Friday 29 June 2012

Prayer and blessing

Here is a blessing and prayer for you today - it is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:13-22

"Go forth into the world in peace;
be of good courage;
hold fast that which is good;
render to no one evil for evil;
strengthen the fainthearted;
support the weak;
help the afflicted;
honour everyone;
love and serve the Lord,
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen."

Living in Grace

Thursday 28 June 2012

Beautiful Country

We spent a few days in Cape Town over the weekend, leading a workshop and preaching at Bergvleit Methodist Church. It was really fantastic to link up with other believers, worship with them and enjoy their fellowship. Besides this gift, I was also struck by the immense beauty of our Country. We arrived in Cape Town in the rain and left in the 'pouring' rain, but we still got incredible glimpses of the mountain, beaches, winelands, buildings, people and culture.

God has indeed blessed us with a unique and vibrant country - it's a pity we often forget how fortunate we are.

Action: Why not thank God for 3 blessings in your life today.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Christ's example

Christ appeared not as a philosopher or wordy doctor, or noisy disputer, or even as a wise and learned scribe, but he talked with people in complete simplicity, showing them the way of the truth in the way he lived, his goodness and his miracles - Angela of Foligno (1248 - 1309)

For those of us living in the 21st century we would assume that the lives of the people in the 13th century would have been less hectic. No cell phones, internet, TV, cars, airplanes, diaries - all simple and uncomplicated. Yet, when Angela of Foligno wrote these words it seems that people were still not seeing the simplicity of Jesus in their everyday lives. They were still missing the truth of His Greatness.

Do you sometimes feel that you are missing out on the miracles of Jesus? What stops us from seeing His truth?

Living in Grace

This God is our God

For this God is our God
for ever and ever;
he will be our guide
even to the end - Psalm 48:14

God is not some impersonal force, hovering in the heavens somewhere. As David says, 'this God is OUR God!' Jesus is our personal friend and Saviour.

Now that is something worth smiling about.

Living in Grace

Thursday 21 June 2012

Grow in Grace

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter 3:18

Christianity is always dynamic - we are either growing or whithering. In this verse Peter urges us to 'grow in grace' - not just any grace, but the Grace of Jesus. This means that we should be growing up (maturing) as Christ followers.

So how are we doing? Growing in grace or not?

"He became what we are that he might make us what he is." - St Athanasius

Living in Grace

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Be Christ where you are

"If a person cannot be a Christian in the place where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere." - Henry Ward Beecher

Think about where you are right now. Your work environment, your home, your school or university. Is it easy to be a Christ follower there? Why or why not?

Perhaps this verse may help you today:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." - Colossians 3:23

Living in Grace

Monday 18 June 2012

Coldest before dawn

In these winter months one notices the chill factor more often. There is a saying that says, "it is coldest just before dawn." Whether this is hundred percent true I am not sure, but in a spiritual sense this can be so True. We often face trials and difficulties that make us feel like we are in the 'chill' of winter - almost as if things couldn't get any worse. But, this is when we must remember that the sun is about to rise. The Sunrise brings hope and new life.

With God there is always a sunrise, no matter how cold things may get.

Living in Grace

Sunday 17 June 2012

Has your power come to an end?

Too often we are tempted to do things on our own. We think that we know best and so we strive to get our way. However, God will not share his glory with anyone else and so God waits for us to come to the end of our ourselves before he steps in.

"Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends." - George Muller.

May God bless you this week.

Living in Grace

Thursday 14 June 2012

Sound Advice

 Isaiah had some sound advice for the people of Israel. I personally think we could all do with a dose of this:

"Be careful,
Keep calm,
Don't be afraid.
Don't lose heart..." - Isaiah 6:4

There are 4 bits of advice to follow in this verse. Why don't you try them for today?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 13 June 2012

God Whistles

Just like a shepherd whistles to call his sheep or so that his sheep know where he is, so God whistles for us. God wants us to know the reassuring sound of his whistle.

Can you hear Him whistle today?

"He whistles for those at the ends of the earth." - Isaiah 5:26

Stop for a moment and listen for the sound of God calling us...

Living in Grace

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Public Holidays

As a country there are 75% (approxiamtely) of us who claim to be Christians and one would think that we would have a greater voice in what happens around us. In truth, we don't! Either we feel we have no voice, or we are apathetic, or we don't have the courage to speak out for our Faith.

Our government is now looking at the number of Public Holidays we have as a country, with special attention on the Christian Holidays - apparently we are not being fair to all religious groups with regards to the holidays. But, have you counted how many of our 12 Public holidays are Christian Holy-Days?
The answer is 2. That's right, 2 of the 12 Holidays are "Christian" and now people are wanting to mess with Christmas and Good Friday.

