But we preach Christ crucified… 1 Cor. 1:23
I spent the whole of last week together with my pastor friend, Paul Dude, doing a follow-up seminar in one of our village churches. The village is called Matongo, situated some 40 or so kilometers to the south-east of the town of Singida. Throughout the duration of the entire week, the Lord laid it heavily on my heart to preach “Christ crucified”. Every day I would stand at the pulpit and I would open my Bible and descend on that scripture like my life depended on it (which it does, of course). On every occasion that I stood up to speak I couldn’t find anything else to speak about.
I was literally with the Apostle Paul, who declared:
“And I, brethren, when I came to you… determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:1-2)
But I clearly recall the reason I felt so compelled to speak on nothing else but “Christ crucified”. Once again, it was the Lord who laid this heavily on my heart. The very life, I realized, of this small congregation as a church depended solely on the singular revelation of “Jesus Christ, and him crucified”.
In other words, the guarantee for the security and spiritual welfare of the church in Matongo lay in a daily revelation of these simple words.
I spoke to them about how when the Corinthians left the revelation of “Christ crucified” all hell (literally) broke loose in that church. It was the same also with the Galatian church. But wherever the cross of Jesus reigned in the church, it crucified every aspect of the flesh in people’s lives; and the life of Christ reigned unbounded.
“Christ crucified”! They were the sweetest words this small congregation had ever heard. And every day, for a whole week, they woke up to those words.
At the end of the seminar, the tears were freely flowing down everyone’s face, including myself and Dude. We realized just how much we needed this revelation – daily – in our lives. We realized how much the flesh (our flesh) opposes the will of God when we fail to crucify our bodies!
When we left Matongo on Sunday afternoon, there couldn’t be a happier congregation in the world. And there couldn’t be a happier couple of small time preachers in the world!
“Christ crucified”! What a revelation! What power; and what wisdom of God in those two simple words.
“But we preach Christ crucified… unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
[Our visit in photos]
The small congregation of Matongo, shot to the brim with “Christ crucified”!
The kids’ Sunday School church
Portions of the local cuisine
The village of Matongo is situated on a hill
Just beyond the village lies the great valley called “Mbuga Ntiga” (the valley of giraffes), so called because not too long ago, wild animals reigned supreme here and the giraffe was the most visible due to its height; hence the name, “Mbuga Ntiga”
My best friend, Jessica
The room where Dude and I spent the week. Being both great lovers of the outdoors, we were extremely pleased to be lodged in a house that lay at the very edge of the village, in a room that had a window overlooking the great “Mbuga Ntiga”
Arriving home late on Sunday evening, I found waiting for me the best gift that my eyes could possibly lay sight of: my dear wife, Flo