God is Merciful, Gracious

Read this verse. Who is speaking and what about?

Exodus 34:6 The Lord passed before [Moses] and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

God is speaking about Himself. He describes Himself. I believe this sentence is the most quoted one in the Bible, as in the writers of the Bible quote this in other places in the Bible a lot. Moses quotes it. David quotes it. Nehemiah quotes it. Jonah quotes it. Joel quotes it. You get the idea.

These are important things to know about God. When He had the chance to tell who He was, this is what He said. Do you get the significance of that? This is what He wants you to know about Himself. What does it say?

He loves His people faithfully. He’s not going to just get mad and kick them away from Him. He responds to them with grace and mercy.

We’re looking specifically at those two words today.

One typical way to define them is that grace is getting what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

We deserve hell. We deserve to die for our sins. In Christ, we don’t get what we deserve. We receive God’s mercy. He forgives us because He is merciful. He pardons our sins and removes our guilt from us and puts it out of sight.

His grace is EVERYTHING in our lives. Everything is His gift to us. By His grace, we have life, food, sunshine, His Holy Spirit given to us, knowledge and understanding, any of it, all of it. They are all gifts and all because of His grace. It’s all undeserved and all from His gracious hand.

Thank God for His faithful love and that He is quick to show mercy and extend grace.

Read these verses. What are they saying about our merciful and gracious God (and you in relation to Him)? When you read any Scripture, you can ask God to give you understanding and to teach you and show you Himself.

Note: Transgression, trespass, and iniquity are synonyms for “sin.”

Micah 7:18 (NIV) Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Psalm 103:11-12 (NKJV) For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.

Lesson Point: God gives us everything and we don’t deserve it! That’s God’s grace. God is forgiving toward us and we don’t deserve it! That’s God’s mercy.

Challenge Question: Do you thank God every day for His mercy and grace? If not, are you sure you are understanding what God’s mercy and grace mean in your life? Try to explain to someone what God’s mercy and grace mean to you as a child of God.