I remember one of my first sermons. My first real sermon. I had preached before messages that took 5 or maybe even 10 minutes, but this was going to be a real sermon. I had worked hard to prepare a message. I wanted to teach people about the grace and mercy of God (a deep task for a 12 year-old).
In preparation I thought I needed to first define grace and mercy. I took my time. I got out my concordance and I’m sure I read a few people’s opinions (although I can’t remember now). And I came up with definitions.
Now I’ve been preaching/teaching every Sunday for over a decade. I think back to that sermon and I’m not sure I could improve on the simplicity of the definitions. For grace I said “getting something you do not deserve.” For mercy I said “not getting what we do deserve.” Over a decade removed from those definitions I’m still astonished that God provided me with grace and mercy.
So how would you define these two important terms?