Grace

You could define grace as

GOD’S

RICHES

AT

CHRIST’S

EXPENSE

Grace is completely undeserved. It is a free gift from God. We can not earn grace.

Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

We can not earn our way to Heaven. We are not saved by doing good works. Good works will follow a person’s salvation, but we are not saved because of them. We are saved because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and the sins of mankind.

In Luke 23:40 a man who had spent his whole life committing crime gave his life to Jesus and received the assurance of eternal life with Christ in Paradise. It was only that simple prayer of faith that saved him, not any good deeds (for he had none) This is the grace and mercy of God in action.

No matter what you have done, you too can receive this grace of God. Tbere is no sin too great that Jesus can’t forgive. Bring your sins to God and with a repentant heart allow Him to wash you clean and give you too the assurance of eternal life in Heaven.

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God’s thoughts are not our thoughts

DSC_0092.JPGIsaiah 55: 6-9 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God , For He will abundantly pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

There are things in this life that in our humanity, we simply cannot understand. If we were God, perhaps we would do things differently. But God does not see life from our finite perspective – He sees the whole of eternity – stretching out from before we were created to beyond our earthly existence. In Revelation 22:13 Jesus said , “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last”.

Can I just point out , from Isaiah 55 that it talks about the unrighteous man returning to the Lord – not coming to Him for the first time. This was, perhaps, not someone who had never known the Lord. Sometimes in our walk with God, things happen and we can become weary and frustrated and we can step out of fellowship with God. If you are that person, God is asking you today  to return to Him and he will have mercy on you.

God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. How much distance is there between the heavens and the earth? It’s immeasurable. Our thoughts and God’s thoughts are simply poles apart.

What can we do about this? We have to seek the Lord. We can’t expect God to fit into our narrow way of thinking. We have to align ourselves with God’s way of thinking. God loves us so much and He is willing to be found by us; He is still near; He is available and He is willing to speak to us.

There are many things in life we cannot understand – but we must trust the thoughts and the intentions of God for our lives and those around us.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” these are the thoughts of God towards you. He loves you. He wants to give you hope today.

Jeremiah 29: 12 says, ” Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Psalm 61:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Seek the Lord with all of your heart today. Bring your disappointments, your heartache, your grief and your frustration to your Maker. He will help you.

The Bible

dsc_0194It’s World Book today and my children dressed up as characters from their favourite books. I thought I would tell you a bit about my favourite book – the Bible.

The Bible is made up of 66 books. It was written by various men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says Scripture was God-breathed. It is made up of books of the Law, Prophetic books, the Gospels and letters from Paul the apostle, amongst other things. The Bible was written originally in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

My favourite Bible passage is Psalm 139, which talks about God’s perfect knowledge of man. The longest Psalm is Psalm 119, which is about the Word of God.

Luke, a doctor, wrote the Gospel of Luke and he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

The apostle Paul, a Jewish convert to Christianity and former killer of Christians, wrote a large proportion of the New Testament. He was imprisoned for preaching the gospel and wrote many of his letters from jail.

If you ask God, He will give you revelation about the Bible, which will help you to understand it. The Holy Spirit will make the Bible clear to you.

There are many different translations of the Bible available to help you.

The Proverbs contain a lot of wisdom to help you in everyday life.

If you read it regularly it will change you!

 

God’s Protection

primorskaya-metro-stationPsalm 91 talks about the safety of abiding in the Presence of God. It says the person who abides in the secret place of the most High, who expresses trust in God will be protected. It says that person will be delivered from the snare of the fowler and the perilous pestilence; they will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday; no evil shall befall them and the angels will have charge of them and will keep them in all their ways.

Many different times of the day and night are mentioned, so essentially God’s people are under 24 hour protection. Nothing happens to us unless God has allowed it. In Job we read that he was under a hedge of protection , so the devil could not penetrate this without God’s permission (Job 1:10). God has placed that hedge of protection around those who are walking in fellowship with Him. Nothing happens to us unless God has allowed it.

I want to share a few instances when God has protected me.

As part of my degree in French and Russian I lived for about six months in Saint Petersburg in Russia. I attended a Church there , which was not far from the Primorskaya (Приморская)  Metro station on Vasilievsky Island. I used to travel home from church on Sundays with a Mexican ex-gangster and drug dealer who had become a Christian and was the leader of a men’s home in Saint Petersburg. There was a small group of Russians also and we had some great fellowship on the Metro. I felt quite safe with such a group, to be honest.

At some point on the underground network we would all part company and I would make my way alone to the Aftovo metro station, which was near where I was staying in a hostel with other British students.

One Sunday I came out of the metro station and was surrounded by some drunken, Azerbaijani men. They were all jostling me and speaking unintelligible things and I felt extremely threatened. Around this time one of my fellow students had been carried off by an Azerbaijani man (although she managed to escape). I carried on walking and praying and I met two women. For some inexplicable reason God told me to speak in French to them, and they answered me in perfect French (although they were Russian). I asked them for help but they were unwilling to help me. Anyway, when I looked around the men had disappeared, and I was a few minutes away from my hostel so I ran there. I can’t explain why they disappeared , but perhaps because we were speaking in a different language they thought that these women were my friends. The most important thing is that I escaped danger.

 

When I stayed in Moodymmai, in my husband’s village in North East India, I was walking by myself and encountered a drunken man who had never seen a white-skinned person before. He thought he was seeing a “Puri ” – a  ghost! He was so afraid of me that he was about to throw stones at me, when some children who had been following me told him, “No, this is Bah Airforce’s wife. It’s not a Puri”! So he left me alone.

Once, in the town where I live now, I felt led to read Psalm 91 out loud, which I did. That same day I was driving down a busy road and a crazy driver pulled out from a side road and nearly hit my car! I felt a hand on my head, and I believe it was an angel. Amazingly the car did not hit me.

One time I was late setting off from home and I was taking my children to their breakfast club a bit later than usual. My eldest daughter was giving me a hard time as she was upset that we our arrival had been delayed. That same day I learnt that there had been some armed robbers at the local shop, and if we had been on time we would have been right in their path!

There are probably many more instances where God has protected me that I don’t even know about. I believe sometimes God has arranged timings so I have avoided certain incidents. If you are a Christian and in fellowship with God, I believe you are protected too. Part of that protection is being obedient – if you hear God saying, “Don’t go there” , then be obedient – He may be wanting to protect you from something. If you feel uneasy in your spirit about doing something, then heed that feeling. It may be a warning.

There are , of course, things that we simply cannot understand. For example, I cannot explain why God allows some people to die at a young age and , we would say, before their time. We often hear about young people passing away tragically from cancer, meningitis and car accidents or Christians dying because of their faith in God. This is something that God will have to explain to me in Eternity. All I can say is that God sees things from a Heavenly perspective, not from our Earthly perspective. He knows the end from the beginning. Psalm 48:14 says, “For this is God. Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

God is our guide. If you are a Christian, then God is guiding you even right up to the day of your death on Earth. God is in control. Until it is your time to die, you are protected on this Earth. The Bible says in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

Death is an appointment we all must keep, at one time or another. But, the death of a saint of God (i.e. a Christian) is viewed by God as something special. It is a time of rejoicing as they leave this world of sin and go to Heaven to be with Him. When your loved one has been on a long journey and you feel happy that they have  returned safely home to their loving family, friends and their warm bed – that’s how God sees it when one of His children finally reaches their Heavenly Home – safe, secure and at peace.