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"Grace and Mercy - The Basics Retold" by Earl Adams Evangelist

Psalms 117:1-117:2

Text: Psalm 117:1-2 (King James Version)

Topic: "Grace and Mercy - The Basics Retold"

The New Living Translation (NLT) of our Scripture text for this evening reads as follows: "Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise Him, all of you people of the earth. (vs. 2) For He loves you with unfailing love; the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!"

We find here, in this 117th Psalm, the "attitude" of Almighty God toward mankind - both male and female. The word mankind is not gender specific but, in this sermon, will always mean both men and women! The Apostle Paul, in Romans 15:11 (KJV) cites the first verse of our Scripture text when he tells the Romans and us: "And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud Him, all ye people." This evening, the Lord would have us look into Almighty God’s "Inseparable Twins" - His "Incomparable Gift" to mankind - the gift of "Grace and Mercy!" Because it is a gift, it cannot be bought, nor can it be earned. The only thing that we can do with it is accept and receive it!

A hymnist once wrote, and I do not remember who he or she was, these poetic words, in a hymn entitled "My God and I":

***"My God and I walk through the fields together;
***We laugh and talk as good friends should and do;
***We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter,
***My God and I walk through the meadows hue!"

Whoever wrote it, to you goes the credit, for I did not write it myself! This poet and hymnist, whomever he or she was, truly must have had a deep sense of the closeness of his or her Creator in his or her daily, everyday walk of life! Almighty God is near us in everything that we do - Almighty God is near us wherever we go! Almighty God will not sanction (or, in other words, approve) of our evil deeds; but, rest assured, my brothers and sisters, that He knows when we are guilty of such behaviour! Almighty God is also near us when we are doing "good" deeds! If we would only lift up our eyes and our thoughts unto the hills from whence cometh our help, we would rapidly come to realize that Almighty God is, in fact, "Omnipresent" (Always-there), "Omniscient" (All-knowing), and "Omnipotent" (All-powerful)!

Perhaps, if we were to consider Almighty God as our hymnist did, as a God who is "REAL" - as a God who is "ALIVE and WELL" - as a God who "WALKS and TALKS" with us - as an "UPFRONT and PERSONAL" God - just maybe - Yes - just maybe we would be more inclined and less hesitant to pattern our lives after His Divine will! You see, my brothers and sisters, if we would come to realize that Almighty God is always watching over us, perhaps we would conduct our daily lives in such a manner as to be more pleasing to Almighty God - to meet with His approval!

This evening, the Lord would have me talk to you about the "unclouded day" - those days when Almighty God’s "Grace and Mercy" are manifested! Before we begin, however, it might be beneficial if we defined the term "Grace and Mercy"! It is the unmerited "agape" love and favor of Almighty God - the exercise of His "loving kindness" and "good will" toward mankind! It is ours for nothing - at no cost - "cost-free" because of the redemptive work of Jesus, the Christ - "Yeshua Ha’mashiach" (The Anointed One) - the only-begotten Son of Almighty God - where? Atop Golgotha’s Hill on the "Old Rugged Cross" at Calvary!

I’m reminded of the words to the chorus of the hymn, entitled "At Calvary," written by the late great hymnist, William R. Newell (Born: 1868): "Mercy there was great and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty; at Calvary!" We do not deserve "Grace and Mercy" for my Holy Bible tells me that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life!" We ought to be thanking and praising Almighty God for His precious gift - we ought to adore Him for loving us so much!

The beloved Disciple and Apostle, John, in John 3:16 (KJV), makes it plain, as he records Jesus, the Christ, saying: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This, my brothers and sisters, is the greatest gift that Almighty God has ever given to mankind - why? Because Jesus, the Christ, is our only means to obtain the remission of our sins! It is by the shedding of His blood on that "Old Rugged Cross" that we are enabled to enter into the "Kingdom of Heaven"! John records Jesus saying, in John 14:6 (KJV): "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Jesus, the Christ, placed His "Visa Stamp" on our "Heavenly Passports"! Without His "Visa Stamp" of approval - no entry is allowed through the "pearly gates"! In other words, our documents must be in order - our name must be written in the "Lamb’s Book of Life!"

If we will serve Almighty God, faithfully and steadfastly, if we will endure to the end, the day will, in fact, come when we will hear those immortal joyous words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant..." as we pass through those "pearly gates" and enter into the joy of our Lord! Home at last to our "mansion just over the hilltop, where we’ll never grow old" - that place of eternal rest and happiness with our triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost (or, Holy Spirit)!

Listen to the Apostle Paul as he speaks to his preacher, Titus, and us from Titus 2:11-12 (NLT): "For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing Salvation to all people. (vs. 12) And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God,"!

