Amazing Grace!!!

Water Drop CrossWhen grace calls upon my weary soul

So thirsty and tired from all its toil

“Come and I will give you rest

Come, I will give you living waters

Health for your body

Healing for your bones”

 

Yes my soul thirsts as the dear for the water brooks 

The living God I sought to make my burdens light

For my soul is downcast from all its plight

 

Yes there is hope, there’s hope in Christ

Living water that never cease

Once  I drink from it, I know I wont thirst

Grace lead me, lead me to that place

 

Although my strength is weak and my bones feeble

My journey is long in endless searching

This grace is sufficient to lead me to His fountain

Oh love that never let me go

Held my hand and took me straight home

 

Amazing grace how I am favoured

To reach the arms of my Saviour Beloved

Amazing grace what mercy I found 

By His wounds I am healed and my soul renewed

Now that I found Him, I will never thirst

Jesus my Living water!

 

 

 

 

 

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Meditating on the Cross of Christ

the-crossHave you ever wondered why Christians put so much significance on the cross? How can a symbol of horrific cruelty be the sign of unending love?? How can the wood on which our beloved Saviour was crucified be so worthy as to be the centre of our faith? 

This symbol of extreme pain and suffering tells a deeper truth than what was displayed merely on the outside upon Golgoltha’s hill over 2000 years ago. You see, the cross is right at the middle of the old and new testament; and  as the events of our Lord’s crucifixion took place during Passover, it was a sign of moving from one to another (from old to new).

The cross is made of 2 pieces of wood, one vertical and one horizontal. This signifies: the height, depth and width of God’s love that is freely given from past to future generations, to those who will accept it!  

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians.3:17b-19)

Jesus likened His crucifixion to what Moses used when he took a snake and hung it on a pole, to heal the Israelites that were bitten by poisonous snakes due to their disobedience (John.3:14; Numbers.21). How can this be? The cross was a method of death reserved for the worst of sinners/ thieves and murderers. Yet the Purest and Holiest took all our our sins, all our shame and all our curse and carried them upon Himself! The Bible says, He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we may become the righteousness of God!!! (2nd Corinthians.5:21) 

The cross signified all that is evil, all that is sinful and cruel, and JESUS became all of that for us! Isaiah in his 53rd Chapter describes the pain Christ had to endure: 

   He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
 he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.  

The cross was so horrible that you would cover your face from it, there was nothing good to display upon it. Yet, just as the Israelites had to look upon the snake (signifying the curse of sin) on the pole to be healed, we have to look at the Son of God (who became sin and curse for us) to be healed and set free from the poisonous bondage of sin and curse. 

There are 2 reasons why we have to look at the cross: 

  1. When we look at the cross, we come face to face with our true human condition just as in a mirror. We see the wickedness of our heart, our sins, our shame and our curse. We realise that we need a Saviour. 
  2. On the same cross we find The Answer to the above problems. For He, who is displayed right before our eyes is the ONE who took all of them away and bought our freedom and healing with His precious blood!!

14 having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  (Colossians.2:14-15) How beautiful!!!

Now this sign of evil, sin and curse has become a sign of indescribable, unending, unchanging and unshakeable LOVE!!! God has truly made “beauty out of the ashes”, “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.” (Isaiah.61:3; Judges.14:14)

And that’s why we glory in the cross –

THE CROSS OF CHRIST, the image of INDESCRIBABLE LOVE! 

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” – Galatians.6:14

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” – Romans.1:16a

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” ” – 1 Corinthians.1:18

                                           

FAITHFUL in February

Dear readers, here’s a great lesson I have been learning through this month amongst many other things. If there’s one character of God that really means a lot to me, it’s His faithfulness! I always said, “God is faithful”, but never understood the extent of what it actually really meant in my life. So now God showed me a glimpse of it, I pray He does the same for you through His words.

Bible verses on faithfulness

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Cor.1:9

“The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” – 1 Thess.5:24

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” – 2 Tim.2:13

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” – 1 Cor.4:2

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” – Heb.10:23

“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them – He remains faithful forever.” – Psalm.146:6

“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” – 2 Thess.3:3

Faithfulness defined

“He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” – Deut.32:4

faithful.png

Faithful implies: Long continued and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to by pledge, duty or obligation.

God is all these things because, He is Love! His love compels Him to be faithful and His faithfulness compels Him to love.

 

  1. Constant

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans.12:12

God’s faithfulness does not change by circumstances, because His faithfulness makes Him constant, unchanging and unswerving.

Faithfulness requires remaining true to who you are and what you’ve promised. Thus, God’s faithfulness makes Him dependable and trustworthy, because you can be sure that no matter what happens, He remains the same.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James.1:17

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” – Heb.13:8

 

1.1 Time

Constancy has an element of time and change as part of its equation. Yet this element (constancy) stays the same despite those two variables. Being constant requires time. If time didn’t move on, how can you say that something has changed or not changed?

Indeed time reveals many things in life. And being faithful means: even if time is passing, even if all circumstances change, you remain true and firm in your original word/promise/belief.

