Scandalous Grace

Matthew 20: 1-15 (MSG)
“God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work.
“Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.
“He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’ “He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’
“Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager,
‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’ “He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’

About a year ago, I read this scripture for the first time and I felt outraged on behalf of the workers who started first. It puzzled me, I just could not understand it.
Interestingly, a year later, I understand completely. It’s about grace. The shocking, absurd, outrageous, irrational grace of God.

I tried so hard to understand this parable, this grace with my flawed human thinking, but it made no sense.
Do you see what happened there? Put yourself in the shoes of the guy who started working early in the morning, let’s say 5 am. You’ve worked, and sweated, and pushed, and heaved. And some other guys, they came in and joined you at 5PM. A whole 12 hours later. You’ve probably already even done the very hard part. And at the end of the day, you’re given the same wage; 1 dollar each.
Wow. That makes no sense. But you know what? That’s okay because grace does not make sense.

There’s something else. The estate manager went out to look for more workers at 5PM. He found some men standing about, and he asked them why they were standing about.
The reply that came was

Because no one hired us. (Matthew 20:7)

So they were the castaways. The unwanted ones. Everyone else had been hired but not these ones. They probably weren’t qualified enough for the job. They probably weren’t strong enough. I mean, the whole town probably knew them as the “no-gooders”. They just weren’t good enough.
Yet still, the owner of the vineyard, a man I’d love to call Grace comes in.
Mr. Grace comes in and says you might not have any qualifications but I [Mr Grace] will qualify you.
You might not be strong enough but I [Mr Grace] will strengthen you.
Others might have rejected you, but I [Mr Grace] have chosen you.
They think you’re not good enough, but I [Mr Grace] will perfect you.
Oh, and at the end of it all, I will give you a good and perfect reward; the eternal crown of life.

That sweet, perfect, irrational but infinite grace of God. The grace that I believe is beyond our human comprehension. You don’t have to understand it. Just believe, and accept it.
The grace of God is extending His arm to you today, saying it does not matter how much of a 5pm worker you are. The Grace of God is bigger than any mistakes, bigger than any addictions, bigger than troubles, bigger than your problems, bigger than your secret sins. The Grace of God is sufficient. Accept the grace of God today.

Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, as undeserving of your grace as I am, I ask for it today. I ask that you shower me with your infinite, unending grace. I ask that your grace shall strengthen me. I ask that your grace shall perfect my weaknesses. I pray that by your grace, I will be given the strength to walk in your love. By your grace, Lord, may I daily become more like you. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

God and You: The Love Story

I never realised how much of a love story Hosea is, until now. It’s so beautiful and I want to share it with you.
I pray that my words shall carry the convicting power of the Holy Ghost, and the words I type shall be of God. I pray that it speaks to you in a special and unique way. I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Hosea; A faithful servant of God. Imagine his surprise when God asked Him to marry a prostitute. Imagine him saying “God, seriously? Are you sure?” I myself was filled with righteous indignation on His behalf.
He obeyed. He married her, and she bore him three children. Life was good.
And then she left him. She left him for another lover. She picked her former slavery, over her God given husband. She left him with three children to raise, and was content to go back to her former life of harlotry.

Hosea, heartbroken would probably have said something like “God, I’ve done what I can. She’s gone and now there’s nothing else I can do”.
But God said to Hosea:

Hosea 3:1 NIV
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress.

And so Hosea went back for his wife.

Now, imagine the thoughts running through Gomer’s (Hosea’s wife) mind. “How can this man come back for me? How can I hurt him so deeply and yet still he forgives me? Yet still, he wants me back. How can he love me despite my harlotry?”

This kind of love is hard to comprehend. But that is the love that God has for us, His children.
In the book of Hosea, God said the prostitute Gomer is Israel. And so the prostitute Gomer is you. You and I.
And like Gomer, we have flirted with the things of the world. We have made other gods (- social media, boyfriends, money, fashion, education and the list goes on) our number one.
God, who Hosea represents has called us to Himself and loved us with an everlasting love. Yet we run back to our former lovers – our old gods, thinking that the love of God will run out for us.