Many Christians desire Salvation of their souls; however, many of them are unwilling to sacrifice their lifestyles in order for their souls to be saved! You see, my brothers and sisters, when we are confronted with the Truth that sets us free - with the facts that lead to eternal life - we ought to be sensible enough to accept them and turn from our wicked ways! In 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV), the writer records Almighty God saying: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

As we look upon Almighty God’s "Grace and Mercy" - what He has done for us - what He is doing for us - what He is going to do for us - our souls ought to be shouting "HALLELUJAH" for we are truly privileged to receive of Almighty God’s "Grace and Mercy" - after all, He didn’t have to give it to us - "We should have been crucified - We should have suffered and died - We should have died on the cross in disgrace - But Jesus, God’s Son took our place!"

Travel with me, if you will, along the "Scriptural Highway" into the land of the Old Testament and let’s stop at the "Book of Beginnings" - let’s enter into the address of Genesis 6:5-8 (NLT), and let’s eavesdrop on the conversation between Moses and Almighty God: "Now the Lord observed the extent of the people’s wickedness and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil. (vs. 6) So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them. It broke His heart. (vs. 7) And the Lord said, ’I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them.’ (vs. 8) But Noah found favor with the Lord." The King James Version (KJV) tells it this way: "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."

So, you see, my brothers and sisters, that even though all the world was evil, the "Grace and Mercy" of Almighty God was such that He spared Noah and his sons and their wives even though He destroyed the world and all of its living creatures! Just look at Almighty God! I’m reminded of the chorus to the song, written by Franklin D. Williams, entitled "Your Grace and Mercy":

***"Your grace and mercy brought me through,
***I’m living this moment because of You;
***I want to thank You, and praise You too:
***Your Grace and Mercy brought me through."

Yes, and in the words of the songwriter, Andrae Crouch (Born: 1945):

***"Through it all, Through it all,
***I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
***I’ve learned to trust in God,
***Through it all, Through it all,
***I’ve learned to depend upon His Word!"

Just look at Almighty God as He called out of a "burning bush" to Moses to deliver His children from Egyptian bondage! Look at Almighty God as He equipped Moses - on the back side of Midian - with those things that were necessary to enable him to deliver Almighty God’s people! Look at Almighty God as He parted the waters of the Red Sea to give His people safe passage - then closed those same waters over Pharaoh and his pursuing army - drowning them all!

Now, look at Almighty God as He watched His children living disobedient, careless lives, after all that He had done for them! Then, check out His "Grace and Mercy" as it shone forth as a mighty ray of hope in Isaiah 1:18 (NLT): "’Come now, let us argue this out,’ says the Lord, ’No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson. I can make you as white as wool.’" Yes, church, you can’t find a greater "Stain Remover" than Almighty God! No, it is not called "Oxy-Power" it is called "Doxology" - "Praise God from whom all blessings flow - Praise Him all creatures here below - Praise Him among ye heavenly hosts - Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!"

I love to hear King David speak to us from the Psalter. Listen to his words, found in Psalm 8:1 (NLT): "O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of Your name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens." How excellent is His name - church! God’s "Grace and Mercy" is revealed to mankind in such a way that we simply cannot misunderstand it - that is, if we look at it with an unprejudiced mind - if we look at it with an unbiased opinion - knowing that there is no rest for the weary until we take hold of Almighty God’s free gift of Salvation!

We find Jesus, the Christ, in Matthew 11:28 (KJV), telling us: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The promise of Almighty God was brought into fruition when His only-begotten Son, Jesus, the Christ, stepped forward in the throne room of Almighty God and said, "Here am I, send me!" In His coming, we have a "Mission Completed" statement coming from "Mission Control" and recorded in 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT): "For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. (vs. 19) He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God."

As I close this evening, know this: If you have taken advantage of the "Grace and Mercy" of Almighty God, you are eligible to go before Almighty God’s throne of Grace in time of need! Tell me, my brothers and sisters, are you in need this evening? If you are not a Christian "true believer" - if you are not saved - then you are in need! In need of what? You are in need of the one thing, in this world, above everything else that you need, for my Holy Bible tells me, in Matthew 16:26 (KJV), that Jesus says: "For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

As I take my seat, this evening, know that we should place our "Soul Salvation" above everything else in life! Almighty God’s "Grace and Mercy" is great - great enough to give Salvation to anyone who has a strong enough desire to obtain it! But, you need to know, my brothers and sisters, that the desire must come from within yourself! You cannot get there on your parent’s desire! You cannot get there on your sibling’s desire! You cannot get there on your friend’s desire! You cannot even get there on your pastor’s desire! NO, NO, NO, my brothers and sisters, you have to work out your own "Soul Salvation"!

The wisest of the great and the greatest of the wise know nothing of Heaven and how to get there except as the Holy Bible - the written Word of Almighty God - reveals it! Jesus, the Christ, tells us in "The Book of Endings," in Revelation 1:8 (KJV): "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending..."! Know this: When Satan tries to bring up your past, he runs into Alpha - and, there is nothing on the other side of Alpha! When Satan fails there, he tries to destroy your future - but, he runs into Omega - and, there is nothing on the other side of Omega! Come, taste, and see that the Lord is good!

"Grace and Mercy - The Basics Retold"

May Almighty God richly and abundantly bless each and every one of you!

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