Monday, November 9, 2015
He is committed to the word of God
A biblical man’s primary and single pursuit is to bring glory to God. He strives to know the word of God and carries out His will. He does not go about setting his own agenda. The word of God is a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. He knows and obeys the Lord's commands. That was Adam’s responsibility; to obey and keep the command God had given him, it was the same responsibility Moses labored to remind the children of Israel when he said “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” And Paul through the Spirit instructs fathers to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of God
In line with knowing and obeying the word of God is teaching it to others. A man who does not teach the word of God to his family is not carrying out God’s purpose for his life. It is instructive that God gave the command to Adam not to eat of the fruit. By implication it was Adam’s responsibility to teach his wife the word of the Lord. I am highly convinced that women should not marry men who are not committed to the word of God. Now I do not necessarily mean women should look for bible scholars but should rather look for men who are committed to the word of God and will let it be their rule of faith and practice.
He is committed to work
Adam was commanded to work before the fall. And God had set an example for him to follow. God worked by creating the world in six days, even though he didn’t have to work. And when he created Adam he asked him to exercise dominion and subdue the earth by taking care of the garden and naming the animals. Adam was required to exert energy and produce work of excellence. The labor of his hands was supposed to be “very good”. A biblical man does not shy away from nor avoid labor, he does not cut corners or look for quick fixes, he does not engage in get rich quickly schemes, he does not opt for the easy way out and avoid responsibility, he does not view work as just a necessary evil or just a means of earning money and neither does he produce mediocre work. A biblical man enjoys work because he views it as a service to the Lord and that his work is to be very good.
Laziness is unbiblical, unchristian and unmanly! Solomon’s rebuke rings loud when he says “Go to the ant you sluggard and learn its ways.” It was the design of our creator that we should work and subdue the earth. However, there is a difference between being committed to work and being a workaholic. The Lord rested to teach us the importance of resting. It is often a sign of misplaced priorities and disorganization when someone has to work every time and not rest (I pause and repent at this time). There is a time to work and a time to rest, a biblical man has a good balance between the two.
He is committed to family
What often sufferers when we cross the line and become workaholics is the family. After God had created Adam and given him a mandate to obey the word and work in the garden, He saw that it was not good for the man to be alone, so God created a suitable helper for Adam, a woman. So Eve was to be Adam’s companion (helper) in carrying out the purposes God had created him for. And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh (family). Adam now had the responsibility of leading his family in following and pleasing the Lord. No wonder the Lord confronted Adam first when they disobeyed, he was the federal head.
We can put it this way; the man is responsible for providing physically and spiritually for his family, just as he is responsible for protecting them physically and spiritually as well. In other words the Lord is going to hold us accountable for how we lead our families spiritually (I have to repent once more). The wife of a biblical man will be more spiritually mature after marrying him because he leads and guides her in the ways of God and so it goes with the children. Jim berg is spot on when he says: “A man’s home is not his castle, his hunting lodge, his crash pad, his entertainment center, or his business center. It is where he exercises dominion over the spiritual growth of his family”
If we are to be honest this is an impossible task. No man can do this in his own ability. The only way a man can truly be a biblical man is if he has experienced the grace of God and is living by the grace of God. If a man is ruling without any conscious dependence upon God in prayer and bible study, his dominion will not bring blessing to those whom he oversees.
If a man’s power is not supernatural he cannot expect supernatural results. If he is sowing to the flesh he will reap destruction; if he sows to the spirit, he will reap life.
Monday, November 2, 2015
There used to be a time when we had a universal definition for a man. There also used to be a time when the difference between a boy and a man was more than just the size and physical appearance, but alas that is not the case anymore. As David DeWitt has painfully put it:
“A man is an increasingly hard thing to find. We live in a society of boys-twenty-, thirty, forty, fifty and sixty-year old boys. Many guys seem to have the goal of maintaining a junior-high mentality all the way through life. The ultimate in life seems to be to retire, still a boy.”
In the words and thoughts of Jim Berg there are three major stages in the development of a male: “boy, man and patriarch. This means there are two major transitions he must make if he is to fulfill the character God gave him. As a boy he must decide to be a man, and as a man he must decide to be a patriarch.” What is even more convicting is the definition of the three stages as Berg goes on to say
A boy is a male who is generally chaotic; not yet having established order for his life.
