Happy Thanksgiving! You know, the whole idea of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for what we have. It’s a time to think about things we take for granted and, if you’re a Christian, to take a moment to thank God for them.
It seems to me that, very often, we center Thanksgiving around grace. However, I think we tend to forget another thing we should be thankful for: mercy.
Do you know the difference between grace and mercy? It’s easy to get the two confused. Grace is basically getting what we don’t deserve, and mercy is not getting what we do deserve. They seem really similar, don’t they? But the differences between the two are incredible and, if you think about it, have an enormous impact on our lives.
Let’s start by focusing on mercy. A few verses from Romans will help us get on the right track:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23, NIV)
This verse is very clear: we are all sinners. We fall short of God’s standard for perfection.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NLT)
This should be a familiar verse. “For the wages of sin is death”…we are all sinners, and thus we all deserve death. Thankfully, “the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”.
You see, we deserved death, but we didn’t get it. That’s mercy, not getting what we do deserve. And at the same time, this verse shows grace. God gives us eternal life, which we definitely don’t deserve.
We can sometimes forget the magnitude of what God has done for us. He sent His only Son to die on a cross (John 3:16), so that we could receive mercy. So that we wouldn’t have to pay the price for our sins. What a thing to be thankful for!
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