Sunday, 22 January 2012

Broken Before Beautiful

Our Church secretary, Chola Mukanga's sermon, highlighted something often overlooked by many - the fact that God uses broken things. This is a concept that amazes me and fills me with gratitude.

If we look back at most ordinary Bible heroes, we see that God broke them before using them:
Paul - was blinded by God on his way to Damascus
Jacob - had to fight the Angel of God
Joseph - had to be sold to merchants by his own brothers, out of jealousy
...and the list goes on.
But why does God do this? One can often wonder, why a loving God does this to His own children, why can't He just transform them and use them magically?!

God is our Father, not a magician, He is our Savior and friend thus He doesn't treat us like robots. He wants to refine us, teach us and sharpen us, like a sword bearer sharpens a sword for battle. He breaks us, to drive us to the point of helplessness, so that we totally depend and rely on Him alone - not only once but continue to do so. This is the only way, we choose to listen to Him, to His voice that constantly guides us. The best parenting doesn't force a child to do what is right (forcing often creates rebellion), it makes a child choose to do what is right (no matter what situation, the child's moral compass will function correctly and dominate the child's choices and decisions).


A YouTube user, 'TheFisheman71' beautifully phrases the entire message of this post: "It is when we know that we are broken that we seek wholeness. In that search we are bound to encounter the One who died to make us whole!"


If it weren't for these 'broken' days, how will we know and relish in the Savior's love? How will we know the pleasure we find in God alone? In our helplessness, He will be be glorified; through our helplessness, we will be sanctified. Often when we are going through the lowliest of points in life, don't give up but trust in the Lord and turn fully to Him, let His grace shine into your life and let Him lead the way - He will refine and sharpen you, bring you closer to Him and use you far greater than before, that is when we become, truly beautiful.

Loving the world and loving You
clinging to both, not letting go
of the very things that hung You to
the Cross that brought me to You.

As I knowingly hurt You more
by indulging in what I should deplore
You persistently speak and intercede for
a sinner who did not appreciate the gore.

Through a sunset You speak loud and clear
to ensure that Your beloved sinner hears
to save me once more from death so near
and reconcile me to hold me dear.

Although I see Your grace complete
my sinful flesh brands me effete
by sliding back into the sin discrete
and spirit and flesh warring in the heat.

Although I've still got work to do
I am prepared to strive for You
looking ahead to that promise of a hope so true
that can only be found in You.

You alone have turned me around
pulled me away from all the sin I'm bound 
At Your mercy's seat You'll have me crowned
a sinner, once lost, now found.

I wrote this poem after being greatly impacted by Paul's writing in Romans 7:14-20

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not to the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do - this I keep doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.


by the song: Undo by Rush of Fools and by a breathtaking sunset, through which God clearly spoke inhibiting me from indulging deeper in a sin and distancing myself from His will for me. This entire experience taught me that God's will, is sometimes what we don't want to hear. As long as we live, our spiritual desires to please God and our sinful flesh will constantly war; however, we have to trust Him, let go of what displeases Him by looking forward for the day we can be with Him, free from the binding of sin.


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Why I hate religion, but love Jesus!

While having a conversation or 'debate' with a passionate atheist friend of mine we focused on this scenario, I would like you to give a thought to this too:
What do I lose by believing in Jesus and living my life for Him? Nothing!
What would I lose by not believing in Jesus and living a life saturated in sin? Everything!
My friend asked me, 'If you die and find out God didn't exist, what would you do?' I replied with a smile, 'I would be glad I lived, striving to please Him and by doing so I am not in anyway harmed by living for what I believed in. However, I will not, because I know for certain He exists and when you see him what are you going to say?' He hesitantly replied by saying, 'He is forgiving right, He can't possibly send me to hell - right?!' Unfortunately, or actually fortunately, I had the opportunity to shed light on his total misunderstanding, 'Yes, He is forgiving, but He is God, thus He is as just as He is forgiving. How can you expect Him to overlook a lifetime of offences towards Him? He is the One that gave you life and you decided to deny His existence! You will have to pay the penalty, that means being tormented in hell, that is where following Jesus comes in.'  Immediately another friend asked me, 'What if you find out another god was God?' - I had the same reply. I thank God for the opportunity to share the gospel with my friends and pray that they feel convicted about their sin and run into God's open arms, before its too late.


Religion cannot get you into heaven, only Jesus can. Your 'works' or just being 'called' a Christian cannot get you into heaven, only His grace can - you have got to believe, accept the penalty paid and repent; its no good boasting about being a Christian or even being called a Christian, you've got to live and love like one.
Do you profess to be a Christian? Then why do you still find the same old sin 'enticing', why do you still gladly indulge in the very things that ripped your Savior's flesh?
I am talking not only to you, to me too!

Our sinfulness is overwhelming that even the things we do out of 'good intention' are so tainted. This is why we need God. Religion is man searching for God; we search for Him but never find Him as we look in the wrong places; sadly sometimes, we don't look at all out of our pride and self-righteousness. But Christianity is God searching for man, the result of it all is Jesus - God has found you, you need to be prepared to acknowledge Him, you can only do it in Jesus.


I came across this powerful, thought provoking video recently and it practically blew my mind away! The issue addressed involves every one - Christian and non-Christian.

Following a 'religion' or being 'religious', isn't going to give you an express pass to heaven, you will be held accountable for your sins, for every time you've broken God's holy law. This is not a position any of us wants to stand in because each and every one of us will be found guilty and will have to pay the penalty before a just God - an eternity spent in torment in hell. Although religion offers a set of rules for us to abide, it misses the point that all of us are law breakers, it does not address the core of the problem, offering a way to cover up the filth stored up inside our hearts, this is what will be exposed on the day of judgement. The cure is Jesus - He paid your penalty, He suffered for your sake, He had you in mind when He was tortured and crucified - How can you still say 'no'!
By rejecting Him, you reject His sacrifice, you reject the redemption freely offered and doom yourself to an eternity of damnation and torment in hell. 

I know I have not been able to be precise, I believe this gentleman expresses this easily and a lot more explicitly. All of this and more is the message of this video, and I passionately agree with every word this gentleman says, kindly give five minutes of your time to watch this, you will not only be challenged but changed.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As we commence the year, I was reminded to re-ignite the fire for God; to strive to live a holy life pleasing to the Savior and to sincerely live for the lost. My prayer is for all of us, who profess to be Christians, to focus on this in 2012.

'Let us plunder hell to populate heaven for Calvary's sake!' ~ Reinhard Bonke

Here is a video I am grateful my friend Rachael, introduced to me on the 31st of December that truly helped re-ignite the passion for Christ and His will.

God WILL be glorified in our lives in the end, but your choice determines whether it'll be through your damnation and eternal punishment or by your salvation and worship!

Take this vital message with you through 2012 - Happy New Year!