Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Don't be impressed ...

"Don't be impressed with charisma; look for character..." - Matthew 7:16 (Message)

Jesus' message is simple and clear. Charisma can lead us down a slippery path, where we are more impressed with the 'outside' than what lies in the heart. The true character of a person will eventually rise to the surface - just wait and see.

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." - Abraham Lincoln
Read more at:

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Read more at:

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Read more at: is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Read more at:
Living in Grace

Monday, 28 August 2017

The one thing I want from God

If you could ask one thing from God, what would you ask for?
King David asks for something unusual ( in some aspects), but his request reminds me of the important things in life.
"The one thing I want from God, the thing I seek most of all, is the privilege of meditating in his Temple, living in his presence every day of my life, delighting in his incomparable perfections and glory. There I’ll be when troubles come. He will hide me. He will set me on a high rock out of reach of all my enemies. Then I will bring him sacrifices and sing his praises with much joy." - Psalm 27:4-6

So, after having read this, what would you NOW ask for?

Living in Grace

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Trust in the Lord

We were reminded of this wonderful passage tonight and I think it is well worth sharing again:

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
    Answer us when we call!" - Psalm 20

May God prove Trustworthy for you today and always.

Living in Grace

Friday, 25 August 2017

When I don't act...

I have found this verse to be a little troubling at times: "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." (James 4:17)

Wow, do you see what I mean?
James is saying that if I KNOW what good I need to do, and I don't DO IT, then I am a sinner. 
So, it is not just when I make mistakes that I sin, but also when I fail to do good. This is indeed challenging for us because we all consider ourselves 'good' people and we try to follow God's commands. However, if we fail to act when the Spirit prompts us, then we are also guilty of sin. 

Edmund Burke - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."

"In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil." (Message)

Whew, that is enough of a challenge for me today. What are your thinking today?

Living in Grace

Thursday, 24 August 2017

God on the sidelines?

"God, don’t just watch from the sidelines.
    Come on! Run to my side!
My accusers—make them lose face.
    Those out to get me—make them look
Like idiots, while I stretch out, reaching for you,
    and daily add praise to praise." - Psalm 71:12-14 (Message)

Sometimes we feel that God is an uninterested by-stander in our daily lives - that God could intervene, but doesn't actually get involved in things. Is that how you feel at times? 

David seems to believe otherwise, that is why he asks God to run to his side. He holds onto the belief that God will come to his rescue and help him out of  his trouble. 

Daniel 6:16 -  “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

I have yet to figure out how and why God acts in our daily lives, but I do believe that GOD DOES CARE and that He will not watch from the sidelines when we are in distress.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The "Otherness" of God

Reflecting on a verse from Psalm 86, I realised how different God is from us. Well, perhaps I should be more honest and say, "how different I am from Jesus." It brought to mind the term 'otherness' - God is like no other Being in heaven or on earth. Everything about God is different.

To illustrate what I mean, take a read of the verse I am referring to:

"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." - Psalm 86:15 (NIV)

Where I lack compassion, God is always FULL of compassion.
Where I lack grace, Jesus is gracious.
When I get impatient and easily angered, God is slow to get angry.
Where my love is weak, God's love is abounding.
When I give up too easily, Jesus is always Faithful.

Boy, I am grateful for the 'Otherness' of God today.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Keep, Stay, Trust

"You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because they trust in you." - Isaiah 26:3

As I read this verse, three words stand out for me.

They all speak of some kind of action - a deliberate movement towards being in the presence of God. We should always seek to 'STAY' our mind on Christ, so that we can 'TRUST' in God's love and mercy. The result of these two things working together is being KEPT in the perfect peace of Jesus. Jesus' response is also an action - to securely enfold us with his care.

What thoughts come to your mind when you read this verse?

