The first sentence is fine as a statement that you are thanking God. It’s short for “I thank God for his grace and mercy…” It’s not a prayer only because you are not actually addressing God, but it could be part of a conversation, discussion, testimonial in church, etc.
The second sentence doesn’t work quite right. If you are literally saying “Thanks” to God, as in you are offering a prayer to God and are speaking to him/her, then you will want to to say “Thanks, God, for your grace and mercy…”
If you want more formality, as in “Thanks be to God for …” that’s fine, but what you have is also fine, with the small changes.
answered Mar 2 ’12 at 2:53
is the correct way of expressing gratitute to God. It’s one of the rare cases of legitimate use of the Subjunctive Mood.
‘Thanks God’ is possible in the Indicative Mood (3rd person)
My sister thanks God every day for .
When your friend Jim does you a favor, you can thank him:
The same way it’s technically possible to say:
as an informal way of saying ‘thank you’ to God, as though you were speaking with him/her in person. Note the use of the comma.
answered Mar 1 ’12 at 21:12
If you’re looking for something leaning toward the formal, I suggest praise be to God for .
answered Mar 1 ’12 at 22:22
If you actually mean to thank a deity, then “Thanks be to God” is more appropriate than your other suggestions.
“Thank God …” is basically used to mean “I’m glad that…”, “It’s a good job that…”. It isn’t usually used when the intention is to actually thank a deity.
To me, “Thanks, God!” would if used at all be a fairly informal, sarcastic way of expressing displeasure rather than pleasure at something. I suppose it could be a very informal way of actually thanking a deity as well… but I don’t think you’ll readily hear it in a place of worship.
answered Mar 2 ’12 at 0:15
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The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 145:8)
What exactly is the difference between grace and mercy?
Grace versus mercy…
Does it even matter? Can’t we just use them interchangeably?
Nope. If we do, we miss out on some glorious truths.
God’s mercy and God’s grace are not the same things, though the differences are subtle, and they are often mentioned together.
In many ways they overlap; usually when God pours out his mercy, he pours out his grace as well.
Let’s dive into this a bit deeper.
The Difference Between Grace and Mercy
Before we explore the glorious difference between grace and mercy, we need to see how they’re similar.
Neither are deserved. God has compassion on sinners who deserve his wrath.
Why? I don’t know.
And he is gracious as well to those who don’t love him and never thank him. But God pours out his mercy and grace especially on those he saves through Jesus.
The simplest way to understand the difference between grace and mercy is that they are flip sides of the coin of his love.
In other words, God’s mercy is NOT giving sinners what they DO DESERVE.
And God’s grace is POSITIVELY GIVING sinners what they DO NOT DESERVE.
The Glory Of God’s Mercy
The Hebrew for “merciful” means “compassionate” or “full of compassion.” It means “to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow”
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)
This is mercy: We have all sinned against a holy God. We deserve eternal wrath in hell. But in his mercy, God poured out on Jesus the wrath we deserved on the cross, so we could escape his wrath.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For reasons known only to God, though we had spit in his face, broken his laws, rejected him and disobeyed him, he had compassion on us.
God doesn’t take any pleasure in punishing people, even those who reject him and hate him outright. So in his mercy, he didn’t give us what we deserved, eternal punishment, his infinite wrath. Instead, in his mercy, he poured his wrath out on his beloved Son.
Jesus didn’t have to die for us. He didn’t have to pay for our sins. But our God is compassionate and merciful. So he didn’t give us what we deserved. He gave it to Jesus.
If this were all he had done, it would have been incredible. If God simply spared us from hell that would have been infinite mercy.
Even if he did nothing else for us. Even if we were to die then cease to exist. Even if we were to never go to heaven or know him.
It still would have been infinite mercy to us, to NOT give us what we DID DESERVE.
The difference between grace and mercy is that mercy is not getting what we deserve.
The Beauty of God’s Grace
But not only is God infinitely merciful, he is infinitely gracious. In his grace he not only withheld his wrath, but he positively saved us:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God… (Ephesians 2:8)
The Greek for “grace”, “charis” means: kindness, favor, “a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ”, or “kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved” (Strongs)
See the difference? In his mercy God withholds WHAT WE DO DESERVE; in his grace God heaps upon us infinite blessings WE DO NOT DESERVE. In mercy he withholds what we DID MERIT – eternal wrath; and in grace pours out upon us what we COULD NEVER MERIT: Eternal life, infinite joy, being one with Christ, being made like Christ.
Grace is God’s free gift of his undeserved, unmerited favor.
God’s grace is, “…the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues” (Strongs).
When we believe in Jesus, because of his mercy God does NOT give us what we deserve:
His wrath, eternal punishment in hell
And when we believe in Jesus, because of His grace, God gives us what we don’t deserve. He…
Gives us eternal life
Adopts us as his children
Makes us joint-heirs with Christ, gives us infinite riches in Christ
Gives us his Holy Spirit
Gives us power and victory over sin
Lives in us
Conforms us to Christ
Causes all things to work together for our good
Hears our prayers
Gives us gifts of the Spirit
Produces fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc.