Friends, you are welcome to respond in your own way, but I feel that we need to find our voice. Of course, we don't need anyone's permission to celebrate the birth/death of Jesus, but surely Christians should express our concerns.

What are your thoughts on this?
I'd love to know.

Living in Grace

Monday 11 June 2012

Right side up

"The men who followed Jesus were unique in their generation.
They turned the world uspide down because their hearts had been 
turned right side up." - Billy Graham

Take a moment today to reflect on how your heart is lying - is it lying right side up?

1 Samuel 12:20 - "...but make sure now that you worship the LORD with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him."

Live in God's grace

Sunday 10 June 2012

Psalm 46

It happens sometimes that a passage from Scripture comes up a few times in the space of a few days. It has happened again for me this week and it has been from Psalm 46. This is an epic Psalm and well worth reading the whole thing, but here a few verses that may be meaningful for you.

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble. (verse 1)

Be still, and know that I am God (v.10)

The Lord Almighty is with us (v.11)

God bless you this week.

Living in Grace

Thursday 7 June 2012

Through thick and thin

We often hear the saying, 'Through thick and thin', but do we know where the phrase originates from? Apparently it comes from a time when people in England walked everywhere and their journey would take them through woodlands that were 'thick' with trees and also with a small amount of trees (thin). 

I think this a marvellous image of how God journey's with us. God will be with us when we go through the 'thick' forests and the journey is difficult, but he is also with us when the road is easy. God is with us through 'Thick and thin!'

“Through perils both of wind and limb, Through thick and thin she followed him.” - Samuel Butler

God will be with you today...
Through Thick,
And Thin. 

Living in Grace

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Inspiration for today

I have been busy marking my students exam papers the past few days. I teach on the early Church and this includes the impact of some of the great Church leaders. Tertullian is one of these complex people. He was never afraid to defend the faith and speak his mind. We could learn a lot from his wisdom.

"Nothing that is God's is obtainable by money."

"Two kinds of blindness are easily combined so that those who do not see really appear to see what is not."

 "He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies. "

Hope is patience with the lamp lit. " 
May the God of hope be with you today and may He light the lamp of your spirit.
Living in Grace

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Finding love in a hopeless place

Now for some theology from one of Rihanna's latest songs...

"We found love in a hopeless place."

I am not sure she realises how close she is to the Gospel story. Almost all of the people that went in search of Jesus were feeling hopeless, helpless and desperate. They wanted something and in the end they found Someone - Jesus....who is "Love" personified.

I know that when I encountered Jesus and made my first public commitment to follow Him, I was in a place of hopelessness. I found LOVE in that place and Jesus has never left me.

May you find Jesus in the midst of your 'hopelessness'.

Living in Grace

Monday 4 June 2012

All Bow

The Queen's Jubilee looks quite festive and I think it is good to celebrate the 60 years of her reign. However, as one looks at the images beaming all around the globe, I can't help comparing this celebration with the Return of our King. When Christ returns, the whole world will stop and notice Him.

Philippians 2:10 - "...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth..."

Psalm 95:6 - "Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker..."

May we remember that our celebrations for earthly kings and queens are only preparation for the real celebration to come...

Live in God's Grace

Sunday 3 June 2012

1000 Thank You's

I thank you for taking the time each day to spend a few minutes reading my ramblings. This is my 1000th post and I thank you for the continual encouragement and emails. You make a huge impact on my commitment to write these devotions and thoughts. So thanks again.

I have been mulling over what to include in this post and I think it is no coincidence that I preached on Trusting Jesus today. If I could leave you with a simple thought, that I believe sums up 'Living in grace', it would be this - 

Trust in Gods grace to sustain you. Our lives are secure in the presence of Jesus - we just need to trust Him with more of our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart     and lean not on your own understanding;
  in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

If you haven't yet reply to my request, please send me an email/reply with one of the Posts that has meant something to you. I would love to hear your feedback. Thanks to those who have done so already.
May God's grace overwhelm you today, as you trust in His love.

Living in Grace 

Saturday 2 June 2012


Nine is not a common Biblical number, but for this 999th post I needed to find something interesting from the Scriptures to reflect on. We remember how Jesus left the 99 sheep to save the one that was lost (Luke 15:4) - that, in itself, was remarkable and sends a strong message to all of us - God cares for the lost.

However, in the end I must stick with Mark's account of the Crucifixion.

"It was nine in the morning when they crucified him." - Mark 15:25

For me, I will remember 9 for this reason. Every morning we get to experience 9am, but do stop for a second to consider that Christ's crucifixion means we can live in Godly freedom every day of our lives?

May God bless you today. Please remember to reply to this post with the one blog post that has meant something to you - thanks.

Living in Grace