What Is God's Mercy and Grace?
Receiving what we do not deserve
Begin by imagining the perspective from God's view. Who knowing all things except sin, Who created all things through His love; being able to see the heart and thoughts of man in all his sin. See how loving, forgiving and tolerant He is with us as we should have been put to death for our iniquities against a holy God:
"The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy" (Psalm 145:8).
Compare this to our own lives, how we can easily be brought to anger over the sin of one man, sometimes seeking vengeance, while we ourselves having committed a multitude of sins.
For Jesus to say that we must forgive others to be forgiven by the Father is not even comparable to what the Father has tolerated and forgiven of us. This command is an act of His mercy and grace:
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15).
See how humble Jesus was coming into this world as God in the flesh, creator of all things, but only coming to serve others (Matthew 20:28). Who washed the feet of His disciples to lead by example showing us how to love one another (John 13:1-17). Being tempted in every way but He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Who could have made himself king over all in this world but chose to deny Himself and suffer on our behalf. To show us the perfect faith and to give us the wisdom of the narrow path to overcome this world so we may have everlasting life.
Now see who we being created beings, who make God in our own image, or ourselves to be our own God, to be a king in this world in some form full of pride, living to serve ourselves rather than others. Living to glorify ourselves rather than the creator, worshiping the creation over the creator. For Him to say to deny ourselves is another act of His mercy and grace:
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
Think upon the heavy burden Jesus has removed from our hearts of eternal damnation by giving His life for us by taking up His cross. Now examine how comfortable we live in our daily lives in comparison.
Imagine the emotions and pain He had to endure coming onto his own creation with the truth and love, but being despised and rejected by many, only trying to save their souls from eternal damnation (Luke 9:22), (Luke 17:25), (Isaiah 53:3-5), (Psalm 22:14–18).
For Him to say to pick up our cross to be worthy of Him is once again an act of His mercy and grace:
"And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:38).
When we take up our cross, we help take the burden off of His heart by allowing ourselves to be used as a vessel for His glory.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:35).
Jesus did not come to do all the work for us, but to show us the way, so we may follow Him:
"And where I (Jesus) go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:4-6).
You can see a pattern being built here and can apply God's mercy and grace to other commands based on the character of Jesus and what He has endured for us.
As many believe today, if God's mercy and grace are so easily obtainable, then why did Jesus say strive to enter the narrow path that leads to life where only few find it: (Luke 13:24), (Matthew 7:13-14)? He says many will try to enter, but will not be able to. This is because there are some who do not want to receive the real Jesus, but would rather create God in their own image, breaking the first of the ten commandments: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me".
God's ultimate act of grace was displayed upon the cross shown through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to be a propitiation for our sins. He has made a way of escape by drawing us to His Son so we may receive that ultimate free gift of grace. How will you respond when you hear His call?
In short, the mercy and grace from God is the time He has given us out of His love and kindness to repent from our sins through obedience to His commands; to live holy and righteous through faith in His Son so we may not perish:
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:11-14).
All the law hang on these two commands: Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and your neighbor as yourself. The first and greatest command is to love God. For if you love God, then you have the love of God within you. In this, so then the next greatest command, to love your neighbor as yourself, may be fulfilled. So, that it may be the love of God within us all who love our neighbors as ourselves and not of our own that is of the world.
Jesus says if we keep these two commands, we shall live: (Matthew 22:36-40), (Luke 10:25-28), (Mark 12:28-33).