"O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days" (Ps. 90:14).

We are in an age of mercy right now. In fact, all of us have had mercy that we don't even know about. Ezekiel 18:20 says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die...."

God said to Adam in Genesis chapter two:
"...Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
(Gen. 2:16-17)
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death...." Romans 3:10 says, "...There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

On the basis of these verses, there isn't one of us who wouldn't have already been stamped out if God had judged us according to our sins. We would already have been roasted and toasted!

But thank God, He has not rewarded us according to our sins nor dealt with us according to our iniquities. He has dealt with us on the basis of His mercy.

Every verse in Psalm 136 ends with, "...For his mercy endureth for ever." It is important that we understand God's mercy.

Psalm 103:11 says, "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him." To fear Him means "to reverentially worship, honor and obey God."

In one sense, every person on earth has benefited from God's mercy. Wicked people still eat, they still have houses, and they still drink the water that is on the earth. That is God's mercy.

God doesn't have any obligation to those who don't love Him, serve Him, or obey Him. God has a right on the basis of His commandments and the fact that He is a holy God to annihilate us the moment we sin.

You may question, "Why hasn't He?" Because He is a merciful God!

Why does God extend His mercy? He is a good God. He is a merciful God. He lets it rain on the just and on the unjust. He sends His goodness upon all, yet only those who honor and reverence the Lord receive the full benefit of His mercy.

Salvation, deliverance, healing, love, joy, peace and righteousness come from God alone to those who meet His conditions for mercy. We can't earn the mercy of God. It is a gift.

Possibly you can explain the difference between love, lovingkindness, longsuffering, mercy and grace, but they are, in a sense, synonymous. They express the same truth, so I will speak of them as one and the same.

Scripture says grace and mercy have come to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the mercy and grace of God revealed from heaven so that we can have mercy and grace here in the earth and for all eternity.

Source: Mercy and Grace by Billy Joe Daugherty.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers