Friday, August 5, 2016

Unmerited Favor

Unmerited favor.

They are two words that seem to cause some confusion.
Is it grace or is it mercy?

After doing some reading, I realized that these two little words could start a theological debate. Shows how much I know...and that's not what this post is about. 
But I will share these few sentences from the article because I think it explains my post perfectly.
Although they are similar expressions of his favor and love, they possess a clear distinction. 
When we experience God's grace, we receive favor that we do not deserve. 
When we experience God's mercy, we are spared punishment that we do deserve.
Our family was a witness to such "unmerited favor" just yesterday.
Anyone who follows my blog, no doubt has read about our son's struggle with alcohol.
You may have read about his brokenness, his road to recovery and his victories.
His life is being transformed, praise God, and I will not take one day of his sobriety for granted.
But as wonderful as all of this has been and still is,
we all knew the time would soon be coming to face the music.
The laws that were broken...that finally broke him...had to be dealt with in court.
So it has been a tense week in a couple of Ray households this week.
He was facing a minimum of 120 days in the county jail,
a place not fit for even the lowest of the low.
Prison would have been an improvement.
To say the least, the past nine months of Aaron's life have been quite different.
He has a daily walk with the Lord now and that has made all the difference in his life.
The time he spent at the Potter's Wheel has changed him into a new man,
 one I barely recognize at times...but I love it!

Yesterday, Aaron, accompanied by me and his dad, his fiance' Michelle, 
our pastor and five other friends (his and ours) met before court in the attorney's office.
Mr. Attorney took statements from each of us about our relationship with Aaron 
and told us that the judge (depending on who it was) may allow us to speak on his behalf. 
He also told us that never in his entire career, had he seen a client who had been so transformed
after going into a drug/alcohol treatment program.
He also cautioned us that the judge may not consider the time he spent there
towards any time served because it wasn't state funded.
He was preparing us for the worst case scenario.

Just sitting in the court room is enough to break your heart.
It's a revolving door, it seems...sad to see so many young people in trouble with the law.
They finally called out Aaron's name and it was time.
His line of supporters filled the first row of benches on both sides.
Mr. Attorney said what he said, Ms. Judge said what she said and then it was our turn.
One by one we stood and gave testimony to the goodness of God, 
about prayers being answered and the changes that we had all witnessed in his life.
Emotions were running strong and tears filled the eyes of nearly all of us. 
When asked if he would like to address the court, Aaron said he would.
He then turned and spoke first to each of us, thanking us for supporting him, tears streaming.
He then directed his comments to the others left in the court room.
(this is where it really gets good)

"If any of y'all out there have addictions with drugs and alcohol, 
you need to get Jesus in your life and let Him help you take care of it!"
The sentence was then jail time, but extended probation and monitoring,
as Ms. Judge and Ms. Assistant D.A. wiped a tear or two as well.
We had church right there in the courthouse!

Did he deserve more punishment? Yes...
...that's why it's called unmerited favor.
Grace? Yes.
Mercy? Absolutely.
Wonderful? Without a doubt.

... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...    Romans 3:23-24
I want to thank everyone who has been praying for my boy.
I appreciate your continued prayers for him as he meets each new day.
Much love to all of you!

Sharing at:
Spiritual Sundays


  1. Oh Debby, Praise the Lord for this update. I have been and will continue to pray for Aaron. God is using him in a mighty way. I know your heart must be lighter today. xoxo

  2. God bless your whole family. Your story about Aaron accepting Jesus as his savior and giving up his old life is inspirational. I'm glad Aaron didn't get any jail time. Praise God!

  3. What a way to begin today (reading this!) I know your mother's heart must be overflowing with gratitude and pride. Thanks for sharing it, loved reading this--so full of hope and what God has done in your son's life. And from a writer's point of view, I loved your approach discussing grace and mercy! Powerful. Have a happy weekend.

  4. Oh my friend!!! I am so very happy for all of you! I know how hard and amazing this victory is. The burden is heavy but it sounds like Aaron has turned his path to the One, the only One, with all the answers. I think we are also getting on the right path. God is good! Love and hugs!!!!

  5. Oh, praise God for His abundant mercy and grace! I didn't know about your dear boy's struggles, but how the mother heart in me rejoices with you for his victories! Praise be to Jesus for all He has done!!

  6. Oh Debby - not only were our prayers answered but, just like God, He went beyond! And Aaron's words to the court so great. His life is being transformed and already touching other lives thtough it. God id good!

  7. Hello Debby, I am so happy for you and your family. This is great news! I am so glad your prayers were answered. Happy weekend to you all!

  8. Debby,

    I have tears welling in my eyes! Unmerited favor indeed! God's bountiful mercy! Praise Him!

    Thankful for your son's transformation.

  9. may his faith and strength continue for the rest of his days. he has so much love and support behind him.