Gives us good works to walk in
He will never remove his love from us
And someday we will see his face
And the list goes on and on….
And God doesn’t begrudgingly pour out his grace. He longs to pour it out upon us. Isaiah 30:18 says “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.”
God is lavish with his grace. He doesn’t just give us a little. He pours it out:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us… (Ephesians 1:7-8)
So what should our response be to God’s amazing mercy and lavish grace he has heaped upon us?
I don’t have room in this post, but a few ways we should respond:
- Wonder, amazement, praise and worship
- Living wholeheartedly for the one who saved us
- Imitating our God and being merciful and gracious to those who don’t deserve it
If you’ve never believed in Jesus, he offers you the free gift of his grace, because of all Jesus did.
He is the eternal God, yet became a man, lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to his Father, then bore our sins and God’s wrath on the cross.
Then he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven where he reigns as Lord of Lords.
And he promises that for all who believe in him and call upon him so save them he will have mercy on them, forgive their sins and give them eternal life and lavish his grace upon them.
He longs to lavish salvation on you. Don’t wait another day to believe in and call on him to save you!
The difference between grace and mercy is that grace is getting what we don’t deserve.
So What’s The Difference Between Grace and Mercy?
Both grace and mercy reveal the staggering, glorious, delightful character of God.
In his mind-boggling mercy, he doesn’t give us what we deserve. Rather, he gave that to Jesus.
In his outrageous, lavish grace, he gives us what we don’t deserve. He gives us the rewards earned by Jesus.
Is there anyone like our God?
Imagine you were pulled over by a cop for a traffic offense. You were guilty. You knew the penalty, the punishment. But wait. The officer turns to you, advises you to be mindful about traffic laws, and lets you off the hook. Just like that. It happened to me.
If something like that ever happened to you, then you’ve been a recipient of mercy. You were let off the hook, when you didn’t deserve it.
Mercy is when you don’t receive what you deserve: punishment.
Maybe you haven’t received mercy for civil law breaking, but if you’ve given your heart to Jesus, then you have met the God who is ‘rich in mercy’ (Ephesians 2:4). What did He do? He let you off the hook when you didn’t deserve it. Paul wrote:
“He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5, NLT).
Instead of punishing and giving us what we deserve (Romans 6:23), He saved us from the punishment. That’s mercy. Isaiah said it this way:
“He took the punishment we deserved, and this brought us peace” (Isaiah 53:5, ERV).
Grace: Even better than mercy
Mercy is not cheap. It is expensive because it costed His Son’s life to set us free. And while, mercy is good news, just wait till you hear about Grace. Grace is much more than mercy.
Here’s the difference. Mercy is when you don’t receive what you deserve: punishment. But grace is when you receive what you don’t deserve: reward.
Do you get the difference? Read it again until you’ve figured it out.
What grace and mercy look like
Here’s a few examples of grace and mercy in action:
- The prodigal son received mercy when the father accepted him. Grace when he threw him a party.
- The thief on the cross received mercy when he experienced forgiveness. Grace when Jesus promised Him paradise.
- We received mercy when God chose us and saved us from the punishment for our sins. Grace when He gave us eternal life (1 John 5:11); made us sons and daughters (John 1:12), and reserved an inheritance for us for eternity (1 Peter 1:4).
Mercy and Grace are amazing. That’s why we sing so many songs about them!
Not only is grace amazing. It is also the central theme in the Bible. It is about a gracious God who pursues, came for us, cared for us, and is coming again for us.
This is Amazing Grace
Here’s a few ways the Bible describes the grace of God:
Grace is God’s gift to me: “All of us need to be made right with God by His grace, which is a free gift through Jesus Christ.” (Romans 3:24, NCV)
Grace is for everyone: “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people” (Titus 2:11, NLT).
Grace comes through Jesus: “For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17, NIV).
Grace is received by faith: “God saved you by his grace when you believed.” (Ephesians 2:8, NLT).
Grace is God’s gift for all eternity: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Grace is God’s gift of forgiveness: “But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:15).
Grace is God’s power to change: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16).
The power to save a wretch like me … and you
Yes, grace changes people. The apostle made it clear that the gospel of His grace and mercy is intended to turn people to God and from their sins (Romans 2:4). Grace not only forgives; it changes, transforms, rewires everyone who enters into a relationship with Jesus.
There is more. When grace happens, gratitude happens. “And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory” (2 Corinthians 4:15)
You can live a life of gratitude to God, not because of anything you did, but because of what He did for you. If you have put your trust in His Son to save you, He says He has given you life, and has saved you:
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Like to thank God for His mercy and grace? Here’s what you can do:
- Make a list of your grace and mercy experiences
- Talk with God over the list, and thank Him for each blessing
- Share your experiences with your friends, and spread the joy
- Keep the list, add to it and return to it when you need to remember His goodness
- Praise God for His mercy! Praise God for His grace!