A man is a male who has taken on responsibility for establishing order for himself and for his immediate family. (immediate circle of friends or co-workers if he is single)
A patriarch is a man who has taken on the responsibility of establishing maturity (wisdom as a way of life) for himself and applying it to his extended family.
What makes a boy a boy is that he pursues chaos. He has not ordered his life. His life is not yet headed in a direction. He lacks discipline to accomplish tasks. He has not taken significant must ownership of values or virtues.
What turns a boy into a man? This is the most important and most basic transition in the life of a male- and it is where most of us fail. If a boy does not become a man, all future development is merely a fabrication of the real thing. Of course, a boy will get bigger and older but size and age do not make a man. Manhood is a spiritual decision a boy make. If he doesn’t make this decision, he will remain a boy all his life. A boy is chaotic. His challenge is becoming orderly.
DeWitt’s summary of the current state affairs is worth noting, even though it is from the American point of view.
“Many men, teens and above, are locked into the mindset of the average American junior high youth. His heart is easily captured by the latest fashions, pop and reality show idols, superheroes, electronic games, sports personalities, junk foods, sexual enticements- both real and virtual, chemical stimulants- both legal and illegal and the crude and sensual humor and violence of the most popular video clips and blockbuster movies. He is easily bored and resists correction. He endures work and school as necessary evils between pursuits of pleasurable experiences offered on the midway of the world’s carnival”
Spiritually, this kind of male has little tolerance for preaching unless it is high in entertainment value and instead of spending the formative teen years preparing for adult responsibility, these years are thrown away in the pursuit of pleasure.
With these rather depressing descriptions before us, what then is biblical manhood? A few quotes to provoke our thinking will suffice.
“God has bestowed on man both supremacy and a mandate, both an authority and an assignment. Man is God’s deputy and representative on the earth. Therefore a man is obligated to exercise an assertive, aggressive and godly rule over the various realms of God’s creation” Mark Chanski
“Someone who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects a greater reward” Robert Lewis
“Masculinity means initiation. To be masculine is to take initiative. To provide direction, security, stability, and order, to lead, to head, to husband… initiation is the bottom line of masculinity. It means taking the lead; the lead in providing, protecting, mentoring, and befriending. It means caring for developing our mates, our children, and ourselves. It means taking the lead in apologizing, the lead in seeking forgiveness, and the lead in vulnerability. Masculinity means initiation.” Stu Weber
When you look at these definitions you right away see dominion and responsibility. But you also see that been a man is impossible unless you are God-fearing, led by the word of God and living by the grace of God.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
The stable evangelical church
Nominal Christianity is huge in Africa, the health wealth gospel is rampant and liberal churches are still going strong. However my country is blessed with strong healthy evangelical churches led by godly faithful pastors who preach Christ crucified and the need for lost sinners to believe in him for forgiveness of sins. There are towns that in my opinion have one too many evangelical churches and there are churches for that matter that have men as members who could easily be pastoring other churches else were. If there are places where the gospel has not been preached it is not for the lack of knowledge and ability but the lack of drive and desire. I am grateful that I can go to almost every town and still hear the true gospel preached. That cannot be said about a lot of countries on the continent.
The freedom to worship and preach the gospel
The freedom to worship and the favorable response and platform Christians receive should not be taken for granted. It is God’s grace on our lives. There are countries where someone has to risk his life to simply get a gospel tract to you let alone preach to you. I am proud that people generally recognize that there is a God in their lives. I am certain there are Christians world over who pray for such a favorable platform in their countries where they can knock on people’s doors and be welcomed in.
The friendly people
You simply have to cross over one of our boarders into another country to appreciate how friendly Zambians are. There are countries were hostility is so visible you can literally hold it in your hands! People are divided by color, tribe, economic and social status and political affiliations. If you are a foreigner, you will know you are one the moment you start dealing with immigration offices up until you return home. In our country we meet with strangers in the barbershop, stadiums, super markets, banks, hospitals, buses etc. and we strike up conversations without regard to the person’s affiliation or status. We are so intermingled that if you wanted to start a trouble war you would have to wage war against your own family. It is a beautiful site. In fact at times we are so friendly it borders on naivety.
