Kissed by GraceBy Todd Bentley

The other day I had a vivid dream of a woman named Grace and she kissed me. I awoke from the dream thinking, "Whoa, what was that?" I told my wife Jessa it felt innocent-pure love and sweet. Jessa said, "Todd, you were kissed by Grace." What an awesome thought! God is kissing the church with fresh grace! I immediately thought of this Scripture in Psalms:

"Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed" (Psalm 85:10 NKJV).

Mercy and truth (Jesus was full of grace and truth) have finally come together like two friends after a long separation. Our love for the truth and grace of God must come together with His mercy and love. They need to be joined again. When they do, it will produce true peace and righteousness. The imagery used in this Psalm for restoration, renewal, mercy, and grace for Israel is an intimate kiss. On one side of the road we have mercy and peace; on the other side truth demands righteousness. They have finally reconciled in grace. This kiss happened at the cross. Righteousness and peace are sealed with a kiss. Redemption is bound in blood red love. The cross of Jesus is where God's justice and mercy kiss. I love what this releases in the earth.

"Truth shall spring out of the earth: and righteousness shall look down from heaven" (Psalm 85:11 NKJV).

The promises (truth) that are unfulfilled and hidden like buried seeds will now spring up and yield a fruitful harvest. Now that we have reconciled with a kiss to truth and received mercy, we can receive the righteousness (justice) of God. We have been kissed by Grace.

KISSED BY GRACE

I have been meditating on the grace of God. The Lord continues to speak to me about how mercy and grace kiss. Understanding that God's mercy is His love (compassion) towards us in not receiving the judgment we deserve. The grace of God (undeserved favor and goodness) is more than just the reason we have salvation, righteousness, and justification by faith alone. Grace is also a restraining power to overcome sin. The grace of God, not my own strength or merit, to resist sin and temptation is the enabling (restraining) power for me to not fall in the mud. When God withdraws His hand of grace, we are powerless to overcome sin.

FATHER'S LOVE

I have been thinking about the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-32). The youngest son insisted on receiving his share of the estate and squandering his inheritance in wild living. He then found himself in the mud with pigs. When we decide and insist on our own rebellion, God simply withdraws His grace (power) and we fall in the mud. We need God to bestow grace upon us so we can walk holy.

What I love about this parable is the imagery of the mercy and grace of God that restores us in a moment when we say like the lost son: "I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you" (Luke 15:18 NIV).

We see in this parable the Father's love, grace, mercy, and compassion. Even while the son was still a long way off, he ran to him and embraced him with a kiss. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him" (Luke 15:20 NIV). This is a true picture of when mercy and grace have kissed. The restoration to his inheritance and his place in the father's house was immediate. His restoration was a celebration (see Luke 15:22). "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate" (Luke 15:22-24 NIV).

THRONE OF GRACE

"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). What a great promise. We are called to the throne of grace, not to the throne of law. I have access to His very throne of glory with confidence and joy. Nothing can separate me from constant access and fellowship with Him. It is a throne built on grace to find mercy. The throne of grace is the mercy seat, sprinkled in the precious blood of Jesus. It is not a throne of judgment and condemnation, but the manifest love and acceptance of God.

This is another great picture of where mercy and grace have kissed and come together so we can be reconciled (mercy-forgiven) to God and find power (grace) to overcome sin. "We may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (see Hebrews 4:16). Mercy is not receiving the judgment we deserve for our sin, and we find in mercy the grace (restraining power) so we don't fall in the mud again.

The beauty of grace is truly irresistible, abounding and overflowing. Once you taste it, nothing will satisfy but more. Grace is Jesus!

In Him,

Todd Bentley