Tuesday 28 February 2017

Who knows?

"Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live." - 2 Samuel 12:22

I think this optimism from David is amazing. He knows that he has over stepped the mark and he has sinned against God, yet he still holds out for God's grace. In the end, God doesn't spare his child, but it doesn't stop David from being an eternal Optimist. 

"Optimists expect to experience God's greatness and love, even when they're facing bleak circumstances." - Bill Hybels

As we begin this season of Lent, can you call yourself a person who is Optimistic, because of GOD'S GRACE!? Has Jesus changed your life so much, that you believe in the Impossible?

Living in Grace

P.S. I first came across this idea in a book entitled "Courageous Leadership" by Bill Hybels

Monday 27 February 2017

Making you fit for .....

We use the words 'to get fit' mostly in connection with physical exercise. But what if they actually implied - "to be ready" (in a spiritual sense?) This is what I make of the following words from the Message:

"His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted." - Ephesians 4

Let us remember that the Spirit of God living and working in us, is helping us become more and more ready for the work that God has for us. We can either work with the Spirit in this process or against the Spirit.

Just remember that even though we may not see results immediately, God is working in and through us. 

Living in Grace

Friday 24 February 2017


Sometimes we all just need a little reassurance that things will be ok. Life may be coming down hard on us and we need to draw some HOPE from the wellspring of Jesus. If you find yourself in that place today, why don't you read the following verse from Psalm 46.

"God is within her, she will not fall:
God will help her at the break of day." (v.5)

This verse speaks into the situation in Israel at the time and the 'her' that David refers to is more than likely Jerusalem. However, what if we personalised this verse and allowed it to read:

"God is within me, I will not fall.
God will help me at the break of day."

Doesn't this sound like Good News for you? Is this not the Reassurance we need today?

Living in Grace

Thursday 23 February 2017

Defining moment

"And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land" - Jonah 2:10

I see this moment as the most defining in Jonah's life. I know that there are a few other moments which could be as influential as this one, but I think this is his watershed. God grants him a second chance and after allowing Jonah time to reflect on his mistakes, God sends him out again.

Can you remember a defining moment in your life? A moment, which changed the course of your life or impact upon your future?

John 18:27 - "Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow." (Peter's defining moment)

Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Is it possible to Forfeit Grace?

Is it possible to forfeit Grace?
The simple answer is 'YES', but let me clarify this:

"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the Grace that could be theirs." - Jonah 2:8

The only time we forfeit the Grace of Jesus is when we refuse to accept the offer of salvation and love from God. It is not that God wants to disqualify us, but rather that we choose to forfeit the mercy of Christ.

What do you think about this?

Matthew 16:26 - What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Living in Grace

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