Dear friend, God loves you deeply, completely and unconditionally. He loves you despite your past, and despite your mistakes.
Like Hosea went searching and calling back Gomer, God is calling you back. He wants you. Answer to Him today.

Romans 8:38-39 NIV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear God (Ayo)

Dear God,

We’ve been through a lot you know especially this year… all our break ups, times I wouldn’t even want to talk to you or even times I felt I’d cheated on you. I remember that time I couldn’t even call you because I felt I didn’t deserve Your love; I would cheat on You and yet You would always welcome me with loving hands.
Nah, I felt really bad and I was like you know what, I think we just need a break from each other.
Days, weeks and months passed, our communication rate declined big time 👇👇.
But then again just like You’ve been doing always you found a way of calling me back. This time in a funny way via Twitter 😄😄
You knew my stalking skills were 🙌 , so to me it came as no surprise. I noticed a friend of mine had changed her ways and she took God more serious, so in my little way I just had a little chat with her and they say the rest is history.
She added me into her bible study group and gradually we began to talk more, I even wrote my first letter to you during that period 😁😁.
Long story cut short we got back together and even made our bond stronger 💪💪💪.

Would also like to thank you for all You’ve done for me this year, Your protection, guidance for my family and friends.
Despite all the attempts of our side chick (the devil), we came out victorious 😎.  
Thanks a lot my real G 👏👏

Ayo.

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

Dear God (Ezinne)

Dear God,
It’s me again.
Um, I know I haven’t been talking to you a lot recently & that’s why I’m so nervous now but I have a lot to say & you’re the only one I know that’ll completely understand.

When I started this year, I was so sad & afraid. I used to cry a lot, but you know that already, don’t you?
Because I stayed in your presence for hours sometimes begging that my parents stay together but they separated anyway.

You have never ignored my prayers Daddy and that was why I was so confused. I didn’t talk to you for months because I was so angry and hurt and it was a good excuse to sin.

Why my family? It hurt to see my siblings hurt and I suffered. Stepped up, took on so much responsibility, while trying to hide my sadness and problems from the world and also not mess up in school.

But then You still called me. You made events in my life turn around and lead me back to You. And now I finally understand. I’m SO much stronger & braver & wiser. I know what I want & what I don’t. All this time I thought you abandoned me but you were really just toughening me.
Making me into this amazing, beautiful, woman who is now wife material uncountable yards lol because you have great plans for me.
I just love you.
You’re the real mvp lol.
You’re my best friend.
You’re amazing.

All my love forever,
Ezinne.

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

Dear God (Ugonna)

Dear God,
Haha, I just finished reading the Word and I feel kinda great and I know its You doing it because everything good comes from You.
Ehen! I was gonna tell you about this girl, even though you already know… she’s so beautiful!
I think I like her but I need to chill and come to You first because she may not be what you want for me, because You have set out the best for me. Sha, I believe you’ll speak to me more on this topic.
Oh and by the way, God I want to ask for your help with all my assessments, and that of my family members and friends. For your strength and favour with our results.
Thank you for I know you have already done it!
My day is practically about to start and I know you have given me everything I need to take advantage of it!
Thank you very much Lord!

I love you.
Ugo

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

Dear God (Renyé)

Dear God,
Who am I that you listen to me?
Who am I that you hang onto my every thought?
My every song?
My every breath?
Who am I that you bring me to your table and anoint me?
Who am I that you love me royally?
Who am I Lord that I deserve your praise and adoration?
Who am I Lord?
I am your servant.
You are my Father.

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY SAVIOUR!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY SAVIOUR!

E X C I T E D!
T H R I L L E D!
E N T H U S E D!

I’m sure you already know it, but today is my Saviour’s birthday.

Can I talk a little about this great Son of Man? (He loves to refer to Himself as that 😉)

He loved me, He loves me. Undeserving as I am. He loved me when I was a sinner, and He loves me now. Sometimes I miss the mark, I don’t always get things right, I slip and fall off His path sometimes. Yet He loves me still. For this I celebrate Him.