The abundant resources
My country is beautiful! We are blessed with an embarrassment of natural resources. We have so much minerals that we have basically run the economy on copper for over 50 years. We are also blessed with plenty of water bodies that a large percentage of water in the southern Africa region is found in Zambia. Wild life is plenty in national parks and game reserves; we have a number of water falls with the majestic Victoria Falls being the crown of them all. Time and space would fail me if I were to talk about the rich cultural heritage show cased in our traditional ceremonies. And as though that is not enough we have so much land that we can spare at the moment.
I am proud to be Zambian, I love the peace and freedom we enjoy. I am glad I was born in a country where I heard the gospel from childhood and I can now go on and freely share the gospel to others. I am proud I can visit the beautiful scenes and sites all over the country and praise God for his great wonders and works. Yet with pride comes concern. Concern at the slow rate of development, concern at the lack of integrity in public offices, concern at the level of politics, concern at the lack of proper education and most importantly concern at the lack of fear of God. So as Zambia turns 51 years this week, I thank God for the beautiful country he has blessed us with and I bow the knee to pray for mother Zambia and strive to do my best to make a difference. As for now I will stand and sing of Zambia PROUD and FREE!
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
With each passing year it seems to me that the word Christian carries all kinds of connotations and evokes different emotions from different people. The need to define terms is ever more necessary if one wants to be clearly understood. What is more concerning however is the fact that it is becoming rather difficult to clearly identify a Christian from one who is not. Worse still we seem to be confused about the evidences or marks of a true Christian.
Paul in writing to the Colossians (a group of Christians he had never met), he tells them of the report (Colossians 1:3-8) he had about their Christianity and he was left with no doubt that they were truly a saved people. And in essence the things he heard about them should be true of every Christian. So what report did Paul receive about the Colossians?
1. Their faith in Christ
They had a clear reliance, commitment to and trust in Christ. Their salvation was as a result of them believing is the only way to God. Their growth and everyday life is one of trust and reliance on Christ and his word. Saving Faith has three elements:
A. Rational: the mind understands the truth/good news of Jesus Christ. You can’t trust what you don’t know. Faith comes to those who have heard. Faith comes after revelation
B. Emotional: You embrace truth about Jesus with great sorrow over your sins and rejoice over God’s rich mercy and loving grace.
C. Volitional: You totally surrender and trust in Christ alone for your salvation. You chose to obey your new master.
2. Their love for others
They had a deep, sincere affection and care for the believers that resulted in warm fellowship. This is Sacrificial and unconditional love for others because they counted no sacrifice too great for the sake of others even laying your life for them (1 John 3:13-19). This love carries the idea of faithfulness, commitment and act of the will, it looks out for the best interest of the other. It is described in 1 Corinthians 13.
Inscription on a tombstone in a small English village said of one man:
“here lies a miser who lived for himself, and cared for nothing but gathering wealth, now where he is or how he fares nobody knows and nobody cares” in contrast a tombstone at st Paul’s cathedral in London reads “Sacred to the memory of General Charles George Gordon, who at all times and everywhere gave his strength to the weak, his substance to the poor, his sympathy to the suffering, his heart to God”
3. Their hope in life
The word hope in the bible carries the idea of joyful expectancy, a sense of certainty of the glorious reward and blessed future, it is securely stored and can’t be lost. This hope comes from hearing the gospel. It is this hope that fuels our faith and keeps up pressing forward towards the goal set before us, it is the same hope that gives us courage to endure hardship and rejoice in the midst of the numerous uncertainties of life. It is this same hope that our country and the whole world desperately need more than anything else. Hence the need for the gospel of faith, hope and love to be proclaimed to every soul in this world that is striving after the wind.
So how do you know one is a Christian in this confusing world? They will have faith in Jesus Christ, love for others and an unshakeable hope in life. This can only happen if one hears and believes the blessed gospel of hope.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Alexander White famously said “if you want to humble a man ask him about his prayer life.” And he was right. Prayer is one spiritual discipline that every Christian is eager to excel at and yet it is one we often fail miserably. Often even our actual prayers are prayer less because they are lifeless. As I search my own life I have discovered that there are several reasons that lead to prayerlessness.
Lack of bible study in my life
Whenever I neglect scriptural intake and I do not hear God speak to me through His word, I find that my prayer life (talking to God) suffers. The opposite is equally true, when I am immersed in the word of God, I invariably find myself praying. I praise God for who he is and thank him what he is doing, I confess my sins as I read more about the God-ward life, I present my requests to him as claim all the wonderful promises found in his word. But when I neglect the study of God’s word my prayers feel like I am talking to a stranger.
