Wednesday 31 August 2016

The Gift

As soon as we hear the word 'Gift' we immediately think of some material object. Ask a child to write a wishlist for their birthday presents and all of the items on the list will be physical things - toys, games, books, cards, sports goodies etc. Yet, when the Israelites sang their praises to the Lord, they made a point of thanking God for a different kind of gift - it was called the "joy of your presence."

Psalm 21:6 - "You have endowed him with eternal blessings and GIVEN him the joy of your presence."

You made have heard this before, but I believe it is worth repeating. The greatest gift God has given to us is GODSELF. We share in the joy of God's presence on a daily basis. How great is that?!

Prayer thought: Spend a minute thanking God for the 'joy of presence' and picture God going with you throughout your daily tasks.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 30 August 2016

God will not reject ...

Many people have this notion of God as someone who is mean and nasty or as a Divine Overlord. I have to confess that there was a time in my faith where I wondered if God was playing games with my soul, but I have thankfully come to understand that God is not like that. In his song of confession, David makes an powerful statement of God's gracious nature, when he writes:

"The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit, 
You will NOT REJECT a broken and repentant heart, O God." - Psalm 51:17

In other words - David sees God as someone who is compassionate and willing to embrace us, especially when we show remorse for our sins. If we come to the Lord, acknowledging our need of forgiveness and mercy, then God will display grace and love to us.

Don't be afraid to come into the presence of Jesus today. God knows your heart and he will welcome you back into his arms.

Living in Grace

Monday 29 August 2016

Glorious Nature

This last weekend we had the privilege of visiting a Wild Cat rehab centre in Hluhluwe. One of the highlights for the people on the Men's Retreat, was being able to get close to adult Cheetahs and also to stroke two of the cubs. We also got close to a Caracal, Several and African Wildcat - all beautiful in their own ways.

It brought home to us the incredible beauty of God's creation and allowed many of us to praise God for his Glory. These awesome animals (Cheetah) are built for speed, with the fastest recorded speed being 112 km/h - wow, that is incredible. Even the tail of the Cheetah is designed as a steering rudder and is able to help them changed direction at high speeds. God is so brilliant!

Psalm 104:24 - How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
As you go about your business today, try and take note of the beauty of God's creation.
Living in Grace

Saturday 27 August 2016

Sharp, Sharp

I have the privilege of being able to share at a Men’s Weekend on the North Coast, over this weekend. I have found that it is so vital for us to take time out to encourage one another and to hone our faith-skills. We live in a time where many things ‘blunt’ our desire to serve Christ and to lead effectively. We need to be consciously making time to sharpen our faith.

It reminds me of the following words from Solomon:

Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 - Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.

Who can you go to in order to have your Spiritual life sharpened?

Living in Grace

Friday 26 August 2016

Don't Quit

"Most people who quit don't give up at the bottom of the mountain; they stop halfway up it." - John Maxwell

Don't quit now! You are already halfway up the mountain - just think of the view you will have from the top. All the sweat, pain and sacrifice will be worth it.

So, if you are reading this post today, thinking about giving up, then I urge you to reconsider. If God has called you to this task (this mountain), then please keep climbing. Christ will be your guide.

1 Timothy 6:11 - But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Living in Grace

Thursday 25 August 2016

Reflection - Soren Kierkegaard

"When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me and about me." - Soren Kierkegaard

When we spend time digging in God's Word we notice something very profound. All of the events recorded in the Bible took place thousands of years before any of us were born, yet we can still hear the Word speaking to us. Books like the Psalms, Proverbs and even Ecclesiastes will never grow old - their message is timeless and they speak into our lives, even in 2016.

However, there is also something else that is profound - God's Word speaks about me. It reminds me that I am a sinner in need of Grace. It tells me that I am the beloved child of God. It reassures me that God is with me all the time.

Romans 10:11 - "As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

So, I completely agree with Kierkegaard - God uses the Bible to speak to me, as well as speak about me.

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Push the boundaries

Orville Wright was born in August 1871. We remember that along with his brother Wilbur, Orville was an aviation pioneer. Without their passion for flight, we may have had to wait decades before the first plane was invented. One of the things that strikes me about people like Orville Wright is his willingness to go beyond his limits. He was willing to push the boundaries, in a good way.

"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." - Orville Wright

Joshua and Caleb were similar kinds of people to the Wright brothers. When they went into the Promised Land (Numbers 14), they returned to the Israelites, saying: "We can do this!" The other 10 spies were not so eager, but Joshua and Caleb believed that God would guide them into the new territory. When we know that God is by our side we can be brave and courageous.

So, here is a question for you - what is stopping you from pushing the boundaries for the Lord?

I have two words for you:Be brave!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Write it in stone!

