Posts

The Fig Tree

Title: The Fig Tree
Materials: Watercolor
Artwork by: Laura Morgan
Description: I hardly ever have reason to fly without familiar companions, so before my flight home from Texas–where I was visiting friends–I prayed that God would bless the interactions with my seatmates. God answered that request in an unforgettable way.

During my flight from Texas, the young man seated next to me started up a conversation, introducing himself as Minh. We exchanged the typical get-to-know-you information, which quickly opened the door for me to tell him about the near fatal accident I was involved in years ago.

Because of the accident and the tough rehabilitation that followed, I shared that I was stripped raw by having so many of the things I loved and had worked so hard for taken away from me (my job in speech pathology, lifelong musical endeavors, sports of running and rock climbing, even many of my spiritual opportunities, like in leading small groups and being invited to become a deacon).

Although I experienced great sadness over all these losses, I consider it a great grace I was given in that I did not experience anger towards Him. I honestly didn’t have questions of why a good God allowed this horrible accident to happen.

Minh also encouraged me from Habakkuk 3:17-19. Habakkuk had every reason to despair; yet his security remained intact enough to even “rejoice in the Lord” (verse 18). I can only imagine the anguish Habakkuk was enduring and I can’t help but be encouraged by Habakkuk’s response and the way he has learned to rejoice in his immense suffering, finding strength and joy in God alone. Let us also find our source of joy to be completely outside of and beyond whatever that could impact our lives on earth.

 

 

Grace Upon Grace

Title: Grace Upon Grace
Materials: Hand-lettering
Description: 
What exactly is Grace? What does Grace mean to you? How have you personally experienced God’s grace in your life?

Here are a selection of quotes about “Grace” which were done at a recent handlettering jam session in Singapore. May it encourage, provoke, and move us to give praise to the giver of Grace.

 

Grace-upon-grace-(9)

Grace to me is something God gives freely to an undeserving person like me. I believe that God’s grace is sufficient for someone who’s insufficient and weak like myself. There were times where I felt completely defeated in my own circumstances but because God is a God of grace, He gives strength to the weak. Only His grace can meet my needs and it is available all the time for me. – “Grace is the power to fulfill what we lack” (David Guzik)

Artwork by Esther (@doodleswithjoy)

 

 

Grace-upon-grace-(8)

My chains are gone, my debt is paid
From death to life, and grace to grace
– Grace to Grace, Hillsong Worship –

I love this song because it reminds me that I am nothing if not for the Cross. Without Jesus, I would be hurt, broken and barely just going through life. But because of Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, I can live with purpose.

Artwork by Wan Ting (@tingthepro)

 

 

Grace-upon-grace-(7)

I’m not the best at my studies, but God was there. I’ve given into temptation on many occasions, still, He was there. With His gentle whisper and reminder of His grace, I was able to make a change. I’ve made a big step in my life’s direction at the age of 21, but God never left. I know I’m living in grace each day. I’ve been through heartbreak and heartaches, but God allowed for it. so that I could feel His grace. Without God’s grace, there is really nothing I can do.

Artwork by Vania

 

 

Grace-upon-grace-(5)

Everytime I see my limitations and failures, I always feel disappointed with myself. I think I will never be good enough to do a significant work. This quote reminds me that God’s grace is enough to use a broken person like me in a meaningful way.

Artwork by Meliana Sari Dewi (@melianasaridewi)

 

Grace-upon-Grace-(11)

Living as a Christian in a fast-paced life can be exhausting at times. At times, we find ourselves being overwhelmed by tasks, deadlines or perhaps – expectations from people around us.  Sometimes, we forget that the Holy Spirit is the source of our power and find ourselves in a place where our well-intentioned diligence has become striving.

Yet, whenever we are put in a situation like this, we can be reminded that God has given us His unmerited favor- grace. We can be assured that His grace is enough for us, even when we feel so powerless, simply because His grace made us stronger in our weakest moments.

