Saturday, 25 March 2023

Acquaintance or friend?

One of the very first things that occur through this learn­ing process is that acquain­tance­ship with God gives way to friend­ship with God.” - Richard Foster

How would you define the difference between an acquaintance and a friend? Would it be time spent together? Depth of conversation and stories shared? Trust and understanding? Having similar interests? Enjoying each other's company? 

When Jesus invites us to be his friends doesn't this make us different in some way? I can imagine being an acquaintance of God, because God has billions of people desperate to speak to him and know him. However, the idea of being a friend of God is hard to comprehend. It is beautiful, but still hard to grasp.

Richard Foster puts forward the idea that the more we journey with Christ (the path of discipleship), so this relationship transforms from one of casual acquaintance to deep friendship.

I know which one I would rather have - how about you? 

John 15:15 - "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

Living in Grace


Thursday, 23 March 2023

The best tactic

Tactics: a game plan for discussing your Christian convictions ...

"Our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in "muchness" and "manyness," he will rest satisfied."- Richard J. Foster

What do you make of this quote?

How often have these 3 things played a role in drawing us away from a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Christ? 

  • Noise? 
  • Hurry?
  • Crowds?

If the enemy's tactic is to bombard us with these 3 things, would you say he is succeeding or not?

Psalm 23:2 - "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters."

Living in Grace


Wednesday, 22 March 2023

True strength

Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” - Unknown 

What do you consider to be a representation of 'true strength?'

Exodus 15:13 - In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Romans 4:20 - Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.

Prayer focus: May you be strengthened in all that you may face today. 

Living in Grace

Monday, 20 March 2023


"Just as worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it has not been worship." - Richard Foster

There is a big difference in going to church because we feel that we need to 'tick the box', and worshipping with a great expectancy that the Spirit wants to commune with us. Developing an attitude of holy expectancy is the starting point of this transformation - once we arrive for worship with this expectancy, then we are more open for God to speak to us. Obedience is then our sincere response to 'hearing' from the Spirit during our times of worship. 

What are your thoughts on this? What is hard about this? 

"But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." - 1 Samuel 15:22

Living in Grace


Sunday, 19 March 2023

In all trouble we should seek God

"In all trouble you should seek God. You should not set Him over against your troubles, but within them. God can only relieve your troubles if you in your anxiety cling to Him. Trouble should not really be thought of as this thing or that in particular, for our whole life on earth involves trouble; and through the troubles of our earthly pilgrimage we find God." - Saint Augustine

I am challenged by the idea of placing God in the midst of our troubles. It makes sense to me, but honestly it is something I struggle with. I am usually pleading with God to get me out of the troubles I find myself in, but Augustine suggests we invite God into the middle of the mess. What do you feel?

"Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me." - Psalm 23:4 (Complete Jerusalem Bible)

Living in Grace

Thursday, 16 March 2023

10 Ideas to help us move towards simplicity

In reflecting on our need to "detach" from all the things that overwhelm us in todays' world, Richard Foster makes the following suggestions. Admittedly, these are from a number of years ago, but I feel they still strike a chord with me. Have a look at these and see if there is any one of them that could be helpful for you at the moment.

1. Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.

2. Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.

3. Develop a habit of giving things away.

4. Refuse to be swept up by gadgets.

5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.

6. Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation and nature.

7. Keep a sceptical attitude about “buy now pay later” deals.

8. Obey Jesus’ instruction about plain honest speech (Matthew 5:33-38)

9. Reject anything that hurts other people.

10. Shun anything that distracts you or keeps you from seeking the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).

Luke 12: 29-31 - “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need."

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

He will hold me fast

Keith and Kristyn Getty wrote a beautiful song called "He will hold me fast." It really is an inspirational song and fills one with lots of hope. If you would like to listen to the song or forward it unto someone in need, then here is the link. 

The chorus reminds us all of the wonderful promise that Jesus will hold us fast, no matter what is happening around us. He is our strength and our anchor.

"He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast,
For my Saviour loves me so,
He will hold me fast."

1 Thessalonians 5:21 - Hold on to what is good.

Isaiah 41:10 - Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Trust in the Lord

The words in the following Proverb are so simple, yet so hard to live out. However, if we manage to truly honour these words, then I believe that we will begin to see God's hand at work in our lives.  

