True Christianity is Practical

31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd dividethhissheep from the goats:
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was anhungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee anhungred, and fedthee?or thirsty, and gavetheedrink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and tooktheein? or naked, and clothedthee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have doneitunto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have doneitunto me.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was anhungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee anhungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye diditnot to one of the least of these, ye diditnot to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Mat. 25:31-46
I have been away from home for close to two weeks, on what we call a regional inter-circuit tour of our churches. Overall, I went through three different towns.
At the very outset of my journey, my computer developed a problem, and my schedule did not give me any time to visit an internet café, so I was unable to do anything blog-wise. It is my hope and prayer that my readers and my blogging friends have not given up on me!
Today I will share a lesson that I learned during my recent travels.
In one of the towns that I visited there lives one of the oldest and most well-known diamond mines in the world. Long before I ever set foot in this town I had heard of this diamond mine, it is so popular.
There is, however, a rather unsavory folklore connected with this mine, which I heard only recently when I was there. The story goes that many, many years ago, the owner of this diamond mine once went to Buckingham Palace and, on account of his wealth, presented a marriage proposal to one of the Queen’s daughters. The Queen’s Protocol duly answered him that he would soon be receiving an answer to his request.
The man went back home and, unknown to him, the Queen dispatched a super-secret spy team after the man to check out on one singular detail: how did this multi-billion pound conglomerate of a man live with his neighbors?
The team came and did its investigation, which was not much of an investigation since everything was clear once the sun had risen in the east. They established that, despite the fact that the diamond mine had been there for ages and although the diamond mine was indeed extremely productive and the owner had to be a multi-billion entity in himself, yet his neighbors lived in abject poverty. The mine operated in an enclosed compound, and the man was totally unknown to his neighbors. There was also not the slightest sign of any development in the area which one could attach to the existence of this mine. The spies established many other things, which all pointed in one direction.
Shortly thereafter, the Queen sent a reply to the man who had asked for her daughter’s hand in marriage. She told him pointblank that she could not give her daughter to a man who does not care about his neighbors.
The story is folklore, which means it might be true, or it might not be true. But when you visit this town, you will find the story there; it is common to everyone who lives there.
As I listened to this story, I remembered Jesus’ words in the scripture above. I was reminded then that, as God’s children, we are called upon to do many things apart from singing, preaching, and doing the many things we do in church. We are called to give our lives for other people and in very practical ways. This pleases the Lord more than anything.

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King Asa vs President Obama

In the Book of 1 Kings chapter 15, verses 11 and 12, we read: “AND ASA DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, AS DID DAVID HIS FATHER.  AND HE TOOK AWAY THE SODOMITES OUT OF THE LAND, AND REMOVED ALL THE IDOLS THAT HIS FATHERS HAD MADE.”

Notice the Bible says that King Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord because, among other things, he removed homosexuals from the land of Israel. King Asa uprooted the sin of sodomy from his land.

That can definitely not be said of the current president of the United States of America, who wants his entire country to be awash with homosexuals, LBGTs and all kinds of inverted sexual practitioners. Moreover, and worse, is the fact that he is coercing other nations, including African countries, to institute these “human rights”, as he considers them, within their borders. His Secretary of State, John Kerry recently threatened to withhold aid to the Ugandan government for decreeing stringent anti-gay laws in the country.

In inference, therefore, President Obama wants the whole world to accommodate homosexuals.

At the very outset, let us keep in mind that God deeply loves homosexual people, as He does President Obama. And we, too, ought to go out to them with the highest level of the love of Christ. (Actually, a person who is living in sin is a person who is worthy of all our compassion for, unawares – or probably knowingly – they suffer terribly).

But we cannot ignore the fact that God is at war with sin. That’s a fact. God’s love for mankind is therefore not a ticket to live in sin. God’s love for humankind is actually revealed in His fight against sin.

The “human rights” that Obama is championing are certainly not God’s rights or preferences. In fact, they are the exact reverse. These “rights” originate from sin. They are Satanic, demonic.

President Obama says he is a Christian, and I even read that he attends church. I am left wondering whether he actually reads the Bible! The above scriptures prove that in going to church and in saying that he is a Christian, this particular “king” neither knows what he is doing nor what he is saying. More alarming for him, though, is that one day he will stand before God and account for all the people that he led away from God’s law.

