Tag Archives: Christ Jesus

The Grace and Mercy of God

What Is Grace and Mercy

The Grace and Mercy of God.  What a topic.  To think of what Grace actually is blows my mind.  This is a long post but stick with it til the end.  It has a great ending!  Here’s the actual Definition of both Grace and Mercy:

Grace. The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

I also found a blog (“Better Than I Deserve”) that describes it as this: (this is what I have always heard)

“Maybe you’ve heard this definition of grace before. Grace is what we get which we do not deserve.”


 “Perhaps you have heard this definition of mercy before and I think its spot on. Mercy is where we don’t get what we truly do deserve.”

I think that is pretty incredible.  Grace.  The Grace of God is far beyond my comprehension.  Really.  He gives us His Grace instead of His judgment.  However, there is a catch.  Ah Ha, you say…. Yes, there is always a catch.  God will only impart His Grace to us … IF … we believe on His Son Jesus Christ and believe that His Son’s death on the cross was for the remission of our sins.  Yes, Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins.  Then He rose again on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.  He did all of that so we could be with Him forever.  So, Grace… Grace is what He gives us instead of the judgment that we deserve.

God Is God And We Are Not

You see, if God didn’t give us His Grace, we would have to pay the penalty for our sins and we could never be “good enough” to measure up to God’s Holiness. You say… “But I am a good person.  I don’t cheat, steal, lie or kill.  So, I am good enough.  I don’t sin.”   Well, God doesn’t look at it that way.  He is the creator of everything.  He set the standard of “sin” and “holiness” and we DO NOT measure up to His standard.  We may think we don’t sin but we do.  There are many things that happen or that we do or dwell on thoughts during the day that God may consider “not holy”.  Remember… God is God and we are not!  He set the standard.  Not man!

He knew we could never measure up to His standard because He created us.  You see, to be able to be forgiven for your sins, you have to offer a spotless sacrifice.  The Bible has a lot of examples of what sacrifice is acceptable for what sin.  In the beginning, people would sacrifice a bull, goat, lamb or even a dove or pigeon, without defect – spotless.  There were many ways and reasons people would bring these animals to be sacrificed.  However, all were required to be without defect.  This link will explain why humans must or had to bring sacrifices to God.  The title of the article is Why did God require animal sacrifices in the Old Testament?

The website that I got the answers from is GotQuestions.org.  It has great information about sin offerings and all the various aspects of each type.  Click the link and read more about that topic here.

The Spotless Sacrifice

We, as humans, needed a spotless, perfect sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins – or to have our sins forgiven.  Jesus came to earth to be that spotless sacrifice.  Jesus agreed to be the spotless lamb, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  He left Heaven and became a tiny baby.  Lived among the common man and lived perfectly, never sinning.  Then He died on that cross, I mentioned earlier, for us.

Picture3The Grace He bestowed towards us at the Cross of Calvary is so beyond my comprehension.  I guess I don’t have to be able to comprehend it to accept it.  Good thing.  I do accept God’s gracious gift of Jesus Christ for my sins.  If I accept that grace through Jesus Christ then I need to live like it.  I want to live like it.  I want to live every second knowing that because of God’s Grace I will see His face and live in His wonderful presence forever in Heaven.

I found a quote when I was perusing my files that stopped me in my tracks.  I had to read and re-read it and ask myself.  “Self, do you really want to be established in God’s Grace?  Do you want it to manifest itself in your character?  Do you want it to be your habit and regular life?”  Here is the quote:

“To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another.”

The Taste of Grace

To me that says this.  We taste the Grace of God when we first accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  We feel almost like we are walking on a cloud.  It is a high that is indescribable.  If you truly take Jesus as your Lord and Savior you will experience a feeling that is unlike any other you have ever or will ever experience.  You may go for a while and live off of this first excitement of a new life.  However, I have learned that human nature (me – I am) is like this… we begin to slip back into “the way we were” before me met Jesus – to a point.   As we walk through our daily life we realize one day that we really aren’t living as Christ.  We have just tasted the Grace of God but are not really “living” the Grace of God.  That is … like the quote says … “to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life…”

To Be Established

So, what does it really mean to be established in God’s Grace and manifest God’s Grace in character, habit and regular life?  Well, let me see if I can explain it the way God showed me.

