Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Are you a Christian Atheist?

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

So who exactly is in charge?

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

What the world urgently needs!!!

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”[1]. Rise up oh Men of God!

[1]               Mbewe, Conrad. Church based ministries and missions. Seminar address. 2012