  10. With tears of joy and praise to God I type this note.There is nothing more to say than PRAISE GOD!

  11. This definitely made me cry to read it. As a mother of four grown sons, I know the heartache you can experience. I asked God to take care of my boys when they were little because I knew I would never be able to. And we've had lots of scarey times over the years. I am very proud of your precious son and will continue to pray for him. It takes a lot of strength to overcome what he is dealing with and it will be a lifelong battle. I'll say a prayer of thanks today my friend. lots of hugs, Diane

  12. I have tears in my eyes as I type this...
    May he continue along this path with guidance, love and support.

    Thinking of you and the family

    All the best Jan

  13. Oh Debby what a wonderful post. I too am reading this with tears in my eyes. So amazing what God can accomplish. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  14. Dear Debby, What a wonderful testimony and yes Gods grace and blessings. I was just thinking about him the other night! I am so happy for him and you and your hubby and all connected to this trial and victory!
    Love, Roxy

  15. Oh my goodness. How great our God is! Oh to be in that court room and hear all your testimonies of God's grace. Your son's transformation is a miracle and a joy to behold. I have no doubt those who do not know the Lord saw the joyousness of God that very day. So, so happy for you all!

  16. My eyes too are filled with tears I am thrilled about the outcome and will continue to pray for his continued recovery. Take care.

  17. Tears, tears and more tears as I sit reading and praising God over this remarkable up date! Amazing! God's unmerited favor was certainly poured upon your dear son and that court room was filled with the glory of God.
    Debby,I am so happy for you and your family and will continue to uphold your lives in prayer as the journey continues day by day.
    To God be the glory!
    Thank you for sharing this with us so others may see the goodness and glory of God.

    Much love to you, sweet lady.

  18. Oh now where are my tissues! Your son was one of the many John prayed for because he knew that story for himself and he was cheering him on. I am praising God for this grace and this mercy. Bless God for that wonderful testimony and witness to the courtroom, too. Every answer is in Jesus.

  19. Oh exciting to see all God's work play out in Aaron's life. I am so happy that he is walking hand and hand with Jesus. What a testimony he now has to share with the world. If it can change one person...its worth it all!
    I will continue to pray for Aaron as he continues on his new journey!
    Thinking of you...

  20. What an amazing story of grace!! My heart rejoices with yours!!

  21. I am rejoicing with you and praising God for his love, goodness, healing grace and mercy. Aaron, I will be praying for you as God uses you and your testimony to be a light to many others. Tears of joy!

  22. This is touching and beautiful, Debby.

  23. What a blessing for you and your family. You can see how your story has touched and blessed others in seeing that prayers have been answered. We can only pray that Aaron continues to blessed by the love of God as he continues his struggle and witness to others. Thanks for sharing his story.
    Audrey Z.

  24. Oh Debby! Tears are in my eyes, I am touched so deeply by this. Praise God!! Only HE could have literally rescued Aaron from the pit of despair and addiction, and brought him to this place of mighty testimony! The power of God - it stuns me sometimes.

    Of course I know that your family's support has been an integral part of the process - another tool that God has used in Aaron's healing. So, I celebrate with all of you over this good news.

    Grace and mercy - we may never fully understand how God displays it towards us - but I'm certainly very grateful for it...


  25. What wonderful news Debby!! I am so thankful for the mercy your son was shown, but more than that, for his continued sobriety and walk with the Lord. What a wonderful testimony. I wish I could have heard the testimonies on his behalf, and his own, in that courtroom. I am sure you all are full of thankfulness today. "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard . . . what God hath prepared for those who love Him." Blessings, and great rejoicing, Deborah

  26. Oh, sweet friend, I got chills while reading this post. God is so GOOD and GRACIOUS! What a blessing to have such mercy poured upon your son. I rejoice with you, dear Debby, and I praise the Lord that he is walking faithfully with the Heavenly Father - I am praying he continues to stand strong in his faith.

    Your post was such a delight to read. Unmerited favor...I fall to my knees in gratitude for the love, mercy, and grace that God has given me.

    Love and hugs to you!

  27. I got a bit teary eyed myself. I'm so happy for you and your family.

  28. Hi Debby, Let me get my tissue!! Yes, God is so good and this is a true testament to the power of prayers and God's hand involved in healing. HE can change lives for the better. Yes, Unmerited favor. Oh what a blessing. My prayers will be on going for your son and I know God will direct his path. I know you are so proud of him. God bless you all!! xo

  29. Yes, we receive God's mercy and grace, Debby. I can't tell you how happy I am for your son. I'm so glad this had a happy ending for him. What a touching story, and thank you for sharing it. Peace be with him and you always.

    love, ~Sheri

  30. Sweet friend, I am just reading this story after reading your post from today. WOW and WOW! Praise God for His mercy and grace! Oh we deserve nothing but hell. But oh how I praise Him for His extended mercy and grace. Thank you for being willing to share this. Hugs and blessings, Cindy


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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