Picture2If you read my blog at all you will see that I don’t usually sound “preachy” or pushy.  I use every day things that relate to my walk with God and relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  So, this one is not any different.  As I am sitting here in my chair and look up at the reflection in the glass of a picture on the wall of my beautiful Shumard Oak tree in the back yard, I hear that ever so familiar voice. “How is your oak tree established?”  I begin to immediately think back about this time seven years ago – when we moved in to our home in May of 2009.

The Shumard Oak Tree

We moved in to our home on May 2, 2009.  After a few little things that had to be done in the back yard, I was making my rounds and I found a little scrawny oak tree up next to the house in a flower bed.  It was about a foot from the house and about a foot tall.  I knew that I had to either dig it up and get rid of it or transplant it.  If it had stayed that close to the house it would never be the oak tree that it was meant to be.  It also would have messed up the house and the foundation of the house with its root system.  So, before I uprooted this little tree I had to find the “perfect” spot for it.  We have quite a large back yard and it is a hot one in the summer time because there was no tree to shade most of the yard in the hot afternoons.  There is the neighbor’s tree on the East side – that didn’t help the afternoon sun at all though.  There was a wide open spot between the house and dad’s shed that was in the direct sun and would be perfect for a shade tree.

Transplanting the Oak

Although this little tree was barely big enough to cast a shadow, I knew that someday it would be a nice, proud Oak tree with abundant shade.  So, I took my sharp shooter (shovel) and dug a hole and then went to the little tree and carefully dug around

Shumard Oak 1it being careful not to damage any of the roots it may have produced in its small state.  I remembered there is a tap root, I thought, that I really had to be careful not to snap.  A Tap Root is the main root that goes down from the middle of the tree and stabilizes it and the root system branches off of that.  So, I carefully dug and dug and loosened and dug and loosened.  Finally I had it loose and only broke the very tip of the Tap Root off.

I prayed that it would not affect the little tree.  I took it to the new location that I had prepared with some good dirt – which I call Cow Poop Dirt – that is a very good, rich in nutrition dirt for a newly planted tree or anything else for that matter.  This stuff will make hair grow on a bowling ball!  It is good stuff.

Anyway, I planted it and waited.  That Fall it was still alive and seemed to be thriving in its new location.  There were about 5 leaves on the tree and they turned a beautiful red, orange and yellow.  I was so excited because if it is that pretty as a youngster how much more beautiful is it going to be as it grows and gets bigger?


OAK TREE 3Well, God has certainly blessed me with the growth of that little, scrawny tree.  It is now about 25’ – 30’ tall (in 7 years) and throws a beautiful shade.  Zuckie (my dachshund) and I sit in the grass in the shade of the Oak tree, on a warm evening and are very comfortable.  One because of the shade and two because of the lovely, thick St. Augustine grass that is beneath our feet.   The tree shade and the grass seem to work in harmony to produce a beautiful place to relax.  Needless to say, the Oak tree LOVES the location I chose.

Let’s Think

OK, let’s just think a minute about how this parallels with my walk with God.  Or anyone’s walk with God for that matter.  Let’s also revisit that quote above.

“To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another.”

The little, scrawny tree, growing up next to the house was tasting life – the Grace of God.  But it was not ever going to be able to be established in good soil and a good location to be able to grow and thrive at its present location.  It would be stunted because it was too close to the house.  It would never be able to spread its limbs and soak up the warm sunshine and produce a beautiful shade for us to enjoy.  It would be cramped and uncomfortable.  Its limbs, if they ever grew, would be rubbing the brick on the house and never have the freedom to sway in the breeze.  If the tree ever grew tall enough, it would run right into the eave of the house and be stunted.  It may grow around the eave but then it would be crooked and possibly break because of the crookedness of the limbs.  Not to mention the root system.  It would run into the house foundation and cause all sorts of problems for the house and the tree itself.

A Broad Space

OAK TREE 4So, let’s face it.  It was a horrible place for the little tree.  Then I came along and took that little, scrawny tree from its place where it had begun its life.  I moved it to a place with a broad space where it could grow and stretch its limbs and grow its roots deep and wide without being encumbered by anything.  It could grow tall and taller and taller and display its beautiful colors in the Fall and the beautiful fresh green leaves in the Spring.  It can now throw a shade that is quite nice.  The shape of the tree is perfect too.  Broad at the base of the limbs and gradually narrows to the peak of the tallest leaf that reaches for the sky.  It is one of my pride and joys in my yard.  I love to look at the stately Oak.  It is only 7 years old now but in years to come it will grow taller and fuller and its roots will go deeper and wider, making it more and more established in the soil beneath its leaves and limbs.

