Tag: Grace

one of these days (Jill Paquette)

I’m not sure why I’m so drawn into this song. There’s just something that resonates so powerfully within me when I hear the lyrics: “Your life brought more than freedom, Your love brought time just what I needed to see I needed You.” I love that God is so incredibly patient with us and that He gives us time to come to Him as He reveals more of Himself to us. My heart warms as I read how Jesus describes God, not a harsh taskmaster, but as a loving Father.

Transformation can be messy and I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that I’m not on some deadline when it comes to being transformed by God and that He extends grace and time to me as He transforms me through His Word and Spirit. Sure, there are times that I wished the process of transformation was quicker and easier, but this is different than having to conform to some timetable. The desire to be transformed faster is completely different than if we had to actually meet some transformational deadlines.

Imagine if God placed due dates on us, like, by Tuesday I’d like if you stopped being short tempered with people and by June next year I’d like you to stop judging people completely. Now, I’m hoping you see the absurdity of this and hear my heart. I’m not saying having a plan is a bad thing. Plans can at times help frame and put things in perspective, but too often our plans and timetables can put an undue burden on us especially if our plans get in the way of us hearing and responding to God’s presence in our lives.

Transformation must be seen as more of an organic process than some to-do list or clinical step-by-step process. To put it simply, transformation must be seen from a relational perspective, God moves and we respond, which is definitely easier said than done. But, I am more and more convinced that laying down our will means also surrendering the plans and desires of our hearts to God. It’s not that we don’t have plans or desires, but we surrender them to God, so that He can align them with His plans and desires for our lives.

beautiful things (Gungor)

This is such an amazing song and a great reminder that everything that God makes is beautiful. In the very beginning when God created all the universe, He “looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” (Genesis 1:31a NLT). But, even more God is able to take a fallen creation ravaged by sin and recreate it into something beautiful. Aren’t these the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV). If there ever was Good News to those struggling with addictions, this is it. In Jesus, a person is transformed from a wayward addict, estranged from family and loved ones into a beloved child of God who is dearly loved and accepted into the family of God. Such is amazing grace! That God would take objects of wrath and transform us into His beloved sons and daughters. Yes, Lord you do make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us. You make me new. You are making me new…

O great Comforter, comfort me.

Over this past month, I’ve been wrestling with the loneliness that has been holding my heart hostage. This loneliness has stolen much of my passion and motivation. I’ve been feeling extremely stuck. Hence, this past short break from blogging. Though it’s only been about a month, it feels much longer because before hitting this speed bump in my heart I’ve been in a pretty good rhythm of faith and life. But, as I have been wrestling within my heart, soul and mind with this growing loneliness I’ve come to realize that unless this loneliness is addressed it will continue to derail me and cause me to stumble You see, I have within me (as we all do) a sexual longing that seeks to be fulfilled.

In the past, I’ve allowed this sexual longing to control me which has propelled me to explore a variety of avenues to gain sexual satisfaction, none of which were at all pleasing to the Lord. Since coming to faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit has taken me on a journey of freedom. Freedom from all the many soul ties I’ve made with the various women of past relationships which have controlled me by keeping me living in the regrets of the past. It’s amazing how past disappoints and moments of rejection and betrayal can linger and fester in one’s heart. But, as Jesus has broken these soul ties and brought healing to my wounded heart, I’ve gained greater freedom to live in the peace of the present while looking forward to a future of hope. 

So, why am I still stuck wrestling with this loneliness today? Well, what the Lord has revealed to me (which has sparked this renewed vigor) is that I’ve been allowing my past relationships, regardless if they were healthy or not, and my inner fantasies of a future wife to comfort me in my loneliness, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to be my Comforter. It’s not that I wish to live in the past, the Holy Spirit has done that good work of setting me free from the shame, regret and pain of my past, but rather in my loneliness I’ve been comforting myself by remembering moments when I wasn’t lonely to give me relief. I’ve also been finding comforting in fantasizing about what being married will be like, even what I hope my wife will be like which isn’t all that healthy either because both reminiscencing and fantasizing have a way of idealizing and distorting reality.