I’ll tell you what my Redeemer did. I was wearing this robe, and it was dirty. Black. Disgusting. My robe of sin.
My Redeemer took that robe off me, washed it in HIS BLOOD, it became white as snow, and He gave it back to me. A new garment of righteousness. For this I celebrate Him.

I was down to my lowest of lows. I had no one to talk to, to communicate my feelings. Angry, sad, depressed, frustrated. Nobody understood me. But guess what? HE DID!
He told me to cast my every worry and anxiety to Him! He took it away and made me WHOLE. For this I celebrate Him.

Guess what else? My Prince of Peace elevated me! He took me to places I never ever imagined. Places I’m undeserving of. And He’s taking me higher still. For this I celebrate Him.

One last thing. Jesus – My Friend. My Lover. Bae.
He turned my life around. COMPLETELY.
Who I was before I met Him, and who I am now that we have this beautiful relationship are two polar opposites.
For this, I celebrate Him.

Happy Birthday Jesus Christ Emmanuel Messiah Saviour Redeemer Lover Friend and Brother.
I love you. From the bottom of my heart I do. I hope that a heart filled with thanksgiving is a suitable enough birthday present for you, My Love.

Please join me in celebrating JEHOVAH today! It’s His birthday!

Merry Christmas to you, beautiful people!!

Dear God (Oriana)

Dear God,

It’s been a while.
I’ve just been feeling so bleehh lately and I know that I should have come to you before now but I didn’t know how.
I mean, your daughter is going through it, like really going through at the moment.
The temptation is suffocating, I’m about to lose my mind. I
need your peace. I need the silence so I can hear from You.
I feel like our connection is slowly disintegrating and I hate it.
Dad please come through for me, I can’t do it on my own.

Your Beloved,
Oriana

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

Dear God (RSI)

Dear God,
You know who’s writing to you.
I really need to let this out, you are my best friend. And you’re like the best, best friend ever.
I’m sure you already know about this boy, but I’m still going to tell you about him anyway.
He’s now my ex boyfriend, how I wish that wasn’t a fact.
I know we did disappoint you a couple of times in our acts, and I sincerely apologise for that.
But honestly, I just want to thank you for what you have made me realise. For finally letting me know my worth. And for showing me that I deserve much more.
Our break up would probably be the toughest thing right now, but that’s why I’ve got you.
Oh, I love you so much, cause you’ve just got me forever. Help me till the time is right, to find another.
I love you Lord. I really really do.

Yours,
Rsi x

To find out more about the Dear God series, please click here

If you would love to submit your letter to God, you can here

Stay blessed! ❤️

Dear God (Sandra Adeyemi)

Dear God (Sandra Adeyemi)

Dear God,
Firstly, I just want to thank you for everything that you have done, what you are presently doing and what you are going to do in my life.
Many times I complain even when I know I shouldn’t. I doubt your abilities and I limit you with my own words and thoughts, and for that Father I come before you to ask for forgiveness.

Sigh, God, you see all that is going on and sometimes it feel like nothing is happening. Most times I want to give up, I want to yell or cry. But then I have to remember that you said you have a plan for me, to give me a future and an end.
It’s frustrating sometimes I won’t lie but I know that you will work everything out for my good.
Thank you for restoring peace in my family.

Mold me o Lord into your humble servant. When people see me let them see Christ. Create in me a clean Heart God. Help me to love others like you’ve loved me. Help me to love you more than anything. Because you must increase and I must decrease. Let everything that I do please you. Let me not put you or myself to shame. It is not easy and I cannot do it on my own. I need you each and everyday to get by. Help me to strain my mouth God because I know I be too quick to talk sometimes.

Please protect all my loved ones. All my sisters and brothers in Christ and even those who don’t know you. Bring all your children back home. And I pray everyone encounters you in a different way like never before.
Thank you Jesus.
SA

@SandraaIviee_

If you missed the introduction to the Dear God series, read it here