Me and God’s Grace

So you may have forgotten that I was talking about the Grace and Mercy of God.  Well, I believe the Grace and Mercy of God is displayed – in a way – in my Oak tree.  Let’s revisit those definitions:

“…Grace is what we get which we do not deserve.”

“… Mercy is where we don’t get what we truly do deserve.”

Let me compare my Oak tree to myself and my walk with God.  I was in a place that was not a good place for me to be in.  I was too close to things that would keep me from growing (spiritually) – spreading my branches.  I was in a place that would stunt my growth (spiritually) and cause me to grow very crooked and unable to thrive – as God had intended for me (as He does for every one of His children).  My root system was growing into hard places and being redirected to a path that was not good for stability and to be firmly established in Him.  Everything was simply a mess beneath the surface.  If left to my own devices, I would have kept going down a path that was not what God had intended and it was not how it should have been.

God’s Grace

God in His infinite Grace and Mercy, picked me up and moved me to a place He chose so I could become established in Him.  Sending my roots down deep into the nutrient rich soil of His Mercy.  Allowing me to learn to spread my branches and display the beautiful colors of His love in my life.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Please DO NOT THINK THAT I AM SAYING that I have “arrived”!  As Paul says in Romans 6, “By no means.”   Please understand that I know this is all a process.  I have been moved, yes, but the establishing and sending my roots down and spreading my branches… that is a day by day and sometime minute by minute process.  But I am growing.  I have been growing more in the last three or four years than I think I have in my lifetime.  I want to grow so others can see Jesus in me without having to go on a search and find mission.  Honoring_Jesus_link_buttonI want Jesus to be honored and glorified in my daily life.  I can tell you that sometimes… more times than not, He is not.  I try, but I am human and He knows it.  That is where the wonderful Grace and Mercy comes in again.

Thank You Lord

Thank You Lord, for the Grace and Mercy that You have bestowed upon me in my lifetime.  Thank You for giving me what I don’t deserve and not giving me what I do deserve.  I don’t understand it but I accept it.

You know you can experience this Grace and Mercy too!  Jesus wants to give you the opportunity to grow and spread your branches and be established in Him.    Here is a link to a website that will explain how that can happen and what it means to become a Christ follower.

He loves you so much.  After all, He calls you His beloved.

If you would like to comment on this post, please scroll all the way until you see “Comment”.  Otherwise you can contact me on the form immediately following this text.  Thank you for reading my post and I pray that you were blessed.

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I was in church the other day and the choir was practicing before the service in the sanctuary. The worship pastor’s button fell off of his blazer and he couldn’t find anyone with a needle and thread, so he went without. OH, MY!  Just before church too!  No biggie, right? Right.  If he found a button somewhere and put it on his coat it would be mismatched.  That would not look very good and I believe it is a mismatched idea that someone would think that looked OK.  So, now you know where I am going with this?  Keep reading.

After the worship part of the service, the choir came down into the sanctuary and before the pastor began preaching, God whispered something to my heart. “Leah, you know how Garth wouldn’t want to mismatch the buttons on his coat when he puts a new button on…? Well, make sure and tell people that there shouldn’t be any mismatched of ideas in their Christian walk either.  Some things do not go together and shouldn’t be together.  Whether it is a mismatched button on a coat or mismatched ideas about Me and their Christian walk with Me.”

I sat there in amazement. I haven’t really heard God speak to my heart like that … that clearly … in a while. I just smiled. Yep. That is how God speaks to my heart. He just lays it out there and uses some every day event to compare with my walk – or your walk – with Him. I love it! I get so excited when God whispers to my heart like that. Sometimes, it has taken a little bit more than a whisper though. He does know how to get my attention in a much stronger way, if He has to. This time, He didn’t have to. I made my notes before the service started and waited until now to write about it. I miss writing every night for y’all. It usually does me much more good than it does you, probably. Sometimes, life has just gotten in the way in the last few months but hopefully things will begin to level off and I can do this again more often.