In the final analysis, it would have been so much better for him to not say anything than to say and advocate something which is so clearly against God’s righteousness.

Y’know, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to ask one of my readers in the U.S. to meet up with President Obama and ask him to read 1 Kings 15:11-12. And to mull it over.

7 THE LAW OF THE LORD IS PERFECT, CONVERTING THE SOUL: THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD IS SURE, MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE.

8 THE STATUTES OF THE LORD ARE RIGHT, REJOICING THE HEART: THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD IS PURE, ENLIGHTENING THE EYES.

9 THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS CLEAN, ENDURING FOR EVER: THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ALTOGETHER.

10 MORE TO BE DESIRED ARE THEY THAN GOLD, YEA, THAN MUCH FINE GOLD: SWEETER ALSO THAN HONEY AND THE HONEYCOMB.

11 MOREOVER BY THEM IS THY SERVANT WARNED: AND IN KEEPING OF THEM THERE IS GREAT REWARD. Psalm 19:7-11

[Below:]

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Identifying With Christ

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Jn. 6:66

This is, incidentally, one of the few scriptures embedded with the dreaded 666 logo; and it probably is no coincidence, for what happened here is indeed disturbing.

Y’know, you can be reading the Bible for a hundred years and you won’t notice some things until one day God pulls aside the curtain, and it hits you like the Chicago Express.

The problem, of course, is that we have a tendency to romanticize things. You might, for example, have some really idyllic ideas about the writer of this blog; but after you meet him, you might begin noticing things that will make you to become less cozy with him. That is called reality.

In the same vein, we could read a scripture like the one above and drop our jaws in “utter disbelief” that people could leave off from following our Lord Jesus Christ. But the reality closer home could be that we are also walking “no more with him.”

The Bible says that “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Eccl. 7:8). When it came time for the Lord to reveal the end of His calling to His disciples, for many of His followers it was not “better”, but rather the exact opposite! Notice that not a few, but “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

As much as Christ desires that all men be saved, still the church is not about numbers. When the church begins to understand the true message of Jesus Christ, not many will remain true to their calling. For the truth is that our calling to follow Christ is not so rosy in the flesh.

The cold fact is that many today are in church to get things from God. There are many who are after riches, material things. Others are after vain glory. (There are many false apostles, prophets and teachers within the church today, and all they are seeking after is the glory.)

Many, many more people are following after Jesus to receive bodily healing and such-like things. But few are there to identify their lives with Christ’s by taking up their cross and following Christ in His sufferings and death.

That is why we thank God for the Apostles who, led by Peter, stayed put and endured the difficult prospect that was staring them in the face. By then, they probably had began to understand that even though Jesus had entered Jerusalem “triumphantly”, ultimately He would lose His life right there.

Today, more than ever, we need to walk in the reality of our relationship with our Lord Jesus… the reality of living a crucified life, the reality of losing our life, however difficult and painful it might be.

Jesus said, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it” (Lk. 17:33).

We need to marry our lives to that very principle.

[Below: A pride of lionesses in the Serengeti National Park. Needless to say, lions have incredibly fast reflexes and are not to be tangled with]

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Photo Credit: Prisca Ambe

A Time for Sound Doctrine

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim. 4:1-4

The Apostle Paul laid out this charge in the most serious manner he could to his young ward, Timothy, because in the Spirit he foresaw a time of great apostasy coming to the church. The Book of Timothy is there in the Bible because the Holy Spirit also foresaw our times and He knew that they would be exactly as they were to be during Timothy’s tenure of ministry.

There is an incredibly large number of fake “ministers of the Word” today. It is so clear that these men and women are false ministers of the gospel. Everyone can see it. Even a drunk seated at a bar can clearly tell that many ministers masquerading in church today are not true ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone and everything in the world is screaming out aloud that there is something amiss within the church!

And yet, strange as it may seem, you will find genuine born-again believers seated in these same churches, watching and listening to these preachers. More extraordinarily, however, is that you will find these born-again believers enjoying themselves immensely in such churches.

Just to give an example, I recently saw on TV a young African preacher teaching that the gospel is a mystery. That sounded scriptural all right, so I sat down to listen. Then this young preacher started “doing things”. He began explaining that one way in which God is a mystery is that He can play with babies in their mothers’ tummies. And right there he began singing, “Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit…” – and immediately, all the pregnant women in that church began moving their tummies and waists in a decidedly obscene manner.

