It’s The Wednesday Writers!
No idea what I’m talking about? Read this.
Today we hear from my friend and fitness accountability group member, Carol Graft.
The Gift and Fruit of Grace and Mercy
Grace is receiving what we don’t deserve.
Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve.
– Author Unknown
We are familiar with Galatians 5, the chapter that includes the Fruit of the Spirit passage:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
– vs. 22-23 (NKJV)
Notice that “fruit” is singular. It’s all the same value. We are to have all of the attributes. All the fruit of the Spirit should be manifest in our lives as believers in and followers after Christ. But if we are honest, we have our strengths and weaknesses in this area just as we have in any area of our life. We can get down about this.
We forget about grace.
We forget that it’s a gift. Instead, we focus on passages like this:
…for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
– 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)
I know some don’t think these words are relevant; the time for passages such as this is long gone. Given that the Word of God is living and active, not just pages of wood pulp with typeface on it, I beg to differ. (But that’s another post).
Those gifts listed above are plural, meaning multiple gifts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has them all, though most have several, just in varying degrees. We get wrapped up in that. We focus on what we are able to do.
What about grace? Mercy? The ability to rest in Him, instead of striving and fretting?
These two things fall into both the “gift” and the “fruit” category. Straight from the heart of God, we simply must have grace and mercy flowing in and out of our lives.
Grace: unmerited favor. Favor that we didn’t earn.
Ihis book Grace: More Than We Deserve Greater Than We Imagine, Max Lucado talks about a night in an upper room.
The grace of God.
Hours before Jesus is to be killed, to take the sin of the world then and now upon His shoulders, He shows grace, compassion and unconditional love.
John 13: the Last Supper, that last Passover remembrance. After the meal, Jesus grabs a basin and a towel and proceeds to do what would normally be done by a slave. Wash the feet.
Jesus didn’t exclude anyone from what He was doing. Not the doubter Philip, not James and John who always wanted to be first.
Not Peter, who turns his back on Jesus,
We see Jesus is so full of grace that He washes the feet of Judas himself. The man who very shortly will sell Him.
Could you do that? Could you wash the feet of your betrayer? Could you wash the feet of your boss who fired you? Could you wash the feet of _______ (fill in the blank)?
To be gracious women and men, we need to walk in Christ. To walk as if Christ’s love is surrounding us and in us.
If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do.
– John 13:14-15 (CEB)
To accept grace is to accept the vow to give it.
Mercy: withheld punishment.
Scripture says we are redeemed by mercy.
In His love and mercy He redeemed them…
Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
– Isaiah 63:9 (NIV); Romans 11:21 (NKJV)
Because we have been granted mercy by God, we need to be merciful to those we meet every day. Those in our lives that try our patience. Those who don’t know the Lord. If we only remember where we were and what we were brought out of, maybe that would soften the attitudes, the hearts of us and our judgments to others, especially those who don’t know yet the wonderful cleansing of God and His love for us.
The gifts of grace and mercy enable us to live as He wants us to. The fruit grows when we are planted deep in the soil of His love. We are changed, for:
What shall we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?
– Romans 6:1-2 (AMP)
Remember today that God’s mercy and grace is so very, very rich.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
– Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)
Carol lives in West Michigan, close enough to the beach to chase the sunsets when she can. Married 33 years and counting. Mom to 7, mostly grown, children. 3 daughters in love, and blessed with grands. Loves hot beverages, prayer and worship. Love to teach and encourage others in this Journey with Jesus. While I think my writing is rather rusty, I am learning to lean in and follow the call, stepping out on the water. Keeping my eyes on Jesus.