It’s amazing, I’ve read and prayed Jesus’ Words to myself countless times in asking Holy Spirit to be my Comforter (John 14:16, 26). But, what this recent revelation has revealed to me is that though Holy Spirit is my Comforter, I’ve shunned His comfort in leiu of my own self-constructed comfort which to be honest really hasn’t worked out so well. So, in response to this gentle and loving revelation, I’ve begun to ask Holy Spirit to help me let go of my self-constructed system of comfort, so that I can begin to embrace Him as my Comforter in my loneliness. So this is my prayer: Father in Heaven thank You that You continually pour out Your grace upon our lives. Thank You Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit, Who comforts, helps, intercedes, advocates and strengthens us in our weakness. And Holy Spirit, great Comforter, come and comfort me. In Jesus Name, Amen.


I have just recently celebrated another birthday. Since coming to faith, birthdays have had a growing significance to me because, simply put, birthdays celebrate life. For most of my life I’ve taken my life for granted. This has played itself out with the many years of living an extreme drug lifestyle where I cared very little for the well being of my own life, let alone for the life of others. To sum it up, I was shooting to live until about 30, that was my attitude toward life and the speed of my trajectory. When I look back, I believe it’s because very early on in my life the devil began to steal, kill and destroy any and all of my hopes and dreams. I can honestly say that it was around the age 10 that I slowly stopped caring about life. I don’t say this to escape taking responsibility for the life I lived, regardless of the extenuating circumstances I chose to live my life, my way. I wasn’t a victim (though it would be easy to take that position), but a willful participate.

The devil would love for us to think of ourselves as victims, this way he can keep us wallowing in self-pity blinded from seeing the strength and resilience that God has placed in us because we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). Victims live in fear, but God created us out of love, for love and to love. He promises us that there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). Are you tired of living in fear? Jesus says that though the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, He has come to give us fullness of life (John 10:10). Birthdays have had a growing significance to me because each birthday celebration reminds me that if it wasn’t for Jesus intervening in my life, I would literally be dead. To this day, I can honestly say that it is solely by the grace of God that I live today. Most people don’t see what I see when they look into the rearview mirror of life and I’m glad because I wouldn’t wish my life on anyone. I’m also so very grateful that God chose to have mercy on me, but this wasn’t always the case.

In the first year of coming to faith, I suffered from survivor’s guilt because I couldn’t understand why God decided to save me and not my friends. I can still remember asking God, “Why me?” But, I also remember God saying back to me, “Why not you?” One of the greatest mysteries of God is understanding His ways. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “God moves in mysterious ways” which is from a poem titled the same by William Cowper. And though there is some truth to this, it’s not the whole story because God has given us the Bible and Holy Spirit, so that we can begin to understand His ways. Now granted God is God and we are not and His ways are higher than our ways, so there will always be some mystery in understanding God’s ways. But, we are definitely not totally lost here. “But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 210-12 NLT).

When it comes to understanding why some people choose to come to faith and others don’t (Arminianism) or why God chooses to save some and not others (Calvinism), will always be one of the great mysteries this side of Heaven. There’s plenty of reading on Calvinism and Arminianism out there where you can decide or not decide for yourselves which perspective is more persuasive. Personally, I believe that God chose to have mercy on me because His heart is for none to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) which translates into: God’s heart towards us is to heal, save, redeem and restore. I also believe that our prayers move God’s heart (Psalm 34:4; 120:1). A revelation that the Holy Spirit spoke to me, which I believe is a revelation that every believer needs to hear, happened one day when I was driving down the road. I was at a red light watching a person walk by when I very distinct heard Holy Spirit say to me, “Pray for that person because their name/image has never been brought before the throne of God.”

In that moment, God broke my heart for the lost. Since that day, I have made it a point to pray for strangers (people walking down the street, people driving in cars, people I see on TV or read about, people in restaurants or at the grocery store, etc.) because I may be the very first person to ask God to intervene in their life. I may be the very first person to pray that He would pour out His mercy and grace upon them. Think about it. How many people do you think are living right now that have never been prayed for? Just thinking about it, overwhelms me. But, I need to remind myself that it is not my burden alone, but the burden of all believers to be praying for the lost. I hope reading this has ignited within you a burning passion to begin praying for strangers. Who knows, the very next stranger you pray for could be the first time their name/image has ever been brought before the throne of God. 

Yes, God still miraculously heals today!