But the truly amazing thing is that although that church was packed to capacity with people whom you could gauge were of sound minds, yet not one of them stood up and did the least that anyone could have done in such a situation, which was to walk out. Instead, these people sat there and they clearly were enjoying the explicitly lewd show that was going on in their midst, laughing and cheering at the gyrating tummies..

I sat there and wondered: where is any of this in the Bible? And where did this young man come from?

But I probably shouldn’t have been so naïve, for the Bible expressly says that in the latter times God’s people “will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

In other words, the Bible is saying that it is the people of God themselves who will bring in and egg on these preachers to do these kind of things, so they can “have a good time” in church.

The fact is, people today just love these kinds of things. They are not interested in whatever God calls the truth anymore. People – believers – today love their own selves more than they love God, and they are actually in church to pleasure their flesh. They go to church to satisfy the lusts of their own flesh, and their itching ears. And if an obscene act is carried out in church in the name of the gospel, so much the better!

But the Apostle Paul charges Timothy: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (v.5)

A carnal believer would never love affliction. Nor would he want to be engaged in any “watching”. No. The flesh loves the good life. It loves the soft life.

In other words, Paul was warning Timothy that in days to come, a literal tsunami of the flesh would descend upon the church and that therefore he, as a young preacher, ought to be prepared for this.

In the days that we are living, the words of the Apostle Paul concerning the church have proved to be doubly true. All the more reason for the true men of God to rise up and preach the true gospel, the gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ, without thinking of being too “politically correct” within a dying church.

[In the African savannah, the acacia tree is king!]

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A Liberal Heart

26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD;

27 To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,

28 And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,

30:29 And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites,

30 And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach,

31 And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt. 1 Sam. 30:26-31

Someone wanted to send me some money recently, and they asked me for my bank account number. I told the brother I did not have a bank account.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I just said I do not have a bank account, didn’t you hear?” I shouted back. Anyone from my tribe is simply unable to talk quietly, especially on the phone.

The man was livid. “Mwita, don’t be stupid! Are you telling me that at your age you have never opened a bank account?”

“Exactly. Yes.”

The silence was deafening as the man, a fellow tribesman, tried to find his cool. We are also famous for our ‘short fuse’.

I sat quietly back and gave him all the rope he needed. As I sat there listening to him huffing and puffing, my mind went back to those “stupid” years, the early years of my salvation. In those years I used to work and had a salary, but I never felt the need to open a bank account. Instead, I would share my money with anyone in need.

Those were the days. There was no greater joy than to bring a smile to someone’s face, to alleviate someone’s misery.

I believe that when the joy of the Lord comes to our hearts, one fruit of that joy is that we immediately think of other people. Carrying a generous heart is one way of telling God, “Thank you.” And yet, still, that does not come from us; it is of God. In all my saved life, the Lord has never blessed me financially or materially and never put it on my heart to bless somebody else. To my shame I cannot say that I have always obeyed His soft voice, but He has always been faithful to remind me.

That is what we see David doing here. The Lord had blessed Him with much spoil. David’s joy was expressed, not in hoarding what he had received, but by sharing it with his friends, his brethren, and everyone, near and far.

This is the heart that we all need to have, for it is the heart of God. That is why whenever God blesses us, He will always remind us to bless others.

[Below: An African wood carving]

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Beware Herodias!

6 But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.

8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.

9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.

10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.

11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. Mat. 14:6-11

I used to think King Herod’s promise to give his daughter “whatsoever she would ask” was just old-time parlance, or language – until it dawned on me that the king actually meant it. He was ready to give his daughter “whatsoever she would ask”.

Whatsoever she would ask!

And, y’know, she just goes and asks for John the Baptist’s head!

In Africa, we love meat so much that even the heads of the animals we slaughter are used to prepare soup.

But, pray, of what profit can a human head be to anyone? You cannot even make soup out of it! It is worthless.

My heart goes out to this little girl. I don’t know how old she was, but she must have been very young in age – and very talented. Imagine how beautiful she must have appeared as she danced for her dad’s assembled guests. Probably she had practised and practised for days in her room or somewhere, her pure heart imagining the joy that she would give to her parents and their guests. She probably wasn’t even thinking of getting a present.

