Monday, 21 October 2019

Our contradictions

The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God's mercy to me.

Image result for Thomas Merton quote on contradiction
"The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God's mercy to me." - Thomas Merton

We can be such a mix of contradictions at times.
We are full of kindness one moment and then suddenly we struggle to cope with our selfishness. Our patience levels seem to have improved and then we lose our cool in a fleeting moment. One day we feel so close to God and the next it seems a massive struggle just to read your Bible.

Perhaps Paul summed up our contradictions well when he said: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." - Romans 7:15

Thomas Merton is onto something when he suggests that God's mercy is revealed to us through our contradictions. God could grow weary and impatient with us, but he chooses not to. God understands our struggle with sin and offers us redemption through Jesus Christ.

What 'contradictions' do you battle with at the moment?

Living in Grace


Sunday, 20 October 2019

An extra hour?

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If you have ever found yourself worrying about something then today's post is for you. 
It is so hard not to worry about things - even when we deal with one issue, then inevitably another one crops up. 

Jesus had some solid advice for us and for his followers:

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" - Matthew 6:27
So there it is! 
Jesus is telling us that worry is not going to change anything. It won't even add 60 minutes to our lives. So, what do we do then? If we shouldn't worry, how do we deal with the situations that cause us sleepless nights? 

Jesus tells his followers that most of the things we worry about concern things in this world - things that are temporary - so he instructs his disciples to focus on Kingdom matters. By re-aligning our mind on things of God, we slowly start to get a better balance and a divine perspective.

I know that this is much easier than it sounds, but why don't we give this a try today. 
Seek first the Kingdom of God and then all these other things will be added to us.

Living in Grace

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Marked by love

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"Just then a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and from deep in the cloud, a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to him.” - Mark 9:7 (Message)

When God proudly spoke of Jesus as his son, he used the phrase 'marked by my love', which speaks of identity and influence. Everything about Jesus came from the Father and Jesus bore the marks of his heavenly parent.

The challenging question for us is this: "In what way are we revealing the marks of Christ in our lives?"
Can people see Jesus in us?
Can they see how God has changed our lives?

What does being 'marked by love' mean for you today?

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The final No

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"After the final No there comes a Yes,
And on that YES
the future of the world depends." - Wallace Stevens

This little poem is wonderfully intriguing. It is worth reading a few times before one comes to understand what he is getting at. It may be helpful to read this in conjunction with the following words from Revelation.

Revelation 14:13 - Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.”

Revelation 22:20 -  He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Death will be the final No for each one of us, but after this No there will come a great YES. Our eternal future depends on the YES of Christ.

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 15 October 2019


Image result for Jia Jang quotes
“Rejection is just an opinion, remember? It reflects them more than me, right?”- Jia Jang

In his outrageous experiment called "100 days of Rejection", Jia Jang set out to conqueror his fear of rejection by doing a hundred "off the wall" things to face rejection from others. What he learnt was that people are actually a lot kinder than we think and that rejection is not as bad as we imagine it to be.

His quote (above) is interesting as it reminds us that 'rejection' can be more about the other person's tastes and opinion than our identity. It doesn't need to define us.

And of course, looking at the life of Jesus we see that he was also rejected many times over, but his purpose still prevailed. It is God's opinion of us that truly matters!

Psalm 118:22 - The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone

Luke 9:22 - And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Living in Grace

Monday, 14 October 2019

Good reminder

Image result for God's strength, Psalm 59
As the year races towards the end we can be overwhelmed with everything that has to happen and is currently on the go. My devotional reading today comes from Psalm 59 (in Our Daily Bread) and it was a timeous reminder of God's STRENGTH and how we can put our lives into God's strong hands.

"But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely." - Psalm 59:16-17

Lord, may you be my strength today. I rest in your greatness and not in my weakness. Amen."

Living in Grace

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Which measure?

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When Jesus was teaching on the Mountain overlooking the Sea of Galilee he said these words:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Matthew 7:1

The part about the 'measure' always seem to allude me until I understood that certain Rabbi's spoke of two different 'measures' for judgement. The first one was the measure of Justice, while the second one was the measure of Mercy.

If we keep judging people with the measure of Justice, then that is the one God will use on us, but if we use Mercy, then that is the one God will use on us. That seems to make a lot of sense. The trick is now trying to make sure that we use the right measure when we look at other people.

Which measure do you usually revert too?

Living in Grace