On Sunday, September 27th, 2010, God supernaturally grew out one of my legs and then evened them out. Yes, a physical creative miracle happened. The back story on this is that over the last four or five years my lower back has been steadily giving me more and more pain. All of this culminated a week before when I flew from Los Angeles to Chicago (September, 19th). After the flight I started to feel a sharp pain in my left leg and it even started to go numb from time to time. On Monday, I rested as much as I could, but the pain was still there. On Tuesday, I was walking through a grocery store and in the back by the pharmacy there was a little stand where a chiropractic business was checking people’s balance. I filled out the form and let them know that I had ongoing lower back pain and that now my left leg had just started to hurt and go numb from time to time. So, they had me stand on two scales, one for each foot and checked my balance. What the balance test revealed was that I leaned almost 12 pounds (5.5 kg) to my left leg which normally should only be a 2-3 pounds (0.9-1.2 kg) difference confirming that added pressure was being put on my sciatic nerve and was possibly causing the numbness.

To back up a bit, the week before all of this happened I felt the Lord really challenge me while I was at a prayer meeting (Septmeber 15th) where people were praying for healing for a woman. I very distinctly heard Jesus ask me: “Do you really believe that the Father will give you anything that you ask of Him in My Name?” His voice wasn’t an audible voice, but I distinctly felt and heard His voice reverberate throughout the whole of my being. I heard it in my head and in my heart all at the same time. It was like Jesus was speaking directly to my spirit. So, for the next few days I really wrestled with this question. But as I wrestled, Holy Spirit kept reminding me that the only reason that I live, move and have my being in Him at all is because of God’s grace. All the blessings in my life are truly undeserved; be it healing, salvation, deliverance, redemption or restoration. As Paul so eloquently put it, “But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NLT).

If you know my story, then you may think that if anyone should get this it’s me. But, though I have experienced many supernatural moves of God’s grace in my life, I still wrestled deep within my heart with a distorted view of God’s heart towards me. God’s heart towards us is to heal, save, redeem and restore, period. I mean He gave up His one and only Son, Jesus, so that He could accomplish all of these things through an intimate relationship with us for all eternity. That’s God’s heart towards us. He’s not stingy with His love, goodness, mercy and grace, but infinitely generous and compassionate when it comes to gifting, blessing and showing favor towards us. We just need to believe and receive His love, goodness, mercy, grace, gifts, blessings and favor. Coming to this revelation has really freed up my heart and mind to just receive from the Lord and allow Him to pour out the fullness of His grace upon my life. In my wrestling what I was confronted with was the belief that 1) I thought I needed to work for God’s grace, 2) I didn’t think that God wanted to show me more of His favor and 3) because I was too proud or too ashamed I would just plain refuse to accept God’s favor. But, the breakthrough came when I began repenting for these distorted beliefs of trying to earn God’s favor by working for it, of my own self-condemnation that I projected onto God thinking He didn’t want to show me more of His favor and of my pride and shame that refused to accept God’s goodness and blessings towards me.

Now back to the healing miracle at hand. After leaving the balance test, I began to think that maybe my left leg was a little longer than the other and because of this has effected my lower back over the years which is quite typical from what I understand. That night I had my connect group (small group) pray for my back, a couple people said they definitely felt like there was a spiritual component, one of them saw an image of a vine wrapped around one of my legs. When I woke up on Wednesday, the pinching and numbness was gone. Later that day I felt like I should try and measure my legs and ask for God to even them out. So, I sat on my bed stretched my legs out and placed my hands on my right hip and began to simple ask the Father in Jesus Name to even out my legs. Nothing fancy. Right away my right hip began to tingle for a minute or so and then stopped. In my spirit, I really felt like God did do something, but I wasn’t sure what. So, I thanked God for healing me and that was that. (I know this post is extra long, but I really want to give as clear and detailed account of everything that happened, so please bear with me. I promise you it’s worth it.)

Fast forward to Sunday, September 27th, 2010 around 8pm. I am at a teaching session on healing (through my church: CITC) at Chris and Nancy Whiteley’s house. As the teaching portion was ending, I asked the group to pray for my back pain. I didn’t go into detail of what had transpired earlier in the week, but did share that I felt like my back pain had a spiritual component, was possibly connect to a generational curse and that I felt like one of my legs could possibly be longer than the other. So, Nancy and Chris led me through a prayer of repentance over the generational curse over my family and then began prayerfully breaking in Jesus Name any connection that a spirit of infirmary may have had over my back pain and began praying for healing and restoration to any degenerative damage to my back. During this time I really didn’t feel anything at all. So, next they had me sit in a wooden chair with my lower back resting fully against the back of the chair. Chris then had me lift my legs and he held my feet together to see if they were different lengths. After the group looked at my legs they said that my right leg was definitely a little shorter than the left.