But an incredible opportunity presented itself. The king was so pleased with her display that he bound himself with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. Mark’s account says that he promised to give her even unto half his kingdom!

I know in our ignorance we pooh-pooh these kinds of things; but stop for a moment and think of what a kingdom is. Take even five minutes. You can even check an encyclopedia if you need to. (Sometimes I wonder where we are hurrying to; and we miss out so much on God’s true blessings!)

The point here is to get the feel of what this girl had been promised by her father. In that instant she could have inherited the world. But she chose to ask for John the Baptist’s head!

What, pray, could possibly have made this lovely, wonderful girl to ask for a human head?

Verse 8 gives us the clue to this all-important question. It says she was instructed by her mother to do so.

The gospel of Mark puts it even clearer: “And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist” (Mk. 6:24).

In other words, she consulted with her mother. It was a deadly mistake.

Herodias had sat there the whole evening, brooding inwardly. All she wanted was John dead. No human mind could possibly “sound the depths” of the evil that lay in this woman’s heart.

The devil is so cruel! This girl’s mother robbed her of not only the chance to inherit half her father’s kingdom; she ended up with something which was of absolutely no value to her.

Probably beheading John was of value to her mother, but it was of absolutely no value to this girl!

The Prophet Jeremiah under the anointing of the Holy Spirit spoke thus of the nation of Israel: “10 For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. 11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. 12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. 13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:10-13).

It was such a horror what the Israelites had done, to seek after other gods (which were no gods) and to seek for a glory that would not profit. Even the heavens were astonished!

And that was exactly what Herod’s daughter did. She not only asked for something that would not profit her, but she asked for something that brought horror to everyone who would hear of it.

And it must have killed her spiritually. I cannot begin to imagine the nightly – and probably daytime – nightmares that followed after that.

Even her father Herod who in his own right was a by-name for cruelty was shocked by his daughter’s request. Had he been in a position to refuse her request, he most certainly would. But he had bound himself with an oath, upon which he could not renege.

And I can imagine with everyone else “shocked” would have been a monumental understatement.

Apart from shocking everyone to death, of course, the little girl also lost the opportunity to inherit half her father’s kingdom.

All this happened because this little girl consulted her mother! Herodias is a metaphor for evil. She hated the man of God with all her heart.

There are worldly gospels out there, and we better be careful. Paul warns us against these gospels in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. We need to be very careful what gospel we are consulting with or submitting ourselves to. If we submit ourselves to a worldly gospel, it will kill us spiritually.

A worldly gospel caters to the lusts of the flesh. It does not have a heavenly agenda. A heavenly agenda deals with the condition of our hearts.

And before we move on from here let me point out that a worldly gospel is a deceiving gospel, which means it is so subtle even the elect get caught in its snares.

Let me illustrate. If I preach that because I was faithful in giving God this and that amount of money, God therefore blessed me with this and that material blessing, what am I catering to? The flesh, of course! There is absolutely no heavenly agenda there.

If we tie in giving with “reaping” material blessings we have moved from the heart condition to the natural realm. If we preach this gospel in church, the man sitting in the pews who is blessed materially will be feeling comfortable and the one who has nothing will feel he has failed spiritually.

The only “catering to the spirit” that I see in that scenario is that people will die spiritually. The rich man will die of pride, and the poor man will die of a broken heart. The bitter irony is that the poor man could have given to the Lord all right, but his giving is now taken from his heart and tied in with his outside circumstances. And preachers today find no problem making such declarations openly. One prominent preacher here said on TV: “You cannot come to my church riding the back of a motor-cycle” – which is the normal mode of public transport here. He added, “You are supposed to come driving your own car, since I have prayed for you to be blessed!”

At the root of such a gospel is a worldly, not heavenly agenda, and it will kill people!

I also talked in one of my earlier posts about a man of God – a prominent, internationally-acclaimed TV preacher – who told a man as he was praying over him, “You have won a land case”, and that in full public view.

There is no heavenly agenda in such a statement. That would make God a worldly judge, a “divider” of worldly property. But Jesus in Luke 12:14 said He had not come to do such things.

There are a thousand ways that a worldly gospel can kill us. Even the healing ministry can kill you.

