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Sunday – 9:30am and 11:15am

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1200 North Russell Rd.
Bloomington, Indiana, 47408
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Grace and Mercy

Can you think of a time when you received Grace and Mercy? I have too many to count but these moments stand out to me in both big and small ways. For me, there were distinct people in my life that reflected these attributes of God and it left an imprint on me forever. One example happened when I was a sophomore in high school. My basketball coach was also my government teacher and in class one day he called me up for a three minute meeting. This meeting changed the course of my life as he showed me Grace and Mercy. During this time in my life I was doing wrong things with wrong people. In many ways I didn’t deserve the opportunity I got but somehow, Grace and Mercy were given to me. During these three minutes, my coach told me to stop doing the things I was a part of and to stop being with the wrong crowd. If I did this, he had a spot for me on the team. I jumped on this and never looked back. Years later, a lot of the group I was doing wrong with began to either die of overdoses or were trapped by addiction. There’s no doubt my life could be totally different if it wasn’t for Grace and Mercy during a three minute meeting. Man, God is good and His mercy endures forever.

What story do you have?

I believe we all have these moments because we all need Grace and Mercy over and over again. We’re imperfect and because of that, we need Jesus! He’s the only one that can take shame off of us and give us a new beginning. He’s the only one that heals us of guilt and cleans our conscience. He’s the only one that can heal our wounds and cause our scars to be places of peace. He’s the one that can save our soul and give life everlasting.

This is amazing because He doesn’t need us to prove ourselves, be better than others, or earn our way into His favor. All He wants is our hearts and when He has it, anything can happen.

Therefore, notice what He gives us.

Hebrews 4:15-16 says this,
“15. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. 16. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

This is legendary. Jesus faced every temptation we do and because He overcame, He gives us Grace and Mercy in times of need. Meaning, when we don’t deserve it, He gives it. When we deserve it, He keeps us from it. Only Jesus can do this in our lives; therefore, it’s our part to let Him in our failures and success. He wants all of us and the sooner we let Him in, the better we will be.

So how do we think of Grace and Mercy?

This is important because this isn’t, “do what you want” and then God bails you out. That’s imbalanced and misusing the freedom we have in Jesus. So how do we appropriate these attributes of God?

First we have Grace. This simply defined is, undeserved favor. Meaning, He gives what we don’t deserve! We can’t earn it or ever be good enough for it because it’s based on what Jesus did for us. Therefore, the Grace of God empowers us to live a new life, freed from the patterns of destruction we once knew. The Grace of God also equips us to be who He called us to be. When He calls us to do something, it’s not based only on our ability. It’s based on the Grace of God which strengthens the talents we do have and also reveals new talents He gives us. We were created to DO good works and it’s Grace that empowers us to do them. Truly, this is Amazing Grace and when we think of all the things we don’t deserve, how can we be arrogant? How can we be judgmental or condescending toward others? When we remember what we could be, it gives us gratitude of what He’s making us to be! It’s my belief the Grace of God reveals the Goodness of God which is why, the famous hymn says, “When we’ve been there, ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.” We’ll be singing about the Grace of God for eternity and we’ll still be overwhelmed with it. In fact, Ephesians 2:7 says, “for the ages to come, we’ll learn incomparable riches of His grace.” I think It’s going to take ages to learn this because when we get there, we’ll see how much we don’t deserve to be there but, the Grace of God!

It’s my hope you receive His grace today and that you move forward in your faith.

Second we have Mercy. This simply defined is, kindness and favor. Meaning, He keeps us from what we do deserve! This is epic because we all have deserved a lot of things from our actions. Whether it’s in the dark or for all to see, the reciprocity coming to us wasn’t good yet, the Mercy of God said no and kept us from it. I don’t know about you, but I’m humbled at how many times God’s Mercy showed up, it’s indescribable. Furthermore, we need so much Mercy that He gives us a fresh dose every morning (see Lamentations 3:22-23). It’s almost like, He knows us so well, He goes ahead and gives new Mercy every morning so we’re covered for the day. Then, the next day comes and He gives it to us all over again. Today, we have new Mercy and it’s keeping us from trouble. It’s leading us into His protection and it’s reaching beyond our imperfections, giving us a little bit of heaven on earth. Man, Jesus is legit and this reflects the awesome power of God as He provides daily what we need. If you think about it, what we need most on a daily basis is Grace and Mercy. One empowers us into what God has for our lives and gives us what we don’t deserve. The other, keeps us from what we do deserve and keeps safe. Who doesn’t need this?

When we come to Jesus, we have the promise that He gives us, Grace and Mercy in time of need.

What can Jesus do for you today?

Reach up and receive what He has for you. Don’t hide in a corner or withdraw in shame. He has Grace and Mercy for you and nothing can separate you from the love of God. He wants to give you what you don’t deserve and He wants to keep you from what you do deserve. This is your day to have Grace and Mercy follow you wherever you go. This is what He gives and this is what it does for us daily.

I encourage you to give Jesus your heart. Let go of the weights and reach up to receive. He has so much good for your life, our part is to go to Him!

May the Lord bless you today with His Grace and Mercy and may He do great miracles in your life.

The best is yet to come,
PD



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