Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A fine balance

"No one has ever fallen so grievously that he may not rise again. Conversely, no one stands so firmly that he may not fall. If Peter (and Paul and Barnabas) fell, I too may fall. If they rose again, I too may rise again."  - Martin Luther. 

This quote from Martin Luther offers us 2 important insights:
1. Even if we fail, we can get up again and carry on. As I was saying in yesterday's post, no failure needs to be final!

2. We should always remain HUMBLE, because we all can make a mistake. It only takes a second to fall off the tight rope - it only takes a second to let Jesus down and to regret that for a long time.

I am very thankful for the examples of people in the Bible who have fallen, but who have then risen again and proved to be Godly men and women. 

May God help us to walk through life finely balanced!

Psalm 40:2 - "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

Living in Grace

Monday, 20 February 2017

Refine or Define?

"Let your failures refine you, not define you." - Max Lucado

I have learnt so much from my failures and mistakes. They have taught me a lot about life, people and myself. I think this quote from Max Lucado is a wonderful insight into how, with God's help, we can allow our failures to 'refine' us.

Isaiah 48:10 - "Do you see what I’ve done? I’ve refined you, but not without fire. I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction. Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do."

God knows that we are not perfect, but as a loving parent, he believes the best of us. God wants us to become more and more like Jesus and so this takes REFINING. Let us not resist the refining of God's Spirit.

What things is God refining in your life at the moment?

Living in Grace

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sail On

"The journey long, the time soon gone:
Sail on, Sail on.
The sea is deep, your promise keep:
Sail on, Sail on.
Though ocean wide, no surging tide:
Sail on, sail on.
Home, home at last, the storm is past.
Sail on, sail on." - G. Campbell Morgan

Set your sails to the wind of God's spirit and allow him to guide us as we sail through the adventure of Life. God bless you this week.

Living in Grace

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Dove Orchid

I learnt something fascinating today! There is an Orchid from South America, which goes by the name of the Dove Orchid or Holy Spirit Orchid (Peristeria elata). The reason it is called this name is because if you look carefully at the flower it resembles a dove (which in the bible is a symbol of the Spirit). Take a look at the picture attached on today's post - you will see an example of one of these flowers.

It is truly amazing how God reveals himself to us through his creation. As we go about our work and lives today, let us be aware of the signs of the Living God.

Matthew 3:16 - At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

John 1:32 - Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

Living in grace

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Strange Sight

I saw a strange sight this morning. It caught me a little off guard, but it certainly made me think. As I drove down the street I noticed a man digging around in the garbage, which is not really out of the ordinary, but then I saw him stand up and answer his Cellphone. I was a little taken aback and thought - "this guy is digging in the trash for food, but he has a cellphone!" Wow.

Then, it struck me - why shouldn't he have a phone?! It is obviously important for him to have contact with his family/friends, and a phone is not a luxury item anymore. For some people it is a necessity.

I was then also left thinking about God's Love (on this Valentines Day) - God's love is for all people. No matter whether you are rich or poor, God pours out his love on us. We just need to be willing to receive it.

Psalm 86:5 - You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Are you and I willing to accept the LOVE that God offers us?

Living in Grace

Monday, 13 February 2017

Prayer from New Zeland

I came across this prayer from an anonymous Christian in New Zealand. I wish I could thank them for this lovely prayer, but I share this with you, so that you too may be blessed.

"Loving God, open our hearts
so that we may feel the breath and play of your Spirit.
Unclench our hands
so that we may reach out to one another,
and touch and be healed.
Open our lips
that we may drink in the delight and wonder of life.
Open our eyes
so that we may see Christ in friend and stranger.
Breathe your Spirit into us,
and touch our lives with the life of Christ." - Aotearoa (NZ)

For me the image of "unclenching" my hands makes a lot of sense today. So often we close ourselves off the blessings that God has in store for us.

Which part of the prayer speaks to you today?

Living in Grace

Friday, 10 February 2017

The shot of Adrenaline

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he ploughed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! – Hebrews 12:1-3 (Message)

There are times in our spiritual lives when we all need a 'Shot of spiritual adrenaline into our souls!' Wouldn't you agree? It is this adrenaline that can get us inspired again or focused to take on a particular cause.

What kind of Spiritual Adrenaline are you needing today?

Living in Grace

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bless to us

"Bless to us, O God,
The earth beneath our feet.
Bless to us, O God,
The path whereon we go.
Bless to us, O God,
The people whom we meet." - Gaelic traditional prayer

Imagine if we started everyday seeking to bless others and to be open to the blessing that they might offer us?

Romans 15:29 - "I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ."

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

We used to ...

I am going to start our devotion today with a tough question:

How has your life changed since you accepted Christ into your life? 

If we have not changed much, then we need to start asking ourselves some serious questions. I am NOT advocating that we should be perfect, because I am certainly not perfect. However, there should be a mark of change in our lives - people should be able to point out some difference in us.

When we look at the life of the early Christians, it was their witness that drew people to the Faith. Those who persecuted the Christians found them to be remarkable and this is what brought many people to salvation.

"We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies." - Justin Martyr

Notice the change in Justin Martyr? He was different, because of JESUS.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Making me whole

"God did not tell us to follow him because he needed our help;
but because he knew that Loving him would make us whole." - Irenaeus

I had the privilege of teaching my new students on some of the early church Apologists, including Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Irenaeus. I like the above quote from Irenaeus because it reminds me that God is perfect in every way, yet God allows us to be part of His life. God also wants the best for me and so when I love God, this act of love makes me more complete.

1 John 4:10 - This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Living in Grace

Monday, 6 February 2017

How refreshing

"...I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” - Jonah 1:12

It is so refreshing to see Jonah own up to the mistake that he made. How often do we hear people say.... "I am sorry, it was my fault!" - not often enough, I don't think. It is interesting to note that as soon as someone puts their hand up and accepts responsibility for their actions, we can then begin to make things right. 

A lot of energy is wasted in trying to figure out who is at fault for a particular problem. That energy can all be focused on rectifying the mistake, as soon as someone admits their role in the mess up. After all, we all make mistakes - we are just not all keen to own up to the fact!

Next time something goes wrong, let's just say "I am sorry" and then we can move on from there.
What do you think? 

"Love in the real world means saying you're sorry 10 times a day." - Kathie Lee Gifford

Living in Grace

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Send someone else!

There are a number of people in the Bible who were a little overwhelmed by God's calling on their lives. Jonah, Gideon, Moses - they all asked God to send someone else in their place.

"But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send anyone else." — Exodus 4:13

It is good when we realise that we can't do everything in our own strength and that we need God to get us through each situation. However, it is NOT good to ignore the unique calling God has placed on your life. 

One is an act of humility, the other is an act of disobedience!

Living in Grace


Friday, 3 February 2017

Choose the ...

“Choose the way of life.
Choose the way of love.
Choose the way of caring.
Choose the way of hope.
Choose the way of belief in tomorrow.
Choose the way of trusting.
Choose the way of Goodness.
It is up to you.”- Leo Buscaglia

Which one will you choose?

Joshua 24:15 -  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Living in Grace