When I am leaving in Sin
The psalmist tells us that if we harbor iniquity in our hearts He (God) will not hear our prayers and Peter warns husbands to live righteously with their wives so that their prayers are not hindered. Whenever I stubbornly hold on to sin my praying is affected and until I humble myself go to God in prayer to confess my sins. It is a huge struggle to pray, especially public prayers.
Lack of faith in prayer
I once heard a story of a man who opened a tavern next to a church and greatly disturbed the church with the loud music, the drunken patrons and the rubbish thrown outside. The pastor urged the church to pray for God to intervene and the Lord sent a tornado that cleared the tavern but left the church building intact. The man sued the church and the church claimed they had nothing to do with it. The judge quite surprised at the curious case said “I have an atheist who believes in God and a group of Christians who don’t.” When I don’t believe that God is hearing and will answer my prayers, I lose the urgency and desire to pray.
Lack of balance in my prayer
There are times I turn God into an ATM machine and I just go to Him to get what I want and go on with my life. So each time I pray my giving a list of the things I need given or done for me (often physical things) and before long my praying is dry and fruitless labor. The prayer becomes like those friends and relatives who only get in touch when they need money from you. Instead we ought to praise God, thank Him, confess our sins, intercede for others and present our requests.
Lack of organization for my prayer time
As mechanical as it may sound it is quite true that whenever I don’t have a deliberate time for praying, I almost always find myself not praying. And the same is true for other spiritual disciplines. Spontaneous does not mean without order! So have a specific time for praying.
Lack of hearty praying
We often say prayer is talking to God. And that beautifully simple and true and yet our prayers easily fall into rehearsed speeches with unnatural tones and a vocabulary we never use in daily conversation as though God only understands a certain language. And the main issue is when our prayers simply become rituals and not coming from a sincere heart it becomes a lifeless ritual. When our prayers are sincere the words of mouths will be in sync with the thoughts of our hearts.
One could add more to the list but whatever the case in one way or another whenever our walk with God is not right praying (talking to him) becomes hard and labored. And yet at the same time talking to God brings us closer to him in the most beautiful way that one does not want to lose it.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
It is always interesting to hear people’s opinion on the pastor’s conduct and his duties. There are all kinds of notions and teachings on how a pastor is to live his life. Whereas some of the things said are true and biblical most of what I have heard is unbiblical and unhealthy for ministry. It’s clear there are things that people need to know or simply ignore about their pastors.
1. Your Pastor is not a sinless perfect Saint
As a matter of fact, you will not find a sinless human being this side of eternity. So whereas pastors ought to be holy and be an example to the people they lead, remember they still struggle with sin and temptation the same way you are. Yes that’s true pastors have to battle lust, worry, greed, lying, stealing, anger etc. Paul says Romans 7
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
2. Your Pastor is not a “jack of all trades”
The analogy of the church being a body is very instructive. It means every part has a significant role to play for the body to be fully functional and healthy. However there are people who take the church to be a like a bus, where you can sleep and leave the driver to take you to your destination. Invariably this has led people to come with all kinds of responsibilities for the pastor. If we summed up everything the list would include among other things, a choir master, an electrician, sound technician, a security guard, an accountant, a driver, a chief executive officer, a therapist etc. The apostles asked for deacons so that they may give themselves to “the word and prayer” (Acts 6:1-2). There are things your pastor cannot do and there are things he should not do for the sake of the health of the church.
3. Your Pastor does not know everything in the bible
This is a hard truth for pastors to admit, but the truth is we do not know everything in the bible. A pastor should be “able to teach” and know what he is teaching but there are a lot of things we do not know in the bible and it is okay- we are human.
4. Your Pastor desperately needs your prayer and encouragement
The problem with thinking pastors are super saints is you assume they do not need your prayers and encouragement. The ministry can be a lonely, frustrating and discouraging place and it’s a blessing to the soul to know someone is praying for you and to hear someone urge to keep going.