Can you see the ‘progression’ there: apostate Israel, Herod’s daughter, and finally us!

That is why we should not listen to or submit ourselves to any gospel except the one single gospel that the apostles paid such a great price to bring to light – the gospel of the cross of Jesus. This is the only gospel wherein the Holy Spirit can break us and bring us to our true inheritance – spiritual maturity, and reigning with Christ in heavenly places.

This is the gospel that deals with the issues of our hearts. And God is all about our hearts. All these things that these gospels promise are good, but they become a Herodias when they are preached in the natural realm, outside of the heart. They are not the subject. Our hearts are. And only the cross can deal with that.

I love the word “determined” in Paul’s words, For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Cor. 2:2. That would mean there were other, strange gospels that were clamoring for his attention; but he ignored them.

Herod’s daughter ought never to have listened to her mother. That simple action turned her daylight into night.

[Below: In Africa, poverty can sometimes go to extremes: here, somebody’s “shop” – literally!]

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The True Manifestation of God’s Power

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:1-5

Scientists have finally admitted that the universe is infinite. They have come to the conclusion that there is no end to space.

They believe that with all the scientific advancement at their disposal and with all the astounding “light year” discoveries they have made so far, they have barely scraped at the outer frontiers of the known universe!

I am saying this because there may be some readers who might have come to the conclusion that I have harped on 1 Corinthians 2:2 almost to tatters. But I am of the opinion that we probably have not even scratched at its surface! Such is the richness of God’s Word that we cannot claim to have studied any one scripture “enough”.

So, let us have another go at 1 Corinthians 2…

There are Christians, especially among Pentecostals, who have a wrong perception of the words “power of God”. Many Pentecostals especially associate these words with the hype that is generally to be found in many charismatic churches.

I am convinced that God can and He does move in many ways. In other words, there are aunthentic external manifestations of God’s power, in miracles, in healings, in His provision to us and in countless other ways that God chooses to manifest His power.

But ever since the days of the apostles there have always been false manipulations of the power of God as well within the church, manipulations which Paul in his epistles associated with the forces of darkness. We can clearly see this in 2 Cor. 11:13-15 where he warned the church against the practitioners of these manipulations: “13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Today, in particular, the ante has been upped on the hype and manipulations, and there is little spiritual discernment of what is and what is not of God.The church, lacking in such discernment and desiring to gratify the flesh more than God, follows after the glamour and hype that these men offer. In Africa in particular, many charismatic churches have turned into circuses which the devil himself would envy.

But in the context of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul is not talking about any physical manifestation of God’s power, real or imagined. Indeed, nothing he says there has anything to do with the outer working of the gifts of the Holy Spirit nor, more so, with the empty, carnal emotionalism that is associated with the phrase “power of God” today.

In the context of this scripture Paul is talking about the ability of God’s power to change people’s hearts and to bring them into a resemblance in character with the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, power to change us into the image of Jesus Christ.

The most powerful demonstration of God’s power, Paul is saying, can only be found in its ability to make a person to live a holy life. Paul was so concerned with this that he “determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”!

In other words, Paul bound himself to this one purpose, the effecting of that change in men and women’s lives where men and women are set free from the power of sin to live a holy, sinless life. This goal – being set free from the power of sin – must have been very, very important, for someone of the spiritual (and even mental and physical!) calibre of Paul to purpose to “not know anything” else!!

In 2 Corinthians 13:2-3 he writes the Corinthians: “2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.”

In other words, he was telling the Corinthians that the power of the gospel that he carried was in its ability to deal with sin. If the gospel someone was carrying encouraged them to sin, then Paul would deal with the person and his ‘gospel’. Paul was a man who carried the power and authority of the gospel because he lived a crucified life. And here he was warning the Corinthians that they better straighten their act, before he arrived. Apparently, he had warned them severally, but the self-styled ‘apostles and prophets’ in that church continued living in sin while hiding beneath their ‘powerful ministries’.

Paul was warning everyone to stop sinning. Period.

I repeat here: there is no greater demonstration of God’s power in a Christian’s life than for him to stop sinning and reflect the totality of the character of Jesus Christ in his or her life.

[Below: As I waited for the bus in Shinyanga, I struggled to get a clear shot of an African queen]

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