Dr. Cassandra Montgomery of Gwynn Oak, MD is a Certified Pastoral Member of the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling and has been an International Representative since 2000.
What a pleasure to be able to give the Body of Christ encouragement from thus saith the Lord. SACC has been a blessing to the body of Christ. I have seen so many people get healed and delivered because of the APS and Creation Therapy. With Creation Therapy, it is such a joy to see so many people learn more about themselves and how God made them. Using the APS is a great tool. Being a Pastoral counselor, this tool help and save so many lives over the years. I see so many lives changing in our school.
I have been affiliated with National Christian Counselor’s Association (NCCA) and the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling (SACC) since 2000. I am currently the President of a newly opened school called Divine Bread of Life International, Inc. In March 2020, Divine Bread of Life International, Inc. (DBLI) partnered with Northwind Institute/Seminary under the auspices of President Rev. Dr. Robert J. Duncan, Jr., Ph.D. I recently became a Guest Lecturer of Northwind Institute/Seminary. Also, I am a recent graduate of AACC Mental Health program in Foundations of Mental Health Coaching, Mental Health Coaching Skills and Mental & Behavioral Health Disorders.
I am now a partnered with Fruitful Living Christian Center under the leadership of Bishop-elect Lester Lee, D.Min. as the Executive Pastor. This is also the headquarters for DBLI.
What the Lord Jesus Christ gave me to encourage the people is Grace.
What is Grace?
Understanding God’s Grace
As His free gift to us, Grace gives us access to God’s power for everything we need in life. But amid the current day distortions of Grace, it is crucial that we get a true revelation of this undeserved favor of God.
Without the Grace of God, we could never have access to the mercy of God.
Grace comes before Mercy. Yet here is the thing: people often confuse grace with mercy. Although many people find grace complicated but in reality it is simple to understand. Let us take a look at what the Apostle Peter has to say about it. He writes, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord according to His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (I Peter 1:2-3).
I want you to consider that statement again: Grace is the favor of God that gives us access to the power of God for everything we need for life and godliness. This is not a complicated. The reason many Christians find it difficult to understand grace is that they confuse it with mercy. Grace is the undeserved, unearned favor of God that gives us access to the power of God for everything we need for life and godliness. Mercy is when we sinned and deserve judgment, yet because of the Blood of Jesus we do not receive the punishment we should. Grace gives us favor to access the power of God; mercy release us from the judgment of God. Grace is favor and that favor gives us access. It gives us the legal right to access the power of God for everything we need. None of us deserves access to God and His power (Romans 3:10, 23). Because of sin we all deserve an everlasting hell, yet God has given us access to all He is and all He has. Mercy is when we are released from the judgment we deserve. God has shown us mercy by not making us pay the penalty for our sin. As long as we remain in Christ, that mercy keeps us from the judgment we truly deserve. We all need His mercy, and that mercy will endure forever, yet we are not saved by mercy, we are saved by grace. Without the grace, the favor of God, we could never have access to the mercy of God.
God favored us while we were yet sinners. This is very important for you to understand. God first released His grace before He was able to extend to us His mercy. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, that while we were still His enemies, He sent Jesus to die for us so that we might have access to Him. With that access, we now can receive mercy for all our sins. It is this access that comes to us undeserved and unearned. It is this access that has allowed us to be forgiven, cleansed and made a new creation. If God had not given us favor to access His power, we could never be free. We would be bound for all eternity to death but while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We did not deserve the favor of God. We deserved hell but God so loved us, He placed such value on us. Satan’s goal in the Garden of Eden was to cause sin to enter the world so that mankind would no longer have access to the eternal power of God for everything we would need for life and godliness. He knew that if man sinned, we could no longer eat from the tree of life-the tree of total provision and continual supply. The grace of God gives back to us the access to God’s power for everything we need.
Everything comes through Grace
We are saved through grace. Acts 15:11
We believed through grace. Acts 18:27
We receive our inheritance by grace. Acts 20:32
We obey by grace. Romans 1:5
We stand by grace. Romans 5:2
We receive spiritual gifts by grace. Romans 12:6
God have given to us all things by grace. II Peter 1:2-3
God has given you and me access to His very presence and power. Grace is not a doctrine or a religion. It is a person, Jesus Christ. Let’s accept His Grace given to us.
I would like to give honor and thanks to the Founders Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno, Rev. Steven M. and Erin Baran, Rev. Dr. Robert J. Duncan, Jr., my pastor Bishop-elect Lester Lee, D.Min. and all the SACC and NCCA Staff for the support you have provided.