5. Your Pastor is not like the other Pastor
Your pastor is uniquely gifted and will never be like the pastor before or the pastor after him or the pastor down the road or the pastor in the next town. No two pastors are the same and God designed it that way. So do not compare your pastor to another man, do not demand that he preaches like another preacher, on the contrary demand that he be faithful to his task.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Today’s church is crying out for men and women who are burdened about something. We are in desperate need of people who have a single passion and will be dedicated to pursue their passion with all of their being. The eyes of the Lord are roaming the earth; they are searching for those who are resolved to stand in the gap behalf of the nations. The world needs men and women who are burdened for God and His glory. I fear that one will have more success finding an oasis in the desert than finding people with a real burden. I fear that most Universities and Seminaries are more concerned about producing students who have conformed to a system than are passionately burdened about God’s work, lost people and God’s glory. I fear we invest more in programs than we are investing in people. I fear we are more burdened about updating Facebook and our twitter feeds than in actually making the world a better place. What our homes, churches and countries need are burdened people: burdened for what God and his glory.
What does the bible say about the need for burdened people? There is in my mind, no better place to begin than the amazing account in Ezekiel 9. It says at least one thing – God takes the absence of a burden among his people seriously. It was this burden that made Nehemiah do great exploits for God (Nehemiah 1:4). The oracles of the prophets are referred to as burdens (Isaiah 13:1, 14:28, 15:1, 17:1, 19:1, 21:1, etc., Nahum 1:1, Habakkuk 1:1, Malachi 1:1). We also see this in Paul’s burden in Athens (Acts 17:16-17) and Jesus’ example also in Matthew 9:36 were His burden for the people moved him with compassion.
Why is it that some people lack the burden and others have lost it? The first reason people are not burdened is a lack of an eternal view. They are only consumed by the affairs of the world and all their energies are directed at amassing wealth, being entertained and getting more educated that they soon lose sight of the majesty of God and forget the reason for their existence. In other words they are living as though the things of this world are all that matter in life. The second is a sinful life. When you are living in sin you lack the desire to do the work of God and the enablement to carry it out. And all you do is go through the motions like a lifeless corpse. The third is when people are detached from the work of the ministry. Whenever someone is not exposed to the needs, frustrations and blessings of the ministry, they lack the burden. When all you have are theories in your head of what should be done, and lack the exposure of what actually on the ground, you will lack the burden that comes with such exposure.
“Men of the time, who discern the signs of the time, the possibilities of the time, the potentials of the time, as well as the seasons, movements, and dangers of the time become God’s prophets to His people and the world. Instead of being cast into the mould of history they make history. Instead of being frustrated by the storms of the times they ride the crest of the waves triumphantly for God and His cause. Thus the question is whether we are tradition bound or anchored fearlessly in such a time as this. Men of the time are urgently needed. While others may survive, these will triumph and lead the cause of Christ in the triumphs of our Lord”.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
This week we celebrated African Freedom’s day. The day African countries celebrate their liberation from colonial rule. And while most of us are quite detached from the struggles that our forefathers endured, we should still be grateful to them and thank God that we are no longer under colonial rule. However, are we really free? Have we made the necessary progress after decades of freedom? Are we where we ought to be? Are we winning the fight against corruption, diseases, wars, family breakdown, crime, injustice and poverty? These are real issues that need some honest answers and actions from all involved.
That said, I look around my beloved country and indeed the entire continent and I see people who are not free, bound and enslaved by a very powerful force and millions die slaves to this force. The bible calls this powerful force sin. Sin is an enslaving master that does not spare anyone, regardless of their social, political and economic status in society. From the poorest and lowest to the richest and highest, all are born under the enslaving curse of sin. Oh yes you heard me right, we are all born with sin, the psalmist exclaims “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5, Rom 5:8-12). So ultimately when we look at the sickening levels of corruption, the unending wars and conflicts, the ever increasing crime rates accompanied by high levels of injustice and all this in midst of abject poverty, the reason is sin. At the heart of all these problems are self-seeking, self-serving, self-propagating, self-centered, totally sinful people.
So how do you solve the African problem? Do you change governments? Do you change the education system? Do you build more hospitals? Do you upgrade government departments? Do you change the constitution? Do you create jobs? Or maybe build more and better roads? Fight and reduce corruption? Promote justice and empower law enforcers? Increase peace keeping and promoting treaties?