So, while Chris was holding my feet, Dave Foster put his hand on my right shin and began to invite the Holy Spirit to come and bring healing to my leg. Then Taylor Lyall, who had his hand on my right thigh began to command my right leg to grow out in Jesus Name. Here’s where it gets good. All of a sudden my right leg from the knee down began to tingle like crazy and then it felt like someone yanked really hard on my right foot and I literally felt my leg grow out from around my ankle area. Everyone there started screaming that my foot just totally grew out like an inch or so (maybe around 3 cm). Personally, it really felt like my leg had grown too much. I didn’t say anything but then Chris had Monica come put her hand on my feet and she began to pray that God would even out my legs. Then my left ankle area began to tingle too and it really felt like both my legs were shifting about. It was quite a strange feeling. I was literally holding onto the chair like I was about to take off or something. All in all, I think we prayed for maybe 10 minutes while I was sitting in the chair. Afterwards, when I stood up it definitely felt different.

Today (September 27th), as I am writing this the calf muscle in my right leg feels extra tight and my right knee feels a bit weird like it’s adjusting or something. I have no more pain in my lower back, but I do feel like the muscles back there are a tiny bit sore as well. Maybe my lower back muscles, nerves and tendons are also adjusting I’ll see over then next few weeks if I need more restorative prayer on my back. Over the weekend, I bought a balance board and ordered a Bosu ball because I wanted to work on resetting my balance. I’m glad I did because now I can work on my balance, not because I have one leg shorter than the other, but because God miraculously lengthened and evened out my legs and now I need to reset my balance because I have too legs that are the same length. God’s grace and goodness towards us is so amazing! So amazing!!!



by Gerald T. Ching


In the moments of my deepest and darkest times

when life has overcome me with its worldly grief

and I am brought to my knees in desperation.

A loving Presence graces me and soothes my soul.


The long days that pass by these weary eyes,

flow into the dark nights that weigh upon my soul;

filled with stillborn dreams, stark

with the realities of a fallen world.


Enshrouded in this dimness

is a sparkling light of hope

that flickers and flares

within the deficiency of my character.


Thoughts and feelings get

pushed and pulled from my struggling soul.

Living in that sparkling light

an Angel of Christ lives

who battles daily to lift this heavy curtain of burden.


Quietly with purpose and in purity

he stands full of love, in Truth.


With a humble and pure heart

he stands in servitude, awaiting

the final transformation of my capricious soul

as goodness sweeps away the cluttering debris.


Sealing me with Your Holy Spirit,

a warm reassuring smile eases the furl of my brow;

brightening the gloom

that surrounds my existence.


From the darkness a little boy emerges

naked, frightened, broken, and shivering;

Your Spirit breaks through the barriers that bind.

There is sad joy in his little eyes

as a waterfall of relief rains down.


Pulled by an unseen magnetic field,

the darkness seeps away. A reassuring gesture

beckons him into Your heart, filling

the strange longing within his own heart

as he is drawn across to You.


In a deep embrace, his soul is finally united –

home at last. Giving way to a bright future

full of big dreams and surrounded by brilliance,

this all encompassing loving light

overflows with compassion.


In the moment of my deepest and darkest time,

when life defeated me with its worldly grief

and I stood at the doorstep of death,

I was swept away in the arms of Christ;

brought from the darkness and into the light, saved.

GRACE III: grace story

The more I meditate on the grace of God, the more I am convinced that the only reason that I am not dead is by God’s grace. And the only reason I am where I am today is by God’s grace. It is only by God’s grace that any of us are not as bad as we know in our hearts that we could be and it’s by His grace that we are also the best we could ever be. The amazingness of God’s grace is that it is free with no strings attached. If you have never spent time meditating on God’s grace, I highly urge that you do. I would even suggest that you begin to ask God to reveal to you just how His grace has impacted and shaped your life. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of letting other things shape and form me. What is it that is shaping your life apart from God’s grace?

