Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy for our failures and find grace to help in good time for every need (appropriate help, well-timed help, coming just when we need it).—Hebrews 4:16, Amplified version.
Those words hit me right between the eyes this morning.
As a Christ follower, I have been given the unspeakable privilege and honor of being able to approach God’s throne, assured of a warm and delighted welcome from my Savior. The wonder of it is that that welcome is not the result of sappy, sentimental feeling. On the contrary, that staggeringly gracious welcome is the result of Jesus giving everything He has in order to redeem my life and make me eternally His.
He then bids me to freely give as I have freely received. (What was a free gift for me came at infinite cost to Him). He asks me to love others as I have been loved by Him. (He gave no thought to Himself as He literally poured out His life on behalf of others).
So, this question hit me like a thunderbolt: “Do I extend the same mercy and grace to people who come to me?”
How can I not?!
But yet I so often don’t.
My face burns and my eyes well up with tears as memories of unloving thoughts and unkind words rear their ugly heads. I want those things for myself, yet I can still be so unwilling to offer them to the unlovely, the ungrateful, the unrepentant, the foolish. All things that I can still be if I am honest with myself.
In the original Greek, the word mercy means: “kindness, goodwill toward the miserable and the afflicted.”
Grace (is there a more beautiful word?!) means: “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, goodwill.”
I have received these things from Jesus without measure…full, abundant, free.
It is my prayer that as I go throughout this day, that I will remember the constant grace and mercy that He shows to me every single second of my life…and that I will extend those same beautiful gifts to everyone who crosses my path.