All these and more are good ideas and will go a long way in solving our problem. However they only deal with the fruits and not the root or the heart of the problem. So unless people are liberated from the bondage of sin and become free they always are self-centered in life. If your heart is enslaved to sin, your actions will be sinful and self-serving. But when God through Jesus Christ frees you from the burden and bondage of sin (Rom 5:18-21, 6:15-23, 8:1-3, 2 Corinth 5: 17-21) you become a new creation and your whole life is totally transformed. Your attitude towards work, your relationships with your family and your neighbors, your response to conflict, your attitude towards wealth and your entire purpose in life is no longer about you or for you but pleasing God and doing good to others.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus gave the world a lovely invitation when He said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Before I got married, people were quite generous in giving advice. It came from the young, old, single and the married. Most of it was timeless, some of it was people pushing their opinion and preference and the rest left you wondering whether you should cry, laugh or be heartbroken. One piece of advice we got from the married was that people change when they get married and all the good you are seeing is pretense and it is stated as a matter of fact that your sweet relationship will soon become an endurance club. That disturbed us because we knew God did not intend marriage to be an endurance club and it further showed where most marriages are. Well this past Sunday Kunda and I clocked one year in marriage.
And yes we have got to know each other in different light and we have got to experience certain character traits we were not fully exposed to and I very sure 10 years from now we will testify at how we have known each other more. But if anything the last one year has simply taught me how selfish I really am. It has showed me that I would rather be served than serve; it has also shown me how I am quite terrible at leading others in becoming more like Jesus Christ. If there is one thing the past one year has taught, it’s either we let God use our marriage to make us more like Christ or we let pride rule and our home becomes an endurance club.
I therefore, thank God I am married to a beautiful woman who is prepared to grow with me and learn Christ. I am grateful that though she loves me, she does not love me more than she loves her God. I am truly blessed to have someone who is not just concerned about my physical well-being but my spiritual life as well. And if the first year is anything to go by, I am surely looking forward to many more years with her.
And Kunda i promise I will TRY not to mix plates but put them according to color or boil more milk than I will actually use or summarize how my day was but share all the details. And in case I delay in improving remember I am God’s instrument to work on your patience J. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MY LOVE.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Dear friends and family I pray you are all doing well and you daily know God’s love and grace in your lives. I must admit from the one set that for some of you it has been a while and we have probably forgotten about each other, as they say out of sight out of mind, sad but true! This is an attempt to make amends but also a chance for me to share my heart with you, because the last thing I want to do in this life is die regretting.
I want to begin by apologizing for not been the best of friends or relatives. I also want to acknowledge my many shortcomings in our relationships. I know myself too well to know that over the years i let many of you down, spoken out of turn, slandered you, showed ingratitude and even gossiped about you or maybe i have been bitter towards you or any other evil i may have done. So from the depth of my heart i humbly ask for your forgiveness. And i do hope if i ever never asked for forgiveness in person to do it at as soon as i get a chance.
As you know I have the best job in the whole world! I get to share the good news with different kinds of people that I come across and also pray for different needs that people share with me. I basically have to daily share the most important truth in my life with others! What more can a man ask for? Yet it just dawned on me that I rarely share this truth with those of you who are so dear in my life nor do I often pray for you. Why is that you ask? At times I am ashamed, at times I don’t care that much and other times I am fearful. All this is to my shame, so please forgive me and I hope to care more.
So let me begin by sharing a truth that you probably know or at least have heard of several times. GOD LOVES YOU! I know that is basic and common but most times that is a truth that is easily doubted and some even reject it. God’s demonstration of His love for us is seen through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ (John 3:16, Romans 5:8). The bible says while we were still sinners lost in darkness and having no form of goodness and worth loving, God loved us. In fact the bible further tells us that we have no desire to follow him nor do what is right, we have gone astray from his ways, we are dead in sins and wickedness (Romans 3:9-13, Ephesians 2:1-8). Yet God loved us and sent his one and only son to pay the penalty for our sin by dying in our place (Rom 3:23). And that whoever believes (trust) in Jesus as the only way to the father and the only one who can take away our sins will be saved. That, dear ones is love at its highest level.
My plea to you is do not ignore the love that God has demonstrated towards each one of us by rejecting his son, by refusing to believe and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. As Isaac Watts once wrote about the love of God “love so amazing so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all”.
Yours with Love
Thursday, April 9, 2015
We recently had a mission’s conference at Faith Baptist Church and we had an opportunity to hear from the missionaries what God is doing in the two mission points that we are currently establishing. This conference helped me to do some soul searching concerning missions. I was asking myself if at all proclaiming the name of the Lord is the primary mission in my life. If people were to sum up my life and what I am passionate about would they say it is making the name of the Lord great among the nations?