In my last post, I talked about the equal need of God’s diamond of grace resting in and on each of our lives and how it’s not about degrees of grace, but rather differing facets of the whole of God’s grace. And how grace flows freely out of the goodness and kindness of God’s heart towards us. I would also add to this image that God’s diamond of grace reflects the reality of the Kingdom of God because grace is also the overflow of the Kingdom of God. The more I learn to embrace the fullness of God’s grace upon my life, the more I will learn to rest and walk in Holy Spirit. And the more I rest and walk in Holy Spirit, the more I will live in the atmosphere of the Kingdom of God. I mean, Jesus says that “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21 NIV) because the Holy Spirit lives within every believer (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Grace is simply amazing. From my perspective, embracing God’s grace and experiencing living in the Kingdom of God go hand in hand. I know whenever I get to share my God story with people, they are impacted by the reality of the Kingdom of God because they are impacted by the love of God and the hope of the Gospel which are large components of God’s Kingdom. That’s why I truly believe that testifying about how God’s grace has impacted and shaped our lives is so critical because the words of our testimony have the power to reveal both God’s heart towards people and the reality of Kingdom of God. I mean according to Scripture, the weapons of our warfare against the Evil One are the Word of God, the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. What’s your grace story?

GRACE I: grace dealer

I was called something the other day that I’ve never been called before: a grace dealer. Now if you know my story that’s more than just a little ironic. Personally, I find it miraculously hilarious! Only God could transform a person from being a drug dealer (a destroyer of lives) into a grace dealer (an encourager of lives). But, I’m getting ahead of myself. What spurred our conversation was the fact that I love to pray grace into people’s lives. From my understanding of Scripture, without God’s grace we are all lost to our own devices, dysfunctions and distortions. Hence, the reason that I love to pray that God’s grace would literally invade a person’s life. Have you ever thought about what the world would be like without grace? I shiver at the thought.

Grace is a crucial component to the healing and recovery process of addicts and alcoholics. From what I surmise from reading the Bible, grace has a way of setting people free from the bondage of sin. I mean when Jesus walked among us, He embodied in fullness both the grace and truth of God (John 1:17). And this grace and truth healed and set people free because anytime grace is mixed with truth it will always encourage and empower people. It is also through Jesus that we experience the depths of God’s amazing love. I know I say this a lot, but knowing the Father’s perfect unconditional love changes everything. His love has a way of turning our divided, shallow, hardened, wounded, scarred and deceptive hearts into whole, deep, tender, healed, renewed and genuine hearts.

I mean God’s heart towards us is to let His wonderful grace rule in our lives, over and above sin (Romans 5:21). But, giving people grace can be messy business because who knows what they may do with this grace. I believe that’s why Paul admonishes us to not abuse God’s grace by using it as a license to sin (Romans 6:1,2). But, from God’s vantage point, He’s not worried. He knows what His grace can accomplish in a person’s life and He’s patient. There’s a verse that says “God’s kindness leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4) which I couldn’t agree with more. But, if you’re like me, than it’s all too easy to slip into the mindset that through judgement people will come to repentance. And though I do believe that the fear of judgement can lead people towards repentance, it will always be God’s grace that brings a person into His presence.

FREEdom II: living free

Walking out the freedom that Jesus extends to His followers is easier said than done. The sad reality of our fallen condition is that we would rather live the way we are familiar and comfortable with, even if it means living in bondage, rather than embrace the new and unfamiliar way that Jesus has for us. I mean, the scary part of being a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) is the deep longing to be transformed, but not knowing what that looks like and the difficulty in being able to recognize the new way when God brings it into our lives. But, I do believe that the more we learn to embrace this new way, the more our hearts will trust in God’s ways where the rocky road of sanctification will become more comfortable to us than the smooth road of convenience. At the heart of this is trust: learning to trust in the goodness and grace of God.

Rather than rattle off verse after Scripture verse that talks about the goodness and grace of God (I do recommend doing a word search of both words) I think a better question to ask is, “What kind of thorns and scars do you have in and on your heart?” You see, it is these thorns and scars (our woundedness) that keeps us from living free because our woundedness keeps both God and people at arm’s length. It’s our woundedness that distorts the way we see the world, people, ourselves and God. But, the Good News is that God is lovingly faithful and patient and His perfect love has a way of healing our hearts. The more we soak in His love the more our hearts are tenderized both towards Him and people. What I love about God’s unconditional love is that His love is active, meaning, His love moves Him to pursue us. Isn’t that the words of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