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." - Proverbs 3:5-6

Question: Has there ever been a time when you have felt that your 'way' was the best way forward, but it hasn't worked out according to your plan? How did the situation end up and did God show you which path to take in the end?

John 12:44 - Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me.

Living in Grace


Monday, 13 March 2023

There is a remedy, but we don't think we need it

Life is busy! Actually, a better way to describe it is this: Life is relentless. 

We never seem to get a break or catch our breath. We are rushing from one thing to the next, giving ourselves little time to even process our emotions along the way. And the result of all of this is that more and more of us are feeling exhausted and ready to scream. We constantly ask the question: Is it ever going to stop!? And in truth, if we don't do something about it, then this same cycle will continue, perpetually! It won't stop if we don't so something about it.

Ecclesiastes 7:39 – “God made man simple: man’s complex problems are of his own devising.” (Jerusalem Bible)

At the core of our culture of busyness, is our reluctance to take a Sabbath rest. Perhaps it is because we are afraid to fall behind the racing pack, or we argue that we can't afford the time to recreate ourselves. However, in truth, we are harming ourselves in the long run. We are not able to perform at our peak, because our bodies and minds are exhausted. Our mental health has taken a hit and we are left fending off all kinds of demons in our minds. 

But God has already given us a remedy, but we don't think we need God's advice. We think we know better. We think that taking some time to rest is seen as a failure. However, the irony is that when we do take some time out or even a short holiday, we usually come back stronger, more focussed and more energised to do our work and to be present with our loved ones.

So, perhaps God knows best after all. It may be wise for us to listen to his advice. Our health depends on it. 

Mark 2:27 - Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Living in Grace


Saturday, 11 March 2023


Isaiah 38:3 - “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.”

Remaining Single-minded is hard in this day and age. There are so many distractions, opinions, noises and voices out there that keeping focused is certainly a tough ask. So, how do we do this? How do we remain single-minded on the things of God. How do we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus? 

I guess there are a myriad of opinions on this, but I have found that keeping a daily time with God is the most helpful in this regard. Another helpful habit is to check in with other believers, in regular worship, prayer and fellowship. 

Question: What is preventing you from keeping focused on Jesus at the moment? How can we change this, even if it is just one small change? 

Proverbs 4:25 - Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Living in Grace


Thursday, 9 March 2023

Where are we looking?


So often we spend so much energy searching for everything else, besides God. When we continue this pattern for a long time, we eventually grow restless and dissatisfied. C.S. Lewis reminds us of the simple adjustment we need to make in our Spiritual lives:

"Look for Christ and you will find him. And with Him, everything else." 

Matthew 6:33-34 - 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

What do you think of this?

Living in Grace


Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Thoughts on International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day (8th March) and so I would like to honour all of our women readers, as well as the women in our community. May God bless you all. 

To celebrate this occasion from a Christian perspective, I offer you three quotes from remarkable women of faith. These ladies may not be known by us all, but their legacy lives on through the witness of their faith. 

 “The moment we come into any trial or difficulty, our first thought should be, not how soon can we escape from it, or how we may lessen the pain we shall suffer from it, but how can we best glorify God in it.” - (Susannah Spurgeon)

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” - (Elisabeth Elliot)

"Look what the Lord has done for me! My people were ashamed of me, but now the Lord has taken away that shame." - Elizabeth (Luke 1:25)

Living in Grace


Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Why is it so hard for me?

"Why, O Lord, is it so hard for me
to keep my heart directed toward you?
Why does my mind wander off in so many directions,
and why does my heart desire
the things that lead me astray?
Let me sense your presence in the midst of my turmoil.
Take my tired body,
my confused mind,
and my restless soul into your arms
and give me rest, simple quiet rest."
- Henri Nouwen

I believe that one of the most important things to focus on, during Lent, is our honesty and authenticity. This prayer strikes a chord with me, as it 'tells it as it is' - Henri Nouwen owns his frailty, but still reaches out to God for strength and rest.

How is your Lenten journey going?