"People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
    because in the Lord God you have a sure thing." - from the Message version of Isaiah 26

Living in Grace

Monday, 21 August 2017

The way of Peace

I am deeply challenged by the following quote today:

"We who were formerly no people at all, and who knew of no peace, are now called to be...a church...of peace. True Christians do not know vengeance. They are the children of peace. Their hearts overflow with peace. Their mouths speak peace, and they walk in the way of peace." - Menno Simons 

Sadly, we don't see this playing out in the church all the time, but it is a stark reminder of how we should live ..... at Peace with one another and with the world around us.

Isaiah 59:8 -  The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

May you be at Peace today:
with your friends and family,
with your community,
with yourself,
and with the Lord.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Let me do what I can

I often feel helpless when I see what is happening in the world around me. I long for justice to be seen and for leaders to be true servants. I long for people to get along with one another and for Hope to be revealed in my country. Most of these things are beyond my control, as an individual, but I need to realise that I am not entirely powerless! I can do something to make this world a little better.

I can treat you with respect.
I can look you in the eye and say "I see you!"
I can treat others with dignity.
I can listen to your story.
I can offer you hope, just as you can encourage me.
I can share the love of Christ with my neighbour.
I can speak well of you.
I can give you a second chance, just like I would love to be given another chance.
I can smile.

These small things may not bring down corrupt politicians and self-gratifying presidents, but they can impact my family, my church, my community, my city, my nation. And so I will resolve to do what I CAN, instead of lamenting those things that I can't change.

Luke 24:46-49 - He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.” (Message)

"Do what you can,
With what you have,
Where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

Living in Grace

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The mighty will fall

If there is anything we can learn from History it is this: "The mighty will fall!"
Ordinary people often despair when they see politicians, leaders and government officials getting away with "murder", but we need to hold onto the fact that they will also fall!
Perhaps Justice takes a little longer than we would like, but in the end, I believe that God will bring  EVERYONE to account. It may be a naive way of thinking of it, but it keeps me sane, when I see the mess the world is in.

Read these words from 1 Samuel 1 and see what Hannah had to say:

The bow of the mighty is now broken,
    and those who stumbled are now strong.

Those who were well fed are now starving,
    and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
    and the woman with many children wastes away.

The Lord gives both death and life;
    he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.
The Lord makes some poor and others rich;
    he brings some down and lifts others up.

Unknown - "The mighty will fall. The strong will break. The courageous will cower.The proud will die."

2 Samuel 1:27 - "How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!"

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Get Energized

"God energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind." - Isaiah 40:29-31 (Message)

God will give you the strength you need for today. Plug into the Power of the Spirit. 

"He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint." - New International Version

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Inspiration or Desperation

"We usually change ourselves for one of two reasons, inspiration or desperation." - Jim Rohn

So which one of these applies to your life? Do you only begin to change things when circumstances are so desperate (that there is no other choice) or do you allow Inspiration to bring about change?
I wish I could be admitting that I always rely on Inspiration, but sadly I can easily avoid change, so that I end up getting to a place of desperation before I make changes.
How about you?
Be honest now?

If we look at the lives of people in Jesus day, it seems that many of them waited until things were desperate before they turned to him. It was in their deepest need that Jesus healed them.

"Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need." - Psalm 79:8

"Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me." - Psalm 142:6

Living in Grace

Monday, 14 August 2017

When we rely upon ....?

Who or what are you relying on at the moment? Invariably, we limit what God can do in our lives when we rely on other people/things. I feel that God graciously steps aside and lets us carry on along our own path until we choose to bring our prayers to him.

"When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; 
when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; 
when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do, and so on. 
Nor am I disposed to undervalue any of these things in their proper place, 
but when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do. - A.C. Dixon

Who are you relying on today?

Psalm 59:17 - You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
Living in Grace

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pray from your heart

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart.” - John Bunyan

It is far better to come to prayer with no words and a heart ready to be with God, than to come with eloquent words and no desire to be in the presence of God. I think God would much prefer to "listen" to our hearts cry and be bored by our fancy words and perfect grammar.

What do you think?

Action: Pour out your heart to Jesus today. Don't worry about what it sounds like.
Living in Grace