Thursday, 14 November 2019

Losing heart

Image result for don't lose heart quotes
If you ever feel as if you are losing heart then follows these wonderful words of advice from Paul:

"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." - Hebrews 12:3

He tells us to think about Jesus (consider him) and all that he went through. When we do this we remind ourselves that Christ is for us and that he will be with us. 

Jesus is our overcomer!

"Don't lose heart if it's very difficult at times, everything will come out all right..." - Vincent van Gogh

Living in Grace
D3LM3


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Perseverance

Image result for perseverance quotes
At this time of the year we all need a special dose of Perseverance. It is exam time in our schools; time for budgets in many companies; meetings and planning for next year needs to be finalised; Christmas shopping lists are starting to be drawn up and last minute holiday plans are being made. Perseverance is a huge necessity for most of us.

A definition of Perseverance is "persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success." This can apply to most things that we deal with, but certainly also applies to our faith. We need to ask God to help us persevere when difficulties arise or when we are delayed in achieving our goals.

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
-Newt Gingrich

Hebrews 10:36 -  "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

Keep Going! May God grant you strength for each new day.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

When things don't go as planned

Image result for God's Ways
What do you do when things don't go as planned? Get upset? Feel frustrated? Get angry with someone? Resign yourself to God's bigger perspective?

The other evening we planned an event at our church where we invited a whole lot of people to watch a DVD presentation by Bear Grylls. It was going to be great and there was much excitement. We had tested the DVD in the week before and all was good and so on the night things we going to be perfect - or so we thought.

We struggled for over an hour before the start to try and get the DVD to work - it refused to work at all. Every other presentation on the DVD worked perfectly, except the one we wanted! Can you imagine our frustration?!

In the end we had to apologise to people, explain the predicament and watch the "Plan B" presentation. I was upset and deeply frustrated, but I had to resign myself to the fact that we had done all we could - perhaps God had another plan in mind.

What was rewarding in the end was to have people come up to us and say that they "just needed to hear that specific message." Our Plan B was the message that God needed to use for specific people that night. Go figure! God's ways are not my ways.

So, what do you do when things don't go to plan? Is there perhaps something else that God has in mind for you?

Job 37:5 - God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.
 
Living in Grace
D3LM3

Monday, 11 November 2019

Remember

Image result for Remember
Today (11th November) is always a significant day for many people as we remember people who died in any war, but especially the First and Second World Wars.  It is hard to conceive of the vast number of people who gave their lives to a bigger cause, all for the hope of making the world a better place. I suppose it was the promise of HOPE that motivated many to fight for their countries.

When Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations he told people that it was a good thing to REMEMBER, but also to look for Hope. He said:

"I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope..." (Lamentations 3:19-21 - The Message). 

As you remember all the good and bad in your life, but you continue to 'grip onto Hope.'

Living in Grace
D3LM3
 

Friday, 8 November 2019

Don't Quit

Image result for Don't Quit 
Edgar A. Guest says it best with the words of this powerful poem.  It is worth reading and putting somewhere close so you can read it again sometime in the future.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit...
Rest if you must, but don't you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow...
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out...
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
The following words from Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of the Bible also make a lot of sense. "But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived." - Matthew 10:22-23 (The Message)
Living in Grace
D3LM3
 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Courage of Desperation

Image result for Courage
Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt so desperate that you were willing to try anything to get out of that tough time? I know I have and it is not a nice place to be in.
When Zacchaeus realised that he was missing something in his life, his desperation drove him to do something very undignified - he climbed up into a tree!

This in itself, may not seem strange, but just think of the Chief Revenue Officer (or the head of SARS in South Africa) wading through a packed crowd and suddenly start climbing up a tree. It smacks of desperation and it would definitely get heads turning. Ironically it was probably this act of desperation that placed Zacchaeus fully in Jesus's line of sight. And as Jesus noticed him he was able to speak into his life.

What act of courageous desperation got you to change your life?

If you are struggling at the moment, what courageous act do you need to embark upon in order to meet Jesus again?

"So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way." - Luke 19:4

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Monday, 4 November 2019

Making room for Zacchaeus

Image result for Zacchaeus 
 
I am not sure I would have ever invited Zacchaeus for a family meal in our home. He was the kind of guy everyone loved to hate and many people showed their dislike of him in the way they treated him. However, Jesus saw him in a different light. Jesus had such an amazing gift of seeing the potential in people and looking beyond their sins in order to draw them into the Kingdom.

While most religious people were shaking their heads at Jesus's decision to hang out with sinners, Jesus was busy revealing God's love for Zacchaeus's of this world. When most Pharisees were afraid that the sins of others may rub off on them, Jesus was allowing Grace and Mercy to transform people desperate for God.

There are so many lessons in the story of Zacchaeus, but the one I leave us with is this: "Are we willing to make room for sinners in our midst? Will we make another place available at our table so they can join us?"

"When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” - Luke 19:1-10

Living in Grace
D3LM3