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?