(Luke 1:76-80) “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
–> Grace is God giving you a blessing that you don’t deserve.
–> Mercy is God withholding a consequence that you do deserve.
1. Mercy isn’t something that God gives. Mercy is who God is!
(Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT) The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
2. One reason we struggle to RECEIVE mercy is because we struggle to EXTEND mercy.
(Matthew 9:10-13 NLT) Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
3. This Christmas, God invites us home to experience his mercy and grace.
(Hebrews 4:16) Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.