Psalm 10:1 - "WhyLord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"

Living in Grace


Thursday, 2 March 2023

No answer or perhaps the Answer

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” - C.S. Lewis

There is something beautifully simple about these words. How often do I have questions that never seem to be answered, yet I have been given the opportunity to approach Jesus directly? God may not answer all my questions, but I should always remember that he is the Answer I am looking for. 

Does that make any sense? I hope so :) 

Romans 7:25 - The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Living in Grace


Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Lord of the unexpected

"Lord of every pilgrim heart,
you are beside me and before me on the way,
surprising me through your Spirit
at every turning on the path.
Yet, like your disciples
on the Emmaus Road,
I often fail to recognise my companion.
In this morning hour,
and in whatever the day may hold,
open my eyes to see your presence,
that I may celebrate with you
the gift of the morning,
O Lord of the unexpected."
- Prayer from Iona

"That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles[c] from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him." - Luke 24:13-16 

“Earth is crammed with heaven And every bush aflame with God But only those who see take off their shoes. —ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING”

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

More than Information

The greatest challenge for any student is to take all that they have studied and to apply it in real life. This is the test - how has the collection of information helped someone to put these principles into practise? 

The same can be said of studying the Scriptures. If I am only doing my studies so I can appear to be holy, then I am missing the point. This was Jesus' complaint against the religious leaders. He saw that they were studying intently, but all their information had not brought them any closer to discovering he was the Messiah. 

"You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life." – John 5:39-40

Dwight L. Moody – “The bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”

Thought: How do you take what you have studied in the Bible and apply it in your life? 

Living in Grace


Monday, 27 February 2023

Doing a little mining

“If you want to grow in the Word of God, become a person with a chisel and quarry the Word – look, explore, seek. Let the Word of God become your Word, and you will grow.” – Max Lucado

The idea of becoming a 'miner' of God's Word intrigues me. I believe that it necessary to approach the study of the Scriptures with intent, focus and the desire to 'mine the riches' that are hidden in the pages of the Bible. Of course, sometimes the treasures are in plain sight, but there are a few days when one really needs to dig deeper to find the precious gifts from God.

 2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Ecclesiastes 12:9 - Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them. 

Living in Grace


Friday, 24 February 2023

God moves in mysterious ways

I find it fascinating how words and phrases make their way into our common vocabulary. Take for instance the phrase: "God moves in mysterious ways..." 

These words are attributed to a poem, that later became a popular hymn, written by William Cowper. Below is the full hymn if you would like to read it again. Of further interest, is that William was a friend of John Newton (author of Amazing Grace) and it was the depth of their friendship that inspired them both to push through some very tough times. 

God moves in a mysterious way,
    His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
    And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill;
He treasures up his bright designs,
    And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
    The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
    In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
    He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow'r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
    And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
    And he will make it plain.

Thought: In what ways have you experienced God move in mysterious circumstances?

Living in Grace


Wednesday, 22 February 2023

A Prayer for those who are seeking God

The following is a prayer written by Anselm of Canterbury. I love his honesty and his willingness to admit his need of Jesus. May it bless you today.

"Lord Jesus Christ;
Let me seek you by desiring you,
and let me desire you by seeking you;
let me find you by loving you,
and love you in finding you.

I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving,
that you have made me in your image,
so that I can remember you, think of you, and love you.

But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless you renew and refashion it.

Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.

I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand."

Luke 11:9 - “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Living in Grace


Tuesday, 21 February 2023

The Best Fasting

Health benefits of fasting YEN.COM.GH

As we begin the season of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, it is always good to contemplate the invitation to fast. The practise of fasting is prevalent in the Bible, but it is something that seems to have fallen out of favour in the modern Church. 

Jesus would have fasted as it was a common Jewish practise at this time, but he did urge his disciples not to fast with wrong motives: We can read this in – Matthew 6:16 & 6:17 - When you fast, don’t ….” 

