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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

November 21, 2023

The Bible Edge

Thank You Lord

Ephesians 2:4

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

It has been said by many that grace is receiving that which we don’t deserve, whereas mercy is not receiving that which we do deserve. If so, thank the Lord for mercy. Grace is something extra, mercy is something necessary. Grace is nice to receive, mercy is essential to obtain. Grace is nobly extended; mercy is given out of promise. For God has promised to be merciful. Just as Psalm 116:5 proclaims Him to be: Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. He is gracious, He is righteous, and He is merciful.

His children are like Him, or should be. As God in Heaven extends mercy to those who deserve it not, so too are we to do the same. Just as Jesus said in Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Being graceful, full of grace, extending grace, is socially acceptable, and even lauded as a virtue. Mercy, not so much. Yet, by showing mercy to those who should not have mercy that is the most like God that we may ever be. Thank God for the receipt of mercy from Him, and the ability to bestow mercy upon others.

Mercy and justice collide. For God is a God of justice and justice He will execute. At the same time God is a God of mercy, and mercy He will grant to those who humbly request it. Search the Scriptures and try to find one instance of the Lord withholding mercy from those who meekly, simply, and respectively request it. James touched on the dichotomy of mercy and justice when he wrote: …mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (James 2:13), but, lest we forget, at the beginning of that same verse, James sounds a warning to those who fail to offer mercy; For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

God, the Lord God of Heaven, is just, but He is also merciful and full of grace. In fact, it is extremely profound that the only thing that the Bible states clearly that God is rich in is mercy (today’s verse). He never runs out of mercy… we do… but He doesn’t. Because of His great love wherewith He loves us, He offers mercy.

For us, mercy is one of those actions that brings a double blessing. It blesses the one who receives it and it blesses the one who gives it.

Thanks be to the Lord God of Heaven for mercy.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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