How often have you allowed something in your past to keep you from moving forward? You live as though you do not deserve a relationship with God or His blessing on your life because of decisions that you have made, people you have hurt, or just the simple belief that you are inadequate. The good news is that when we really understand both Grace AND Mercy, we begin to realize that we can move forward. Not because of us but because of God! A great verse that helps us to understand the relationship between grace, mercy and God is found in Hebrews 4:16:
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
This is an amazing verse to me because it tells us to come BOLDLY to God in prayer. Not with drooping shoulders or a lowered head as though we are unworthy, but BOLDLY. And we are to come boldly for both Grace and Mercy! But how can you take hold of these?
1. Realize that its not about you.
The reason that we often believe we can’t get beyond our past is because we think we are somehow unworthy or inadequate. While we know our own shortcomings and the reasons that God should not forgive us or bless our lives, we need to realize that it really doesn’t have anything to do with us. Ephesians 4:32 says it this way:
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
We are forgiven and accepted because of what Jesus did for us on the cross! Yes God loves us (Romans 5:8) but he forgives us and provides a new life after a broken past because Christ paid the price for our sins and buried our past when He was placed in the grave. Thankfully, acceptance before God has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Jesus.
2. Understand the difference between Grace and Mercy
Grace is God giving to us what we have not earned. This is a gift given freely on no merit of our own. So, when we feel like we are not worthy, it really doesn’t matter. That’s what grace is all about! It’s about God giving to us what we don’t deserve. That’s what makes it so amazing.
Mercy is God withholding from us what we do deserve. He does this because of Jesus. So often we think that God cannot accept us because of what we have done in our past. We deserve judgment. For the one who has accepted the gift of grace, however, our past is forgiven.
Both Grace and Mercy are based on the Holiness and Goodness of God.
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;
3. Let it change your life
Understanding and hanging on to Grace and Mercy should change your life!
Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Don’t ever let your past keep you from moving forward for God. He knows your past and calls you to come to Him for both Grace and Mercy. How incredible to know that the chains of our past need not be carried into our future because of Him!