A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.JOHN 13:34-35 ESV
God’s love is full of mercy and grace. Mercy is not giving us what we deserve, and grace is giving us what we don’t deserve.
God’s mercy flows out of the great love He has for us. This divine mercy is personal, intimate, and completely unexpected. God is merciful out of His abundant stores, and He lovingly and consistently pours mercy over our lives. Every heartbeat, every breath, every hour you have is not only a gracious gift from God, it is also a reminder that God has mercifully kept death at bay. God’s mercy can cover even the worst of sins. He loves us unconditionally, forgives us our many trips and falls in life, and helps us back to our feet as often as necessary. God’s mercy is rich and endless.
Now think about your marriage. How much mercy do you show? We are called to love as He loves, so that means we are called to show an endless amount of mercy to those who fail in our own lives. We are called to show love over that sharp retort, the silent treatment, the neglect. We fail to love as He loves when we grow angry at our spouses, when we grow bitter or resentful, when we choose to punish or seek revenge. Mercy. So many of us get caught in the trap of I shouldn’t have to take that or I have a right to be respected, but we are so wrong. We are to show mercy. We are not to give others what they deserve when they wrong us, we are to show love as God shows us love when we wrong Him.
Mercy and grace go hand in hand. Mercy withholds judgment long enough for grace to take effect. God shows us abundant grace as He continually blesses our lives in little ways and in big ways. Despite how we are prone to wander, He just continues to give us what we don’t deserve.
I remember the first time I truly understood that God’s work in us is process of momentary grace in our lives, and not an event. It caused me to look at myself—and at others—from a very different perspective. I stopped looking for immediate change when sin is recognized, and became satisfied with the knowledge that it happens as a process…my parenting changed, my marriage changed, my relationships changed. As impatient humans, we have a tendency to expect change in a moment, but grace doesn’t come in heaps. It happens in the thousands of little moments of our lives – in those moments where we live on a daily basis. The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process rather than a few dramatic events. You and I don’t live in big, dramatic moments, rather we live in those mundane little moments—and if God doesn’t rule those moments, and if He doesn’t work to re-create us in those moments, then we have no hope. God’s grace is relentless, and He will meet us in those little moments all day long, working tirelessly if we are committed to live with open eyes and humble, expectant hearts.
Grace can be a hard thing to understand, and an even harder thing to give. I once heard a great quote about grace: we struggle to wrap our minds around grace because it’s made for our hearts. We need to stop trying to figure out grace with our minds—our minds will never understand it. When we let our hearts experience grace, we begin to understand His true gift of grace. When we truly experience His gift of grace, we begin to pour it out on others.
Now think again about your marriage. Is it filled with grace? Do you continually seek ways to bless your spouse, giving them what they don’t deserve? Are you waiting patiently for God to do His work in that person, while working to be His hands and feet?
So much work to do in my life, but so thankful for His mercy and His grace. He gives me eyes to see what needs to change when I seek His truth by meditating on His Word.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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