So… the Christian walk. The mismatched ideas in the Christian walk. I wrote about one the other day in the post “SO MANY ARE MISLEAD”. If you would like to read that, click the title and it will take you right to the post. What aindexre some mismatched ideas of our Christian walk? Let’s see… how about

  1. I can be married to a non-Christian person and be OK (This is where I personally have some experience). This does not work. You must be matched in that you believe the same things about the foundational things. Foundational things are:
    1. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit = the Trinity.
    2. God created the entire Universe and all that is within it.
    3. God created man and all that in on the earth.
    4. God Was and Is and Is to Come! He has no beginning and He has no end. He was before and will always will be.
    5. The Bible is the Inspired Word of God. It is true and living. The things of the Bible are applicable today as they were since it was written.
    6. The Bible was written by common men inspired by the Holy Spirit called to do uncommon things. You cannot take parts of the Bible and believe and the other parts discard as not true. It is to be read and accepted completely as the Word of God.
    7. Jesus was born of a Virgin (who was Mary) and was raised by her and His earthly father Joseph.
    8. When Jesus walked on the earth He was fully God and fully man.
    9. Jesus lived a sinless 33 years on the face of this earth.
    10. Jesus chose 12 disciples from the common men to be His companions and to teach them about Himself and Heaven and all that He was sent here to do.
    11. Jesus was sent from Heaven to be our example.
    12. Jesus was crucified on the Cross and died to save the world from their sins.
    13. Jesus rose again on the 3rd day and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
    14. Jesus was seen by over 500 people before His ascension into Heaven.
    15. Jesus will come again to take us home to live with Him when God the Father tells Him “Son, go get My children”.
    16. When Jesus comes to take us to our Heavenly home, the people that did not believe in Him or accept Him as Savior and Lord will be left on the earth and not go to Heaven with us.

I have probably left out some things, but that’s a good start. Understand me here … that if you do not have the fundamental belief things in place, therecolumns28984800f will always be an issue between the two of you. Now, I am not here to give marital advice by any means, it’s just that I have lived this kind of turmoil and it is a destroyer of a “happy marriage”. I promise you. That is why God’s Word says this:

Luke 11:16-23

16 Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

And this scripture

2 Corinthians 6:14

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

I have written in red the main part of that scripture. Now, I know you may think your marriage is a kingdom, and it may very well be, but this mention of “Every kingdom divide against itself…” is not necessarily talking about a kingdom with a king like used to rule the land when Jesus was alive. But it is appropriate. The kingdom of God is the church and the “church” is the people that believe in Christ. So, if you are a Christian and you are married to a non-Christian, then your “kingdom” is divided against itself.

Now, like I said, I am not trying to be a marriage counselor here and give advice. I am strictly stating what the Word of God says. Yes, there are marriages that survive when one person is a Christian and one is not. However, is surviving all God calls us to? You decide.

Now on to another topic…

  1. Science and Christianity … yep, they actually complement each other and do not confscience-and-scripturelict with one another. There is a great book that I read entitled “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” and in that book it talks about the wonders of Science and it goes hand in hand with Christianity and the beliefs that Christians believe. The first few chapters are a challenge to get through, well, at least it was for me, but it is a phenomenal book and every Christian ought to read it so they can see why they believe what they believe. It explains it very clearly and succinctly. I recommend it. That is the 2nd conflicting or mismatched idea… that Science and Christianity cannot and do not belong together. They do! As I said, they complement each other!
  2. You have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved not… “I can be a good person, doing good, helping the poor, giving to charities, living a clean life and not rob, steal, or cheat and still go to Heaven.”Quotation-Johnny-Damon-good-Meetville-Quotes-47323 This is a belief that will get a person in trouble quickly. Some believe that they are a Christian because of what they “DO” which is totally incorrect. In Ephesians Paul tells us that a person cannot be saved by what they “do”. Here is the scripture:

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

I found a very interesting website to go along with this belief. The first link will take you to a quick little question and answer test. Easy to do and be totally honest. After you answer honestly, all the questions, listen to the video also. It is VERY compelling and it just might change your life.  Here is the link to “The Good Person Test”. Next, please watch the video below the test. If you like, here is the link to that as well – WhatStandard.com.

These three things – conflicts or mismatched ideas – that I have listed above are just a small – a very small part – of a much longer list. For time sake I will not continue this post but may continue it on another post. However, you see how important having matched ideas are if you are a Christian? If you claim to be a Christian, and you have mismatched ideas, I suggest that you pray about them, consult with your pastor, a Christian friend or someone whom you know is a Christian and be totally honest with them about your beliefs. Then wait and see what God can do in your life.

God loves you so much and doesn’t want you to be confused, have mismatched ideas or anything that will keep you from living in eternity with Him. He sent His Son Jesus to save you from yourself and all your sins. He is the only one that can do that. John 3:16 says…

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but shall have everlasting life. And also this one…

John 11:25

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

So, you see, God loves you so much! He doesn’t want you or anyone else to go to Hell and not live with Him in eternity. After all, He calls you His beloved.

