Nearly every time I pray, I ask that God would bestow upon me His grace and His mercy and in an effort to be sincere in what I am praying, I decided to take a look at what I am actually asking for. Join me as I dig into His Word to explore just a couple of the blessings He gives.
By His Grace. ” 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 ” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is the grace of God that makes it possible that we have any relationship with Christ at all. His grace, His unmerited favor, or “unmerited divine assistance”, as my dictionary defines it, is freely given and is eagerly bestowed upon us. Paul understood grace well when he spoke of it in I Corinthians 15:9-11, ” For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed .” Grace is what enabled Paul to be used of God when he had once persecuted Christians. Grace is what made Paul and apostle. Because God has given us His grace when we deserved nothing, we are able to serve Him. ” But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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 He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life ” (Titus 3:4-7). If it was not for the grace of God, we would not have the eternal life we are so freely given, for in nothing that we could ever do could we ever earn it.
When I ask for His grace, I am standing on the promise of James 4:6, ” But He giveth more grace .” God’s grace was not a one-time deal. He gives more and more grace each day when we ask. So what does it mean when I ask for His grace each day? I am asking that God would continue to assist me and to help me. Just as He saved me by His grace, I ask Him to carry me through my day by His grace. Just as I didn’t deserve His grace when Christ died to save me from my sins, I still don’t deserve it. I can never do anything great enough to earn God’s grace, but in spite of that, He gives more. ” For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ ” (John 1:17). Christ brought grace into this world and as His child, I can still receive it. So when I ask Him for grace, I’m asking for His help, His aid, and His hand to support me through the day.
Through His Mercy. ” Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto Thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee ” (Psalms 86:3-5). Our Lord is indeed ” plenteous in mercy “. He epitomizes the definition in my dictionary of One who is merciful being one who shows compassion to an offender. ” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ;” (Romans 3:23). ” As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one :” (Romans 3:10). We are all sinners and have all offended our Lord. And yet has He held this against us? No! If we look back at Titus 3:5 again we see that it is, ” 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 “. It is because of His mercy that we can be saved from the punishment for the sinful lives we lead. As “offenders”, we do not deserve forgiveness, a relationship with Jesus Christ, eternal life, or a mansion in Heaven, and yet He loves us so much that He made a way that we might have all of these. Jesus Christ died on the cross to make a way for me to have eternal life. It was His love for me that held Him to that cross. ” But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us ” (Ephesians 2:4). Because of God’s love for us and His desire to be near us, He showers us with His mercy.
When I ask for Christ to give me mercy throughout the day, I’m asking Him to continue to show compassion on me, though I do not deserve it. Though I may be forgiven of my sins, I am still a sinner and I sin each day. That’s why I must come to Christ each day and ask for forgiveness as we are told in I John 1:9, ” If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness “. God’s mercy is boundless, ” For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds ” (Psalm 108:4). Just as He will forgive us again and again, His mercy will never run out.
When I come to God and ask for His grace and mercy, I am following the writer of Hebrews who extolled, ” Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need ” (Hebrews 4:16). Mercy and grace are freely given to us from God. His mercy and grace have brought us into relationship with Him and allow us to walk with Him, through our weaknesses, throughout the day. ” Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God “. (I Corinthians 2:12)