This means faithfulness requires patience. Because we don’t know what the future holds and we are almost certain that time and circumstances move/push against our constancy, faithfulness becomes a difficult battle.

rooted.jpg

 

  1. Hope

“Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?” – Prov.20:6anchor.png

Hope is the anchor on which faith is attached to. The stronger the anchor, the more secure the faith. It’s also amazing that an anchor is in the shape of a cross. It reminds us that the cross is our greatest source of hope. Because the cross tells us that we are now God’s children and our Heavenly Father wants the best for us. And because our Father is faithful, we find the courage and strength to be faithful.

 

2.1 Vision

anchor2Vision is the ground on which faith is planted on. This vision is God’s word and promise. Vision is where hope faces towards. Unless you have an end goal or destination, you are dropping your anchor on shallow grounds.

 

 

2.2 The wind and storms

The wind and storms are the forces mentioned earlier (such as time and circumstances) that try to move faithfulness from its rooted ground. With passing time, patience’s thread can weaken and with intensifying wind of circumstances, the anchor (hope) can be shaken.

Yet there’s one good news even in all this. The ground beneath on which the anchor holds on to, is constant and undisturbed by the wind and storms. This constant and unchanging faithfulness of our God is what makes a Christian smile and still able to say, “I’m good, by God’s grace.” This strong foundation is what enables a Christian to be faithful despite changing times and circumstances. And because of this, many of our fathers considered it pure joy to partake in His suffering.

 

  1. The reward

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” – Matt.25:23

Being faithful does not depend on the size or type of matter we are entrusted with. What really matters is how we have dealt with it; whether we have been faithful or wicked or lazy.

Christ is the perfect image of faithfulness. He remained faithful to His calling until the end, even when it cost Him His life. And as His followers, we ought to be faithful just as He is, whether in small or great tasks, whether in the storms or relative peace.

May we find great comfort in knowing that He is faithful to us at all times and may that spur us on to imitate and reflect our loving Father! Amen!

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep His commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” – Rev.14:12

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True…” – Rev.19:11

Christ is my…

Image result for Jesus and his lambI may be poor, but Christ is my greatest riches

I may be weak, but Christ is my strength and shield

I may be naive to the ways of the world, but Christ is my wisdom

I may be small and insignificant, but I’m the apple of His eye

I may feel like a shadow in the dark, but He knows me from my mother’s womb

I may be one person among billions, but God knows me by name! 🙂

I may be a lost sheep, but Christ has found me

I may be dead in my sins, but in Christ I’m raised to a new life

 

I’m loved, I’m known and I’m cared for

In the loving arms of my Father

 

Rest assured my soul

God’s got it all together when you feel lost

Praise to the God of my life and my Father forever

Hallelujah, Amen! 

 

Joyful hope!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans.15:13

Dear readers, 

A very late happy new year to you all! As we pass from one year to another, its good to consider our lives, be thankful for all that passed and pray for what’s to come. The above verse keeps coming back to me every so often and each time with such power. I don’t think I have fathomed the depth of it just yet! 

I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if I never knew Jesus. In those moments I struggle to imagine, like a fish can’t imagine life outside the sea. I also think of those who don’t know Christ and how much they despair and feel really sorry for them. If only they knew they were made for so much more than mere living, for even that animals do. If only they knew they were not a random collection of atoms that happen to be here, but rather are created in the image of the Almighty, created to reflect His glory! 

What I am trying to say is that because of Christ, we have such a great hope! And our God is the God of hope because He is One that never breaks His promises. And when we fully accept that truth, we are set free from uncertainties and anxieties of what will become of our lives, our future, our families… As a result we find joy and peace, because we also know that the God of love “who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? ” (Romans.8:32)

Therefore dear brothers and sisters, a year may come and go, but we have a God who is constant and unchanging. You may never know what this year holds for you, but you can rest, no… even rejoice and be at peace, because you have a loving Father who wants the best for you. Sit and wait at His feet, He will never disappoint! 

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans.12:12

What about me?

Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor

Over the past few years I have had the joy of watching the Spirit-driven and well versed videos of this man, Nabeel Qureshi. He was a former Muslim who converted to Christianity through careful investigation of the truth of the Bible alongside the Quran with his best friend David Wood (pictured with him above). In the end, He concluded that Jesus is who He claims to be in the Bible – the Son of God and that life and true freedom are only found in Him.

As I read Nabeel’s biography, ‘Seeking Allah, finding Jesus’ 2 years ago, I understood the deep conviction He received from the Lord that He indeed is “The Way, The Truth and The Life”. One of the things he wrote that I will never forget is, when he decided to follow Jesus and sat down to count the cost. He asked God to give him few days to mourn his family, because he knew that when he tells them this news that he has become a new man in Christ, he may be as good as dead to them. 

In the years that followed, Nabeel became a great Christian teacher, apologetic and writer, amongst many of the things he served the Lord. Yet, last year at the age of 33 he got diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer and after a year long battle with the disease, he passed into the eternal rest of His loving Father on 16th September 2017. Since he got diagnosed, Nabeel posted regular vlogs, sharing genuinely and honestly what he felt, what God taught him and progress of his treatment right up to the week before he died. I was one of thousands of Christians across the globe who followed his progress through his vlogs and joined in prayer for healing. However, we know God is Sovereign and it was His good will that Nabeel goes home to be with his Heavenly Father.  