The Song – He Will Rescue Us – Greg Sykes

The Video – He Will Rescue Us – Greg Sykes



As some of you that have read my blog before have seen me write about the rabbit trails and fox holes that I get distracted by from time to time, well this time is the same for sure.  I have run into a snag in researching some information on the Tabernacle and the furnishings and will have to ask for some time for the next post which will be Part 5.  So for now, I am re-posting an oldie but a goodie.  I am certain you will enjoy it again.


Have you ever had a stain that was an everlasting stain?  How about the fruits of the season?  black cherriesThe fruits this time of the year are wonderful. I’m allowed to munch away at my supply of fruits and nuts all day long at my work station and I take advantage of it. I was eating the juiciest black cherry the other day at work and I guess I didn’t have my mouth closed enough when I bit into it and juice went all over the place. I wiped it up off of my desk, monitor and keyboard and it didn’t leave a trace. When I got home I used the Shout to get it out of the shirt and pants I had on and I think I accomplished this on the clothes. The shirt was a polyester blend and so were the pants so it didn’t stick. However, I noticed today, that there was a spot of cherry juice on the cover of my wrist rest (I use this wrist rest along with my wrist supports because of my carpal tunnel problem). So… I have covered this wrist rest with a very pretty type of fabric. coveredNow I brought this fabric covered wrist rest home the other day and removed the cover and washed it. I had not noticed the tiny spot of black cherry juice before I washed it. So today when I saw the spot of black cherry juice on it I figured it was soaked into the fabric for good and never to be removed. Funny how some fabrics never give up the stains and others it seems the stains just don’t stick. I know… I know… certain fabrics have a particular makeup that prevents the stains from sticking… lol So I guess my cover for my wrist rest is of that kind of fabric that things stick to and you can never get the stains out.

Now you know I have a comparison… because that is what I do, right? Well, that is what God does. He usually whispers to my heart about certain topics and this time was no exception. As I am looking at this tiny spot on my wrist rest fabric today I heard God say… “This is kind of like another stain that will not wash away.” “The blood of Jesus will wash over your heart and the stain that it leaves can never, ever be removed.” “However, His blood doesn’t leave unsightly stains, It washes you white as snow.” Oh my goodness… tears came to my eyes instantly …blood I knew God was speaking to my heart and wanted me to share this with all of you! It is an amazing thing to realize the presence of God Almighty – in that way – while I am sitting there at work. The feeling washed over my entire being and I felt such comfort and peace. I knew what I would be writing about for my newest post.

So let’s compare. When you accept Jesus into your heart, the work He did on the Cross seals your soul for the day of redemption. The blood He shed washes over you and cleanses you from all of your sins and makes your heart as white as snow. That “stain” of His blood will never be able to be removed. The Bible says no one can take you out of the Father’s hand.

John 10:28-3028” I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” Healed

Now there are a couple of other rabbit trails I would like to go down along with that one. Another one is how stains hold on to some fabrics and other fabrics just shed them off like water off of a duck’s back. I will go to Jesus’ parable about the sower and the seeds for this comparison (Yes, God gave me this today, too – lol).

Matthew 13:1-9
“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”the-sower-sowing-the-seed-english-school

Some of the seeds fell on good soil and produced – and my comparison is some stains fall on some fabric that holds on to the stain just as some people’s hearts accept Jesus and everything about Him and hold tight to Him. While other seed fell in places that did not produce… like other fabrics that shed the stain – and other’s hearts turn Jesus away.

So with that said, I am glad I have the heart with the stain of Jesus all over it! Soaked deep into the heart and soul of my being. It gives me peace and contentment. You can have this same peace and contentment. The Bible talks about this peace in Philippians 4:7 …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Some of you probably already know this peace and contentment and I am glad that you have found Jesus. Others of you may not and want to know about this “peace that surpasses all understanding”.7d379c1bb31964111199389c6205f557

If you do not know this kind of peace, you can start with this website (Bible.org) and it will tell you all about how to become a friend of Jesus and have Him come into your heart to give you this peace and contentment. You will never be sorry you sought Him. He can change your life and you will be glad He did. After all, He considers you His beloved.nothingbutthebloodofjesus

I am including 2 songs because I couldn’t decide which was better. Both sing about the Blood Of Jesus! Take time to listen!


The Video – O The Blood – (with Lyrics) Kari Jobe (Gateway Worship)

The Video – The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power  –
Crystal Washington & Lillie Knauls (Live) Gaither Homecoming