As you think about what you may want to fast from this year, I offer you some other thoughts on Fasting - this time from Pope Francis. THE BEST FASTING:

  • Fast on offensive words and transmit only sweet and tender words
  • Fast on dissatisfaction and fill yourself with gratitude.
  • Fast on anger and fill yourself with meekness and patience.
  • Fast on pessimism and be filled with optimism
  • Fast on worries and be filled with confidence in God
  • Fast on laments and take pleasure in the simple things of life.
  • Fast on stress and fill yourself with prayer.
  • Fast on sadness and bitterness, and fill your heart with joy.
  • Fast on selfishness, and be filled with compassion for others.
  • Fast on unforgiveness and vendetta, and be filled with acts of reconciliation and forgiveness.
  • Fast on words and fill yourself with silence and readiness to listen to others.
There is lots of food for thought in these words (excuse the pun :)

Living in Grace

Monday, 20 February 2023

No short cuts and quick fixes

We have embarked upon a new preaching series called: "A path to Spiritual growth" and it is based on the book Celebration of Discipline, which was authored by Richard Foster. In preparing for these messages, I have been struck again by this hard truth: There are no short cuts or quick fixes in choosing to be a disciple of Jesus. We have to be willing to sign up for the long-haul. 

In this book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, Eugene Peterson shares around this similar theme, reminding me that my growth may be a little slower than I truly hope for, but I must be willing to submit to this long obedience in the same direction. 

 “And yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily--open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.”

“There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.”

2 John 1:6 - "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love."

Living in Grace


Friday, 17 February 2023

Connecting with God

What helps you to connect with God? 

There are many of us who find the love of God revealed in the beauty of creation. When you contemplate the might of a glorious mountain, or the crashing of waves on the ocean shore, these all point us to the power of our Creator. 

Or if you notice the flight of a colourful butterfly as it lands on the garden plants and then takes off again or the scurrying of the mysterious gecko, as it clings to the side of a sheer rock face. All creation points us back to the original Designer. Our Creator - the One who loves us and who desires to renew each one of us, is constantly seeking to celebrate the work of his hands. Let us give thanks that God has given us glimpses of his glory all around us and that we just need to open our eyes to see what God has made. 

Psalm 96:13 - Let all creation rejoice before the Lord...

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 

Thought: Try and find a quiet place, somewhere outside. As the silence enfolds you, take note of God's creation and what God could be saying to you. 

Living in Grace


Thursday, 16 February 2023

When our burdens chafe our shoulders

"God of life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and wear us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, we beseech you; turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise. Amen." - St. Augustine of Hippo

The words that initially struck me (in this quote) are from the first line - 'when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders.' How many of us are busy carry heavy burdens at the moment and we feel as if our shoulders have been chafed raw?

If this is you, then listen to the words of Jesus:

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:30

Living in Grace


Monday, 13 February 2023

Do we have this the wrong way around?


I have come across this quote twice in the last week, so thought it would be good to reflect on it.

"People were created to be loved.
Things were created to be used.
The reason the world is in chaos is because
things are being loved and people are being used." - Unknown

There is some element of truth in this. It seems that the more 'things' we have in life, the less connected we can become. Jesus always saw value in the people around him and this was noticed by everyone. 

Mark 6:34 - "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, he began teaching them many things."

Thought: Although some people may treat us as commodities, God never will. 

Do we love things more than we love people? 

Living in grace

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Prayer is listening!

"A person prayed - and at first they thought that prayer was talking. But then they became more and more quiet until in the end they realised that prayer is listening." - Soren Kierkegaard

"Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10

Do you find it easy to 'be still' in your prayer times?

What can we do to enable more 'listening' in our devotional lives?

Living in grace


Thursday, 9 February 2023

If you could ask God for one thing...

If you could ask God for anything, what would you ask for? Listen to the thoughts of a young soldier, who is credited with this beautiful reflection:

"I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for--but everything I had hoped for...
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed." - 
An unknown Confederate soldier.

Question: If you answered my first question (above), would you consider changing your answer after having read this poem?

Living in Grace


Wednesday, 8 February 2023

We Belong


I was reminded of an inspirational truth that is found hidden in the popular Toy Story movie. If you haven't seen the movies, then perhaps you need to watch the first one, at least. Anyway, the star of the series is the much-loved space ranger (toy), named Buzz Lightyear. 

