How do we find grace and mercy in our lives?
I don’t deserve God’s grace. In fact, that is what it means. It is a gift to me from Jesus the Messiah. Undeserved but given to me anyway.
χάρις, charis; it means “grace, undeserved favor, graciousness, goodwill”. It is the gracious or merciful behavior of a more powerful person toward another. Displayed by the Master Jesus toward humankind and by people towards each other in the Old Testament. Used to describe God or the Messiah in their merciful character or actions toward humankind in the New Covenant.
Spiritual gifts are described as “graces.” It is a literary device used at the beginning or end of many New Covenant letters. It is all over the place in scripture. It is a big deal.
Grace is the undeserved kindness of God. I am so grateful for what God has done for me. It is stunning. It is good news for sure. God is kind. God is loving. God is good. God is in a good mood. God wants the best for me.
To fully understand grace, I need to consider who I was without the Messiah and who I become with the Messiah.
- I was born missing God’s goal for my life (aka in sin) (Psalm 51:5), and I am guilty of breaking God’s holy laws (Romans 3:9–20, 23; 1 John 1:8–10).
- I was an enemy of God (Romans 5:6, 10; 8:7; Colossians 1:21), deserving of death (Romans 6:23a).
- I was unrighteous (Romans 3:10) and without means of justifying myself (Romans 3:20).
- Spiritually, I was destitute, blind, unclean, and dead. My soul was in peril of everlasting punishment.
Grace — The grace and mercy of God made known in Jesus the Messiah
God’s undeserved kindness is carried by His Son Jesus the Messiah. Now that is a big deal.
Grace is an essential part of God’s character. Grace is closely related to God’s benevolence, love, and mercy. Grace can be variously defined as “God’s favor toward the unworthy” or “God’s benevolence on the undeserving.”
In His grace, God is willing to forgive me and bless me abundantly, in spite of the fact that I don’t deserve to be treated so well or dealt with so generously.
Holy scripture teaches that grace is completely unmerited. The gift and the act of giving have nothing at all to do with our merit or innate quality (Romans 4:4; 11:5–6; 2 Timothy 1:9–10).
In fact, scripture says quite clearly that we don’t deserve God’s salvation. Romans 5:8–10 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us. . . . While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.”
- John 1:14 — And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- Luke 2:40 — The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
- Luke 2:52 — And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
- 2 Corinthians 8:9 — For you know the grace of our Master Jesus the Messiah, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
- Titus 2:11 — For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.
History of the Christian Training Center
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In the early 1970’s, Jay and Sally Fesperman had a vision to open a retreat center for businessmen. It was from this desire that they founded the Inn of Last Resort. In the simplest of words – “Life is Relationships” – Jay Fesperman defined the heart of the ministry. Since its inception, “The Inn” has been involved in training and giving counsel to numerous families, pastors and lay people. The “Inn of the Last Resort” aptly alludes to the condition of many people who have found their way to this sanctuary in the rural Smoky Mountains. As word of the ministry spread, our name was revised to Christian Training Center International. Learn more here.
In 1980, Larry and Susan Pons joined the Fespermans in the ministry. Before Jay’s passing in 1992, CTCI had grown to be more global in its influence. Expansion of the ministry’s impact began to reach overseas and has subsequently brought scores of fellow Christians here for training and renewal. During its existence, over 70,000 people from more than 60 nations have come through the doors seeking a deeper reality of God in their lives.
Our prayer and focus has remained the same for years. First, that Jesus be Lord over all, through all and in all. Secondly that healthy, Godly relationships will always be the driving force of this ministry. This is the heartbeat of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and it is one we trust the Lord will continue to lead us in until He returns. Learn more here.
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