Mercy = Being spared from what you deserve
Grace = Being blessed with what you do not deserve
Both are needed by mankind and both are freely offered to us by God.
But I’d like to suggest that mercy has the edge.
Imagine for a moment that you were in prison on Death Row for a heinous crime you committed. One day you were upgraded to a cell with a plush carpet, soft leather sofa, 28″ plasma T.V. and daily breakfast in bed consisting of a delicious fry-up. That’s grace…but you would still be on the list for the electric chair.
However, if we reverse things and make you keep your mucky, hard floor, empty room and communal slop for breakfast – but you had been pardoned and were due for release within a month. Wouldn’t that be greater? The offer of comforts were wonderful, but they are far surpassed by the ticket to freedom.
Knowing there’s a God who made a kingdom called Heaven just for us is amazing. We don’t deserve it, but the reality of being spared from a place that we do deserve to go, is even more startling.
Far too often we focus on the grace part, minimising the wonder of what we have been saved from.
Yes, thank God for paradise, but let’s thank him even more for saving us from Hell. That’s mercy.