Artwork by Ika (@scriptography)

 

 

Grace-upon-grace-(2)

During the good and the bad, when I’m weak, hurting or struggling, His grace is always enough. And because of His grace, I have the reassuring peace and hope in knowing that He is always in control, in every situation of my life. Only by His unfailing grace can I get through every day. His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness.

Artwork by Janelle (@thehopeletter)

 

Grace-upon-Grace-(1)

“Why am I not perfect? Why do I have this flaw?” When in lack, I’m always reminded of the fact that I’m like clay, being molded to perfection but not destroyed, because of God’s abundant grace.

His grace empowers me to carry on. It brings me to a place of recognizing my lack at the feet of the cross. Moreover, when I experience the abundance of His grace, I can never remain at the same place. I draw closer to Jesus, and I draw closer to perfection.

Artwork by Faith (@chffaith)

 

 

Grace-upon-Grace-(10)

I do what I do, because of what I’ve received. The experiences I’ve gone through, people I’ve met and divine revelations I’ve experienced, screamed for a voice. Sharing these lessons through brush lettering gave me that voice. This ability was, and still is, a gift of grace and there is no better way to respond to such grace than by sharing it with the community, so that it multiplies. I do what I do, because I have received by his grace.

Artwork by Alicia (@alyletters)

ODJ: Compelling Grace

My friends in my Bible discussion group chuckled when I shared how I was trying to avoid God. I smiled, but it was no joke. His promptings to overlook my demands for justice and extend grace filled me with resentment. I felt like shaking my fist (as the prophet Jonah might have done) and screaming, “You want me to go where, and do what?!”

Assyria was Israel’s bitter enemy—a wicked nation that delighted in unspeakable acts of cruelty. No one was more deserving of judgement. When God sent Jonah to preach in the Assyrian city of Nineveh, he took off for Tarshish instead—away from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:3). The prophet would have benefited from my friends’ counsel. “You can’t run away from God,” they told me. “He knows how to find you.”

They were right.

God pursued Jonah with a raging tempest—subsiding only when he was thrown into the sea. Then God provided a fish’s belly in which the prophet would cool his fleeing heels (v.17). Finally, Jonah did obey God’s voice. But the indignation he had felt at the call bubbled over when the Ninevites actually repented (3:6-10). Filled with rage, Jonah declared that he’d “rather be dead” than see his enemies saved (4:1-3). But God didn’t see vile, wicked people. He saw lost souls in need of salvation (v.11).

Like Jonah, I found myself pursued by God’s grace and mercy. Everywhere I turned, images and messages of the cross were waiting to confront me. My demands for justice paled when compared to those of God’s holiness in light of my sin. His grace compelled me to humbly face the accusations flung at me, for Jesus made the ultimate exchange—His righteousness for my lack thereof. Rejoicing in that truth, I heard Him whisper, “Go and do the same” (Luke 10:37).

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Esther 6:1-7:10

May 7, 2016 

READ: Jonah 1:1-17, 4:1-3,11  


Then God said to Jonah, ldquo;Is it right for you to be angry . . . ?” “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!” (4:9). 

My friends in my Bible discussion group chuckled when I shared how I was trying to avoid God. I smiled, but it was no joke. His promptings to overlook my demands for justice and extend grace filled me with resentment. I felt like shaking my fist (as the prophet Jonah might have done) and screaming, “You want me to go where, and do what?!”

Assyria was Israel’s bitter enemy—a wicked nation that delighted in unspeakable acts of cruelty. No one was more deserving of judgement. When God sent Jonah to preach in the Assyrian city of Nineveh, he took off for Tarshish instead—away from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:3). The prophet would have benefitted from my friends’ counsel. “You can’t run away from God,” they told me. “He knows how to find you.”

They were right.

God pursued Jonah with a raging tempest—subsiding only when he was thrown into the sea. Then God provided a fish’s belly in which the prophet would cool his fleeing heels (v.17). Finally, Jonah did obey God’s voice. But the indignation he had felt at the call bubbled over when the Ninevites actually repented (3:6-10). Filled with rage, Jonah declared that he’d “rather be dead” than see his enemies saved (4:1-3). But God didn’t see vile, wicked people. He saw lost souls in need of salvation (v.11).

