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How do we find grace and mercy in our lives?

How do we find grace and mercy in our lives?

Grace

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.

Is there a conflict between grace and the law?

Grace - 02
Grace

The purpose of the Law was, basically, to bring us to the Messiah. It is essential to start here. Once I understand the purpose of the law, I can move on.

What would I move on to? How about grace? That would be a good start.

With the result that the Law has become our tutor and our disciplinarian to guide us to the Messiah, so that we may be justified, that is, declared free of the guilt of missing God’s goal (aka sin) and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God by faith. (Galatians 3:24).

A New Year brings renewed understanding we are a new creation in Jesus.

Grace - 02
Grace

I am a part of God’s “new creation”, and God continues to work in me to make me what He wants me to be. His purpose is to make me more like The Messiah (Rom. 8:29). Now that is some VERY good news as we start a new year!

From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known the Messiah from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 

(2 Cor. 5:17)

“For we are His workmanship created in The Messiah Jesus.” The Greek word translated “workmanship” is poiema, from which we derive our English word “poem.” It means “that which is made, a manufactured product.” In other words, my conversion is not the end; it is the beginning.

For we are His workmanship, His own master work, a work of art, created in the Messiah Jesus reborn from above — spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used for good works, which God prepared for us beforehand taking paths which He set, so that we would walk in them living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us. 

Ephesians 2:10

But how does God work in us?

Through His Holy Spirit, “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). The Messiah finished His work of redemption on the cross, but He arose from the dead and returned to heaven. There He carries on His unfinished work of perfecting His church (Eph. 4:7–16; Heb. 13:20–21).

The Messiah is equipping us for our walk as a disciple and our work here on earth. To do this, He uses three special tools:

  • The Word of God
  • Prayer
  • Suffering

As we read God’s Word, understand it, meditate on it, and feed on it, the Word goes to work in our lives to cleanse us and nourish us. As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release power. And as we suffer, the Spirit of God ministers to us. Suffering drives us back to the Word and prayer, and the cycle is repeated.

Too many disciples think that conversion is the only important experience, and that nothing follows. But this is wrong. We can use the resurrection of Lazarus as an example. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He said, “Loose him, and let him go”. In other words, “This man is now alive. Get him out of the grave clothes!” Paul has this concept in mind in Ephesians 4:22–24 when he writes, “That you put off concerning the former conversation [behavior] the old man, which is corrupt … and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Colossians 3:1 has the same message: “[Since] you then be risen with The Messiah, seek those things which are above.”

The same resurrection power that saved you and took you out of the graveyard of sin can daily help you live for The Messiah and glorify Him. At great expense to Himself, God worked for us on the cross. And today, on the basis of that price paid at Calvary, He is working in us to conform us to The Messiah. God cannot work in us unless He has first worked for us, and we have trusted His Son. Also, He cannot work through us unless He works in us. This is why it is important for you to spend time daily in the Word and prayer, and to yield to The Messiah during times of suffering. For it is through the Word, prayer, and suffering that God works in you.

The Bible shows many examples of this principle. God spent 40 years working in Moses before He could work through him. At the beginning of his ministry, Moses was impetuous and depended on his own strength. He killed an Egyptian and had to flee Egypt, hardly a successful way to start a ministry. But during those 40 years as a humble shepherd in the desert, Moses experienced God’s working in his life, a working that prepared him for forty more years of magnificent service.

There are other examples. Joseph suffered for thirteen years before God put him on the throne of Egypt, second to Pharaoh. David was anointed king when he was a youth, but he did not gain the throne until he had suffered many years as an exile. Even the Apostle Paul spent three years in Arabia after his conversion, no doubt experiencing God’s deeper work to prepare him for his ministry. God has to work in us before He can work through us; and this leads to the fourth work in our passage.

The purpose of the Law was, basically, to bring us to the Messiah. It is essential to start here. Once I understand the purpose of the law, I can move on.

What would I move on to? How about grace? That would be a good start.

Once I am saved and become a follower of Jesus, God desires to glorify Himself through My good works. Jesus is clear on this. Following Jesus means I will do good deeds.

Therefore, good works follow the decision to follow Jesus; they do not precede it.

Conflict between “grace” and the “Law” can arise when someone:

  • Misunderstands the purpose of the Law.
  • Redefines grace as something other than “God’s benevolence on the undeserving”
    • Paul makes this clear (a Pharisee himself). “But if it is by grace God’s unmerited favor, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace it would not be a gift but a reward for works.” (Romans 11:6)
  • Tries to earn his own salvation or “supplement” the Messiah’s sacrifice.
  • Follows the error of the Pharisees in tacking manmade rituals and traditions onto his doctrine.
  • Fails to focus on the “whole counsel of God”.
    • “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan of God.” ~Paul (Acts 20:27).

When the Holy Spirit guides our search of Scripture, we can “study to show ourselves approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15) and discover the beauty of a grace that produces good works.

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About the Christian Training Center

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The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives. Learn more here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships. Learn more here.

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What is mercy? How can we show more of it?

Image result for mercy of jesus

I want mercy in my life. Compassion is a wonderful gift from God. I am challenged by Jesus to replicate it in all of my relationships. I am to be a person of mercy. It will bring me happiness and mercy in my own life. Now that is some very good news.

“Happy (aka Blessed) are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” | Matthew 5:7

Six Beautiful Ways to Understand God’s Grace

Jennifer Heeren provides some great insight on grace. She loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal.

God rains down grace on all mankind. He gave us the beauty and wonders

God rains down grace on all mankind. He gave us the beauty and wonders of nature that we see each and every day. He gives us near misses when accidents are heading our way. He often brings us the right thing just in time. And He also gave us an innate conscience to know right from wrong. All these things are common graces, and everyone born on the earth has the benefit of them because God so loved the world.

Before I believed in the Lord, God wooed me with these kinds of graces: beautiful sunrises and sunsets, relaxing moments surrounded by God’s glorious creation in nature, fun, laughter, and camaraderie with friends. He also lured me with thoughts that there is something more in life, something beyond the simple notion that life is good.

Just being born on this planet includes many benefits. Oh, but when I became a believer in Christ, I got even more graceful benefits! In fact, believers are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm because we are united with Christ.

Read more here:

Six Beautiful Ways to Understand God’s Grace – Topical Studies



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

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Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

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