At some point in the movie, Buzz finds that he is lost and doesn't know how to get home. He sits in despair and sorrow, until he looks down at his foot (see the picture above) and notices that the name "Andy" is written on the bottom of his foot. This is not just any name - it is the name of his friend and the little boy who actually owns Buzz. In this poignant moment, Buzz remembers that he belongs to someone special, and this makes all the difference.

If you are sitting in a period of despair at the moment, I invite you to remember that we belong to Jesus.

Romans 14:8 - If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Living in Grace


Tuesday, 7 February 2023

The sharpest weapon

Question: What is the sharpest weapon around?

Answer: Knife? Needle? Sword? Tongue? 

According to Anne Frank, none of the above. She suggests this: 

"In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit." - Anne Frank

I have never thought of a 'kind and gentle spirit' as a weapon, and it took a lot of brain power for me to reflect on her point, but I think I get it now.

What do you feel?

2 Corinthians 10:4 - The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Living in Grace


Monday, 6 February 2023

Expect great things!

"God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.” - Andrew Murray

This quote is one that I found while preparing for our Covenant service last week. I enjoy the depth of insight that Andrew Murray offers us through his writings. He was certainly someone who was able to express his faith in a clear way. Take another example of his thoughts - this time on prayer:

“Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ and expect great things!”Andrew Murray

What strikes you about these Andrew Murray quotes?

Joshua 24:23 - “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

Living in Grace


Sunday, 5 February 2023

God's promises through a sign

God often follows up his words with a clear and definite sign. This is to make sure that we are 100% sure of his divine purpose and promises.

One of the best signs God ever gave was the one mentioned by the angels when Jesus was born. Let me take us back to the birth narratives of Jesus and let’s see what Luke wrote:

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).

May you hold onto the precious signs God has given to each one of us. May they give us all the strength we need to endure and to follow the ways of Jesus. 

Living in Grace


Thursday, 2 February 2023

Count it pure joy

James 1:2-3 — Daily Wisdom for Sunday, June 6, 2010

How is it possible to give thanks for difficult circumstances and trials? 

There are a few passages in the Bible that remind us to do so, but this is something I am still working on. I don't enjoy trials - I don't seek out suffering. However, they still come to us, no matter how much we seek to avoid them. So, how do we embrace them?

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn spent a long time in prison for his beliefs and when he was released, he was able to say: “Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.”

Is this what James meant, when he wrote?

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." - James 1:2-3

Living in Grace


Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Spirit of the Living God

Sometimes we can feel at such a loss that we don't know where to turn. It is at times like this, that I am reminded of this song:

"Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me,
Mold me,
Fill me,
Use me,
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
" - Daniel Iverson

John 20:22 - "And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit."

Living in Grace

Monday, 30 January 2023

Committing to discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes: “The fellowship between Jesus and his disciples covered every aspect of their daily life. Within the fellowship of Christ’s disciples, the life of each individual was part of the life of the brotherhood (sic). This common life bears living testimony to the concrete humanity of the Son of God. ........ In the Christian life the individual disciple and the body of Jesus belongs inseparably together. (The Cost of Discipleship p.284).

The Church continues to struggle with the difference between discipleship and membership. Jesus was explicit in his call to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), but we have been discovering for centuries that this is much harder to put into practice. We have neat systems to build a membership base, but we keep wrestling with how to keep following Jesus, just as his disciples would.

John 6: 65- 68 - "He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Thought: What do you understand by the difference between a disciple and a church member?

Living in Grace


Sunday, 29 January 2023

It doesn't happen automatically!

How can we prepare ourselves for growth in Christian faith? Can this even be achieved or measured? Regardless of our answers to these questions, the one thing I know is that 'growing in grace' doesn't happen by osmosis. We have to be intentional about it. Read the following words and see if this makes some sense:

“At the heart of it [John Wesley’s thoughts on Christian Perfection] was his conviction that growth in grace is not accidental or automatic. One does not wander or stumble into maturity…The key to Christian growth is not feeling but faithfulness.” – Dr Steve Harper

There is so much depth to this quote, but I am drawn to the part which insists that our growth doesn't come from something 'accidental' or 'automatic.'

Thought: What strikes you about the words from Dr Harper?

Colossians 1:10 - "so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God."

Living in Grace