Like Jonah, I found myself pursued by God’s grace and mercy. Everywhere I turned, images and messages of the cross were waiting to confront me. My demands for justice paled when compared to those of God’s holiness in light of my sin. His grace compelled me to humbly face the accusations flung at me, for Jesus made the ultimate exchange—His righteousness for my lack thereof. Rejoicing in that truth, I heard Him whisper, “Go and do the same” (Luke 10:37).

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Esther 6:1-7:10

MORE
Read Luke 15:25-32 and think about how the prodigal son’s older brother reacted to his return. 
NEXT
Is there a person or situation in your life that has caused you great pain? What does the reality of God’s grace contribute to your response or reaction? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODJ: Never Beyond God’s Grace

My springer spaniel was recognised as one of the most talented, hardworking dogs in our hunting community. He would go out on thin ice to retrieve game when other dogs would turn back. Pursuing a pheasant through the thickest bramble and thorn—areas that other dogs would not enter because it was so dense—wasn’t a problem. His determination was so great that he even made a retrieval immediately after breaking his leg! And yet, when he was just 18 months old, I wondered if he would ever be a good hunting dog. His determined personality seemed impossible to harness and I was ready to give up on him because it appeared he would never become an obedient companion.

Saul of Tarsus once appeared to be a lost cause too. Just look at the darkness of his heart when he “agreed completely with the killing of Stephen” (Acts 8:1). He stood by and nodded approval as an innocent man was battered to death. Then he sought assistance in attacking other men and women and throwing them in jail, simply because he hated what they believed (9:1-2). His determination to be cruel and hateful knew no bounds. Surely this was a man beyond the reach of God’s grace! Surely the best thing was to sit back and await His judgment, right?

Yet God transformed Saul (later known as Paul) in an instant! (vv.5-6). All the venom and hatred was washed away as he became one of the most influential believers of all time. He simply refused to keep quiet once he came to know Christ (vv.20-22).

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the worst offenders become the most passionate followers? Perhaps this is because they know what they’ve been saved from (Luke 7:47). No one is beyond the reach of Jesus—no one!

—Russell Fralick

365-day-plan: 1 Kings 1:5-27

April 11, 2016 

READ: Acts 9:1-22 


“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting” (v.5). 

My springer spaniel was recognized as one of the most talented, hardworking dogs in our hunting community. He would go out on thin ice to retrieve game when other dogs would turn back. Pursuing a pheasant through the thickest bramble and thorn—areas that other dogs would not enter because it was so dense—wasn’t a problem. His determination was so great that he even made a retrieval immediately after breaking his leg! And yet, when he was just 18 months old, I wondered if he would ever be a good hunting dog. His determined personality seemed impossible to harness and I was ready to give up on him because it appeared he would never become an obedient companion.

Saul of Tarsus once appeared to be a lost cause too. Just look at the darkness of his heart when he “agreed completely with the killing of Stephen” (Acts 8:1). He stood by and nodded approval as an innocent man was battered to death. Then he sought assistance in attacking other men and women and throwing them in jail, simply because he hated what they believed (9:1—2). His determination to be cruel and hateful knew no bounds. Surely this was a man beyond the reach of God’s grace! Surely the best thing was to sit back and await His judgment, right?

Yet God transformed Saul (later known as Paul) in an instant! (vv.5—6). All the venom and hatred was washed away as he became one of the most influential believers of all time. He simply refused to keep quiet once he came to know Christ (vv.20—22).

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the worst offenders become the most passionate followers? Perhaps this is because they know what they’ve been saved from (Luke 7:47). No one is beyond the reach of Jesus—no one!

—Russell Fralick

365-day-plan: 1 Kings 1:5-27

MORE
Read Acts 17:16—34 and see how God used Paul and his zeal to reach others. 
NEXT
Read Acts 17:16—34 and see how God used Paul and his zeal to reach others. 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)