The Lord has purposed that his name will be great among all the nations, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same his name will be praised and He tasks those who are his children to proclaim his name among all the nations (Malachi 1:11). You and I are ambassadors of God not only to proclaim the name of the Lord but to plead with everyone to turn to him and be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:18-20).
God as a missionary God with a world-wide agenda: He calls us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). He has a people chosen by grace, whom His Son has purchased with his own blood, in every nation, language, people and tribe (Revelation 5:9). When He saves people from sin, He makes them “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16), thus giving them a unique role that encompasses the entire globe. Until the gospel reaches all the peoples of the earth, the Lord Jesus Christ will not return (Matthew 24:14). Therefore, it is not enough to simply be evangelising the neighbourhood or the city; we must go beyond the townships of Kitwe, beyond the cities and town into the villages and beyond the comforts of our peaceful accommodating country into countries desperately indeed of the gospel.
This is can only happen when we are deliberate about missions. When we set it a priority in our lives, our homes and churches. Our participation in global missions comes in three ways. Going into the field and plant churches, Pray for the work and labourers in the field and support the work by giving generously and sacrificially. On the issue of going, Spurgeon’s plea to his students is worth hearing when he said:
I plead this day for those who cannot plead for themselves, namely:- the great outlying masses of the heathen world. Our existing pulpits are tolerably well supplied, but we need men who will build on new foundations. Who will do this? Are we, as a company of faithful men, clear in our consciences about the heathen? Millions have never heard the name of Jesus… We ought to put it on this footing — not “Can I prove that I ought to go?” but “Can I prove that I ought not to go?” When a man can prove honestly that he ought not to go then he is clear, but not else. What answer do you give, my brethren? I put it to you man by man
And while not all can go, we all must pray and pray earnestly to the God of the harvest to send labourers and to draw a people for Himself from all nations. We all must give and do so generously and sacrificially. Missions must be a priority in our personal, family and church budgets. The God we serve is a missionary God, so should we!
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Yes you read right! And it was not a typo, I am asking a genuine question and I think it is a serious one. It is possible to claim you believe in God and yet in actual fact you really do not believe in him. I strongly believe how a person lives says everything about what they believe. What you believe to be true- corresponding to reality is going to affect what you do (lifestyle). Let’s say I told you there is a bomb in the room and the timer says it will explode in 30 seconds and you say you believe me, but you remain unmoved and continue with your business. Either you have a death wish or you do not actually believe what I said. Your mouth claimed one thing but your actions said something else. Our actions and not necessarily our words will ultimately show what we believe.
Every sin springs from unbelief. Our actions, feelings and attitude spring from our thoughts. Whatever we think is true about God, our lives and circumstances will lead to feelings, attitude and actions. For example, if I think God is not in control in my life I will soon become discontent when things don’t go my way and it will lead me to take control of things and do it my way. If I don’t think God sees all things and knows all things, I will think I can get away with my thoughts and actions done in secret. Now one may proclaim with their mouth that God is all knowing but yet proceed to live a hypocritical and pretentious life and in the process confirm what they actually believe.
And it brings me back to the question, are you a Christian Atheist? Do you really believe the God of the bible exists? Do you believe He is who he says He is? And that all His attributes are true? If that is so, is your life a testimony of what you believe? Or are the words of scripture true of you when it says: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:19-21)
So what truths about God are you struggling with? Which of God’s attributes do you not believe at the moment? Are struggling with His sovereignty? Do you doubt His love, are you thinking He is not sufficient? Do you doubt His power and wisdom? Or maybe it is His grace and mercy? Do you struggle to believe that He is a just God? What do you believe about God?
“Are you frequently bored and empty, or restless and agitated? Does your labor seem to you like you are chasing after wind? Do you despise the routine and constraints of life? Is all your activity merely to dull the pain of an empty life? Are you frequently depressed and discouraged? Do you often feel alone, rejected and abandoned? Do you look for action because you have a hard time when left by yourself? Are you afraid to be by yourself because your thoughts when alone are too painful? God is poking you and reminding you that’s not how you ought to live. “(Berg, The secret to success. Lesson 3). Life in this world will only make sense and have meaning when we humbly turn to God and in faith submit our lives in worship and service.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I came across a prayer that was posted on Facebook this past week. And it was a prayer for President Lungu. The prayer said in part:
“Let every COFFIN they have prepared for the president catch fire right now and burn to ashes in Jesus mighty name. Let every shrine and every evil altar bearing the Presidents image catch fire in the mighty name of Jesus. May the place they are monitoring him from catch fire and collapse in Jesus name. Every coven assigned to monitor his life with whatever gadgets they are using be stricken with blindness in the name of Jesus. May every spell, sickness or disease manufactured from the underworld that will swimmingly appear as a genuine medical problem expire by fire in Jesus name.”