Charles Spurgeon reflected on life and death by saying the following:

"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you, and were helped by you, will remember you. So carve your name on hearts, and not on marble."

One day we will all have a marble tombstone of some sorts, but the bigger challenge is whether we are carving our names onto the hearts of others.

“This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiselled in stone; this time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people. They won’t go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They’ll all get to know me first-hand, the little and the big, the small and the great. They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.” – Hebrews 8: 6-13 (Message)

Start chiselling. 

Living in Grace

Sunday 21 August 2016

Divided we fall

There is an old saying that reminds us of this one important truth - "United we stand, but Divided, we fall!" This saying is used in sports teams, battles between nations, church leadership meetings and even in friendships. However, perhaps the place it plays out the strongest is in FAMILIES. If a family is united together, then they can withstand most onslaughts, but if they allow division to cause strife, then the family bond is in danger.

It was Jesus who used these words to his followers in Luke 11.

Luke 11:17-18 - He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.

Are you allowing divisions to get among your team/family at the moment? 
What are you doing to sort it out?

Living in Grace

Saturday 20 August 2016

Ordination - 10 years on

I was reminded today of our Ordination service, which took place on this day in 2006. In our Church system (at the time) we were Ordained 5 years after beginning our training, although I had already served for 5 years as a Youth Pastor in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

For Kim and I, our ministerial training involved serving in the Church Street Methodist Community in Somerset West (2002), while studying part-time in Plumstead. Then we moved to Pretoria for a year of Academic studies, where I finished my outstanding academic work (2003). From the city of Jacaranda's we were sent to the Umvoti circuit, where we served in the town of Dalton for 3 years. After our Ordination we moved to Pietermaritzburg, where we have been serving at Wesley Methodist (Hayfields) for 10 years.

As I reflect on nearly 20 years of combined ministry, I am grateful for all that God has done for us and for how he has led us. I am grateful for the support of my entire family and my friends - without their encouragement I am not sure I would be where I am today. All in all, I am most grateful for the presence of Christ with me, where-ever I go.

My challenge for us all today is this: "Don't be afraid to say YES to the call of Jesus. We don't know where it will lead us, but it will certainly be a huge adventure."

1 Peter 2:21 - To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
Living in Grace

Thursday 18 August 2016

Let me ask you something?

If you are reading this post, then let me begin by saying THANK YOU. There are a lot of other blogs or devotions you could be reading, so I am humbled that you take a few minutes to read 'Living in Grace' when you do. But, I would like to ask you something?

How can I improve on these posts?
Is there something else that you would like me to include, that you feel is missing at the moment?

I would obviously love you all to keep reading these posts indefinitely, but I would like you to be drawn to them on a daily basis - so, if you have a suggestion, please reply to this post or email me ( - I am LISTENING :)
"I love doing what I do. I love asking questions. I love being in the mix." -  Larry King

"When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die." - Lillian Smith

Read more at:
Living in Grace


Wednesday 17 August 2016

To walk with God

"To walk with God you must walk in the direction in which God goes." - Anon

Are you walking in God's direction or have you turned around and gone your own way? In my experience it is best to follow God's plan for your life and not your own.

Micah 6:8 - "...the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Genesis 5:23 - "Enoch walked in close fellowship with God."

Living in Grace

Monday 15 August 2016

Getting up again is so vital

All this Olympic hype is making me want to get my old spikes out and to run around the track again - although I am not sure I would make it around the track in one piece at this stage :)

Of course there have been so many great achievements over the course of the Games, but the one I want to mention is Mo Farah winning the gold in the 10 000 meter final. What makes his victory even more remarkable is that he was tripped in the early stages of the race and he had to make up a lot of ground. One would have understood if he had given up, but that thought never crossed his mind - all he thought of was getting back onto the track and catching the other guys. In the end, his tenacity and perseverance won him another gold medal.

So, the next time you believe your race is "done" or you feel that you have been "tripped" up, please realise that the race is not over yet. We need to keep on running. God is with you every step of the way.

If Jesus had given up at the first hurdle then where would that have left us?

Hang in there and let God help you finish the race.

Revelatio 3:10 -  “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.

Living in Grace

Sunday 14 August 2016

Unique blessing

“Jesus Christ is the head of the home
The silent listener to every conversation,
The unseen guest at every meal.”

This well known blessing has been present in many homes over the years. It speaks of a number of important things in our faith experience. The first is that it acknowledges Christ as the leader of our lives and of our homes. Secondly, the blessing reminds us that Christ hears all of our conversations, even those that we wish he couldn't hear. Lastly, it implies that Jesus is present with us where ever we go - when we eat, when we sleep and when we work.

I invite you to pray this blessing today and to live as if it is true.

Living in Grace