOD who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of HIS own purpose and grace, which he gave us in CHRIST JESUS before the ages began. Our LORD- JESUS CHRIST the Son is the channel of Grace. If not for the work of CHRIST upon the cross to atone for our sins, the grace of GOD would never be extended to us, because we would be required to pay the penalty for our sin to satisfy the justice of GOD.
So Lastly My Loves,
GOD’s attributes are far more reaching than Mom’s. They are unique and unparalleled and those who follow CHRIST also share in those qualities.
The Grace and Mercy of GOD are linked displaying an aspect of GOD’s Wonderful attributes and character toward us. Remember earlier we talked about the quarter and/or the token from Mom or the cashier. To be honest – I didn’t always earn those tokens, and I didn’t always get “what I deserved”. There was grace bestowed on me that may not been earned. Just think about all the times “Mom” didn’t catch you either pinching your little brother or sister, taking a cookie from the cookie jar, or feeding the dog under the table, yet you still received the token for the machine (Mom’s grace).
Mercy and grace are best illustrated in the salvation that is available through our LORD JESUS CHRIST. We deserve swift and harsh punishment, but when we receive JESUS CHRIST as OUR SAVIOR, we receive mercy from GOD and we are delivered from such judgement. Not only do we receive grace and mercy we also get salvation, forgiveness of sins, abundant life and become candidates for an eternal-celestial life. Therefore, because of HIS mercy and grace, our response should be to fall on our knees in worship, praise and thanksgiving daily.
Hebrews 4:16 declares, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Paul said in
Romans 5:29 Where sin abound, grace abounds much more and he also explains more in
Romans 6:1-2, Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound. Certainly not!!!
So My Loves as you continue to serve GOD in your daily walk. Remember I Love and care for you and christiangirlschat is always here to Encourage, Uplift and Inspire you so from this time until next (GOD’s Will) lets show some Grace and Mercy to all we meet.