Prayers like this one have an under lying theology and they force us to ask the all-important question; who is in charge? Is it God? Is it the devil and his evil spirits? Or is it man? Who exactly is in charge of the happenings of life? Who determines what happens, when it happens, how it happens and to whom it happens? People who see the need to declare and decree even death clearly believe the devil is in charge and in control of what’s going on this earth. They are convinced that the devil can frustrate the purposes of God and therefore they have to help God and unlock his power!
Thankfully God has not left us in the dark on this matter, for the bible is very clear on who is in charge and in control on the earth. That God is indeed sovereign is evident from the following texts. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:35). “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). God is “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords< to him be honor and eternal dominion” (1Tim. 6:15, 16).
Our God has both the authority and power to do as he pleases and no one can stop him. Furthermore nothing happens on this earth that is outside God’s purposes, because whatever happens in this world has been decreed by God this includes:
DEATH: “Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass” (Job 14:5).
RULERS: “The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov. 21:1).
ACCIDENTAL SMALL DETAILS: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:33). “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:29, 30).
NATURAL DISASTERS: “Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?” (Amos 3:6).
ELECTION UNTO SALVATION: “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad – in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call” (Rom. 9:11).
DESTINY OF THE WICKED: “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
This truth should be a source of great comfort to us, to know that the All powerful, loving, gracious and long suffering God is in total control of our lives and the happenings around us, what a blessing! We can only say with the 24 elders in Revelation 4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created"
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Today’s church is crying out for men and women who are burdened about something about the glory of God. And invariably if burdened people is the need of the church it is the need of the world. We are in desperate need of people who have a single passion and will be dedicated to pursue their passion with all of their being. The eyes of the Lord are roaming the earth; they are searching for those who are resolved to stand in the gap on before of the nations. The world and the church need men and women who are burdened for God's glory, God's word and God's ways! We desperately need a Paul, An Augustine, A Martin and Calvin, We need young people who have a single passion and resolve of Johnathan Edwards, the conviction and sacrifice of William Carey, the thundering boldness and earnestness of George Whitefield and the list goes on.
What does the bible say about the need for burdened people? There is in my mind, no better place to begin than the amazing account in Ezekiel 9. It says at least one thing – God takes the absence of a burden among his people seriously. And we later see in the following chapter that the glory of the Lord departs from among the people. Their hearts were no longer burdened about the glory of God. Else where it was this burden that made Nehemiah do great exploits for God (Nehemiah 1:4). The oracles of the prophets are referred to as burdens (Isaiah 13:1, 14:28, 15:1, 17:1, 19:1, 21:1, etc., Nahum 1:1, Habakkuk 1:1, Malachi 1:1). We also see this in Paul’s burden in Athens (Acts 17:16-17) and Jesus’ example also in Matthew 9:36 were His burden for the people moved him with compassion.
Sadly today many Christians seem content with doing just enough, doing what is expected of you. You know? show up for church, teach when you are asked, lead the service, preach if it is your duty, get done with the program and be glad it is out the way, and be content for you are a good enough Christian after all. In fact you are better than most people. The same is true in the world in general people are content with doing just enough, barely survive, excelling at something is no longer the case, out doing yourself in your labor for the Lord (1 cor 15:58) is not a teaching embraced by many.
“Men of the time, who discern the signs of the time, the possibilities of the time, the potentials of the time, as well as the seasons, movements, and dangers of the time become God’s prophets to His people and the world. Instead of being cast into the mould of history they make history. Instead of being frustrated by the storms of the times they ride the crest of the waves triumphantly for God and His cause. Thus the question is whether we are tradition bound or anchored fearlessly in such a time as this. Men of the time are urgently needed. While others may survive, these will triumph and lead the cause of Christ in the triumphs of our Lord”. Rise up oh Men of God!