There are many brothers and sisters around the world, some that I know personally and some that I hear about with my ears only, who are facing similar trials as Nabeel or risking their lives everyday to advance the work of the Gospel. 

Although Nabeel died at such a young age, his life and the lives of those who risk everything to follow Jesus, who endure all by looking to the joy that is set before them, has and is making me consider my life. 

What about me? What about you dear reader? Are we living a surrendered life? May God help us to know our purpose and live a life worthy of our calling! 

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews.13:7

His story can be found here: http://www.nabeelqureshi.com/ 

His vlogs & lectures: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCepxnLs6GWAxAyI8m2U9s7A 

Life in a dead hope

5613310391490960143She was his only daughter

A child like no other

On the verge of death

He left her to seek the Healer

“Don’t bother Him” they said

“She’s already gone” they cried

But Jesus increased his faith

Talita was raised from the dead

 

He was on the way to the grave

Her only son, her future now tainted

He is wrapped ready to be buried

When Jesus stopped the mourners

“Arise!” He lifted the boy’s hands

Helping him to his feet on the ground

 

The corpse stunk after 4 days

Death entered the house of Jesus’ friends

Lazarus was much loved until Jesus wept

Then He shouted, “Lazarus come out!”

Wrapped in grave clothes, he emerged to the light

 

Now here are these dry bones

Could there be hope for them?

Their flesh eaten by the ground

Their bones dried by desert sun

“Could these bones live?” He asked

“Only YOU know” I replied

So He spoke the word

Then these very dry bones rattled and joined

Tendons, muscles and skin

Then He spoke another word

A breath of life entered into the slain

 

Yes my God is Sovereign

Giving life to all His children

I choose to put my trust in Him!  

 

Though it tarries…

ecclesiastes-3-11

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” – Habakkuk.2:3

God tends to give us promises that might be near and far. Some seem too good to be true, like Joseph’s dream of being a king. But when we are absolutely convinced of His promises and that He will do them as He has planned, we have such confidence in His ability. As they say in the world ‘good things are worth waiting for’, God’s best are always worth waiting for. 

God’s promises to Abraham, Joseph, David… they all had to wait and hold tightly to that vision that He had once given them. 

Abraham had seen the vision of having a son when he was about 75 years. At this stage it was already impossible considering his and Sarah’s age. But God had to make it even more impossible by making him wait another 24 years, so that Abraham’s faith grew stronger and stronger until he was crowned ‘father of faith’ (Romans.4:16) 

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” – Romans.4:20-21

The same for Joseph and David; the kingdoms they were promised at a young age were only obtained after many years of suffering and pain. In the case of Joseph, contrary to his vision, he became a slave in Egypt. And in the case of David, he had to flee the very king he loved and who was also his father-in-law. These two men however, had such strong conviction that GOD never lies and that He has a time for everything. So they waited patiently for Him, avoiding the shortcuts the world had offered, for they feared and revered the Lord more than others and more than their dreams. 

For these great men of faith, the waiting was painful and the pressure immense. They often felt they were going in circles with no end point, just holding on to one end of the thread. But they knew one thing – that He who promised was faithful to keep His word! The waiting made the promise more precious, more beautiful and God used those years to build their characters so that they were equipped enough to accept those precious gifts. This is God’s way! 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah.55:8-9

 

 

God’s refugees

2As we turn on the TV or scroll through news feed on the internet, all we can read is people fleeing the place where they once called home and often risking their lives to find a place of safety. These places of safety are called refuge or shelter and are often free and there only for one reason, to help the refugees. 

Psalm.91:1-2 says: 

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.””

There are deep and awesome lessons to be learnt from these 2 verses. 

  1. He is Most High and Almighty

These verses reminds us that God is above and beyond everything that we face in life. He is bigger, mightier and wiser than all, so running to Him for safety is indeed a very wise decision. Of course, why would you seek refuge from someone who can’t even protect you? But God is Almighty, He can do anything and capable of everything. 

     2. Dwelling in His shelter and resting in His shadow

In order to dwell in a shelter, you have to first acknowledge that you are in danger and that you need some place of safety. This world is full of dangers with fleeting temptations, sins and fiery arrows that fly from the evil one. And if a Christian does not have a secure dwelling place to run to from all these, he is sure to fall by one of these. Now a shelter may not feel like home but a place where you are forced to stay at until home is made safe again. But the place where God has given us as home initially has been permanently scarred by sin and disobedience that all we can hope for is a new home. And God offers this home right where He is, under the shadow of His wing. Not only is He offering us protection, but also love and care to allow us to grow and thrive. (2 Corinthians 5:1) We became His adopted children, joining the angels to sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God Almighty”.  So we rest in the bosom of our loving Father, safe, secure and sound! 

“He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” – Psalm.91:4

“But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.” – Psalm.5:11