Fulfilled: The NIV Devotional Bible for Single Women
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But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved. Eph. 2:4-5
“Mercy is defined by its giver. Our flaws are obvious, yet we are loved and able to love, if we choose, because there is that bit of the divine still smoldering in us.” -Susan Meissner in The Shape of Mercy
The best explanation I’ve heard about the difference between grace and mercy is that grace means receiving what is not deserved—God’s unexpected blessings on our lives. Mercy means not receiving what is deserved. In other words, mercy is God’s amazing compassion on us as we flail about in life, struggling and sometimes failing miserably.
The Hebrew word for “mercy,” hesed, can also be translated as “unfailing love.” As Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:13, God’s mercy can cover even the worst of sins. He loves us unconditionally, forgives us our trips and falls, and helps us back to our feet. God’s mercy is rich and endless. What an astonishing joy it is to know that in a world that can often disappoint, God never does!
But the flow of mercy should not end with us. Christ reminds us that we are called upon to extend that mercy to those around us (Matthew 5:7).
Mercy is God’s covenant love for us. It covers us, supports us, and sustains us, even when we fall. As believers, we are then called to show that love, that compassion to those around us, whether or not they deserve it.
When we reflect God’s mercy, we show his light to the world.
Lord, the mercy you bestow upon us is a flow of unending love. Please guide us as we seek to show the same compassion to those around us, letting them see your spirit working in our lives. Amen.