From The Heart

Publish date: 05/01/2011

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV

We, who have thrown ourselves on the mercy of God and accepted the free gift of God in Jesus Christ, crucified for us, have been washed clean by His blood and our “filthy rags” have been replaced with a robe of righteousness. Because we have a High Priest, who made and is making intercession for us before the Father, we can come BOLDLY – freely; openly; with fearless confidence; cheerful courage; assurance – before the throne of grace to ask for help in our time of need. Jesus has removed all fear and shame from us and opened the way for us into the presence of the Father, Himself.

This passage says: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace – that we may OBTAIN mercy and FIND grace – to help in time of need. There is a difference between grace and mercy. Mercy is kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them. It is compassion in action. Grace is generous favor; a benefit; a gift.

Grace and mercy can be defined this way:
Grace: when God GIVES you what you DON’T deserve!
Mercy: when God DOESN’T give you what you DO deserve!

We come to the Father to OBTAIN mercy. Obtain means that we have it immediately; we have it now. It means to get hold of; to seize; to take; to receive what is offered; to claim for yourself; take possession of; to collect; to gather; not to refuse or reject; to choose; to select; to experience; to gain; to have; to catch.

We come to the Father to FIND grace. Find is progressive – we continue to find – it’s ongoing. Find means to come upon; to find by enquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation; to find out by practice and experience; to see; to learn; to discover; to understand; to get knowledge of; to come to know; to find out for one’s self; to acquire; to get; to obtain; to procure.

We are forgiven by His mercy and justified by His grace. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  (Ephesians 2:4-7 NKJV) Because of God’s great mercy, even while we were still dead in our sins, Jesus died for us. His grace made us alive in Christ and made us sit together with Him in heavenly places. Through the ages, He plans to continue to show, reveal and unfold to us, the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us.

His grace is there to help us to bear up under any and every circumstance; under any pressure, persecution or temptation. “And He has said to me, and His declaration still stands, My grace is enough for you, for power is moment by moment coming to its full energy and complete operation in the sphere of weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 Wuest)

Romans 6:14 KJV says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Because we have been forgiven by His mercy, we now live in His ongoing grace upon our lives. The grace – not to sin – but to love and serve Him fully, with all that is within us and with all that we have at our disposal. We have been given the grace to serve Him with our gifts and our talents. We are not still trying to earn His grace, because He has already given it to us – we are walking in the benefits of that grace, the grace that enables us to do what is right and fitting and proper, to bring honor to Him in all we are and all we do.

Because of His grace, God gives each of us gifts and responsibilities, and by that grace, we are enabled to perform them and carry them out. Romans 12:6-8 NIV says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV

When we come to God for help, He shows immediate mercy and forgives our sin. His mercy is ours right then to OBTAIN – to take and receive. His grace, we must SEEK and FIND – we receive and keep on receiving. As we continue to look to Him, His grace will continue to be opened up and revealed to us, even for our lifetime.