When I came to faith roughly 10 years ago, I remember feeling so inadequate in my ability to both give and receive love. I also remember being moved by Holy Spirit to begin asking Jesus to show me what it means to love and be loved. I literally prayed this prayer for at least three years, if not longer. Today, I’m feeling the same tugging at my heart to begin again praying this prayer. It’s humbling, the deeper I delve into the Father’s heart, the more aware I become of the shallowness of my own love, both for God and others. From my perspective, living free means the ability to love free. But, our woundedness is stingy with love and likes to horde love which hinders us from loving freely. Now a verse that has been a great comfort to me is “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). What this says to me is that I don’t have to generate love on my own, rather all I need to do is lean into the Father’s perfect unconditional love and His love will begin to fuel and fire my own love which will also set me free to love.

When I look at Jesus’ life while He walked the earth, I see a man who loved passionately, faithfully, authentically, virtuously and completely free. Jesus knew what it meant to love and live in freedom. Nothing held Jesus back from living and loving free because He fully understood our Father’s love for Him. He knew without a shadow of a doubt that He was God’s beloved Son. It is the same for us, knowing that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters changes everything because the more fully we embrace this reality, the more readily we will “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV). I know personally, the more I am around the throne of grace, the more I understand who God is to me and who I am to God. He is my beloved Father and I am His beloved child in whom He adores and delights. When we experience the depths of the Father’s love, His love heals, saves, redeems, restores and sustains us. Remember nothing can separate us from the love God has for us in Jesus (Romans 8:31-39).

Living free means loving free. Being a new creation in Christ means becoming more and more like Him each and everyday which means learning to love more passionately, faithfully, authentically, virtuously and completely free. Jesus promises us that if If we seek the freedom to live and love free, we will find it (Matthew 7:7,8). I don’t know about you, but that sounds like Good News to me. This is my prayer: “Jesus, show us what it means to love and be loved. Show us how to live and love freely. Teach us to love like You. Heal the wounds of our hearts that hinders us from living and loving free. Whatever it takes Jesus because You are worth it. We love You our Savior King! Amen.”

transFORMation II

When Jesus tells us that we will do the things He did as well as even greater things (John 14:12) – what this says to me is that we are being transformed to do the supernatural good work of the Kingdom. Earlier, when Jesus preaches the sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) He specifically says to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). What this says to me is that the way we love and serve people around us declares to them the goodness and kindness of God, Who is not distant and indifferent, but is committed to the world and active in the lives of people. Again, from my understanding of what the Scriptures say, the only way a person can truly make an eternal impact in this world is when they are filled with God’s Word and Spirit, walking in Holy Spirit power, gifts and exhibiting His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23).  

I love what Peter says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:9-12 TNIV). It is only because God has chosen us to be His people, taking us from living in darkness into now living in “His wonderful light” by transforming our lives by His mercy. But, it’s not about speaking and serving in our own strength, but about doing everything in the strength that God gives us (1 Peter 4:11).

I believe that the reason God doesn’t just take people to Heaven right when they get saved is because there is a lot of good work that He has ordained for every follower of Jesus to do here on earth. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). We are His masterpieces that He is continually transforming as He forms, shapes, gifts, equips and empowers us to do right, love mercy and to walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8). What God has been impressing on my heart more and more is that when I testify about Him, He WILL show up and confirm my testimony about Him. But, I need to be actively taking God at His Word and stepping out in faith by leaning into the presence and power of Holy Spirit in my life. The way we live our lives reveals what we believe. We are Jesus’ ambassadors here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20), but the sad reality is that many Christian have really failed at representing Him accurately.

But, if I’ve learned one thing with God, it’s this: “It’s never too late!” I am more more and more convinced that the world is waiting to hear the words of the Gospel of grace and hungry for a demonstration of the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). God is looking for more people like Abraham, who will take Him at His Word (Galatians 3:6; Romans 4:3) and step out in faith and begin proclaiming and demonstrating the truth and power of the Gospel. So, this is my prayer: “I pray that Jesus would help each of us to embrace more of the Father’s grace. That Holy Spirit would move our hearts to consciously ask for more of God’s grace to be birthed and released into our lives. And that He would equip, empower and embolden us to be a people who take Him at His Word. So, Jesus we receive Your Word that tell us that we will do what You did, even that we will do even greater things, In Your Name Jesus, Amen.”

“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7, 8 NIV).