2nd and 20th Anniversaries In One!

Two events occurred this week that mark a milestone in my life. In the first place, WordPress informed me on Monday, the 2nd of December, was my second anniversary at WordPress. That means I have been blogging for two years!

I was like, “Wow! Two years!!” To me it appeared as if I only began yesterday.

But I also had a secret which WordPress (nor, in all probability, any of my readers) would never have guessed in their wildest dreams. The classified fact is that this blog was actually born 29 years ago. I remember clearly the day in 1985 when I felt in my heart that I wanted to write. The thought was completely new – but clear as day. At that time I was not saved. But God knows the future and, although I did not know it at the time, the Lord had just planted a seed in my heart. It was a seed that He would cause to germinate in His own good time.

Eventually, I got saved, but still I did not write. In forcing me to wait, the Lord had a far more perfect plan for me. This became clear to me when I began writing only after I had begun receiving the gospel of the revelation of the cross and of grace in my heart. Had I began writing before that, I would not have been writing the clear revelation of the cross of Christ that has been revealed to me through the epistles of the Apostle Paul, as I do today. The Lord took an incredibly long time to finally open a door for me to begin writing, and I know now that this was so I wouldn’t just write anything except the clear message of the cross. In this I have seen and known God’s love for me and for His people who read this blog.

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank WordPress for affording me the opportunity to fulfill a dream – the dream to write.

But two years ago, I had not even heard of the word ‘blog’! But one day my dear friend Louise Echstein calls me from Mauritius and asks, “Mwita, do you know what a blog is?”

I told her no.

She then proceeded to tell me about WordPress – “and how you can be a blessing to many people there”, she said. She and my beloved brother Gilbert Grant introduced me to WordPress and encouraged me to begin blogging, and thus this blog was started. I am deeply appreciative of their efforts – and their friendship.

My greatest debt, though, is to Brother Miki Hardy of Church Team Ministries International (www.ctmi.org) through whom I became aware of the revelation of the gospel of the cross. I am eternally grateful to this man of God for the revelation of the gospel that he carries in his heart, and which he brought to us. Through this revelation, I have discovered the foundation of the gospel. And the message of the cross is the central message of this blog.

Lastly, of course, I am heavily – I mean heavily – indebted to my fellow bloggers and my readers who are the real reason for the existence of this blog. These wonderful folks have become an unexpected part of my life. I have friends from literally every corner of the world! Some have even become “closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).

I am so blessed and humbled at the same time. And I extend my heart to each one of you, praying that our Lord Jesus Christ may bless you with all the riches of His heavenly Kingdom.

Another event that makes this week a special one is that yesterday, the 3rd of December, my wife Flo and I celebrated our 20th marriage anniversary. On this very day in 1994 Flo and I exchanged our marriage vows and the Lord has blessed and protected our marriage up till this day.

Naturally, I travelled to Dar es Salaam to be with my wife. We did not throw much of a party; being together was really all the ‘party’ we needed! But Flo did prepare a huge jug of juice – and a very ordinary dinner.

We spent the evening singing and listening to our favorite songs. “Come What May” won over our hearts and we listened over and over to different versions of the song, at least two of them by Patti Labelle. The ‘party’ finally broke up at 2 a.m.

This has indeed been an incredible week for me and my family.

On my journey to Dar es Salaam I took some photos along the way. You can view them on my Facebook page, just type Zakaria Mwita.

[Below: Throughout the years the kitchen has been an integral part of our lives. Here Flo and I prepare some fruit juice for the evening…]

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Afterwards, we listened to “Come What May”

Acknowledging Christ

3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. Genesis 37:3-11

This scripture refers to the church. We see here that Joseph saw a vision, or a dream. And this dream, though maligned by his brethren and over which Joseph would suffer much – this dream would become the ultimate reality. Everything would work out exactly according to the dream that Joseph had been given.

Likewise, we see that, just like Joseph received God’s plan or revelation of Christ, the apostles also received the gospel through revelation. The word ‘revelation’ is spiritual vocabulary. Even before the church proper had begun, Jesus set the foundation upon which the church would be built: it was upon the revelation of Him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The word “Christ” is not a name. It is a title, and it talks about Jesus the Son of God, who would come and suffer and die to take away the sins of people.

The revelation of Christ is the foundation of the church. Paul says in Galatians 1:11-12, “11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Just like Joseph, this revelation would not be an easy gospel for the apostles to carry; they would suffer much for it. The Lord told Paul as much through Ananias: “… For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Act 9:16

Just like Joseph, the apostles would suffer at the hands of their own brethren, the Jews, for something that was revealed to them by God!

But we also need to understand that what was revealed to the apostles was not just a teaching, but a way of life, a life that would go against the worldly current. The revelation that the apostles received concerned God’s Son, Jesus Christ, in whom is the totality of life: the suffering, the dying and the resurrection life.

I am of the firm opinion that ultimately the church will have to acknowledge God’s Son, Jesus Christ, just as Jacob’s sons did with Joseph. Now, I am not talking about the initial acknowledgement where we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. I met a girl recently and as I was sharing the gospel with her she told me, “Pastor, I have received Jesus into my life already, but I am still living a life of sin.”

Clearly, something was missing in her life.

Acknowledging Christ here means living the crucified life. It is this life that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”;

And, in Galatians 6:14: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

The word “ultimately” means “eventually”, “finally”, “in the end” (thanks to my Thesaurus).

That means that initially, and in-between, the church will have all the freedom to run after every other doctrine they wish to run after – just like Joseph’s brothers did. When you read the above account in full, you will see that while Joseph was suffering in Egypt, Judah was gallivanting all over the land and doing the most abominable things. None of the other brothers’ lives are revealed, but I imagine that if Judah was (as the Bible indicates) the noblest of them all, then the other guys’ lives likely must have been open sewers! (Except, of course, Benjamin, who stayed steadfastly close to his father’s side).

You cannot walk in victory over sin if you are not walking in the revelation of the cross!

It is an undeniable fact that there are many options – many doctrines – that are open to the church today, and nearly all are designed to allow the Christian to walk freely on the broad and wide road (Mat. 7:14).

God’s people will run after miracles and signs and wonders. They will dance all the way to the bank under the influence of the gospel of prosperity. They will declare that as the “King’s Kids”, they have every “right” to this and that. They will hearken to many other things, things of the flesh.

But above all, they will reject the gospel of the cross. It will not be attractive to them. Some even, failing to catch the revelation, will claim it is a cult.

But God’s plan and purpose is right there, in the cross. The gospel that will finally take the Bride, the church to the Bridegroom, Jesus, will be the gospel of revelation of the cross, where men and women learn to deny self, crucify the flesh and live the resurrection life.

This is the gospel that I am convinced that the church will ultimately have to bow down and acknowledge – the gospel of the cross, because you cannot detach Jesus from the cross.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not an easy life. The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 1:13-16: “13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

We are called to live a holy life, and that holiness is found in the revelation of Jesus Christ. In Him – in denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Christ – we find the grace to live the kind of life that pleases God, a holy life wherein when the Bridegroom comes for us He will find us without blemish, spot or wrinkle. Hallelujah!

I Must Be Dreaming!

Much of the time I want to believe that I am a mature, near-perfect Christian and my ego insists that that should be the face that I ought to proffer to the world. Indeed, I find myself doing that quite often, in spite of the fact that in my heart of hearts I know that I am not as spiritually mature as I would love everyone to believe.

On my blog I want to write challenging posts, mature stuff. I want to tackle the nitty-gritty of the ‘higher life’! In short, I desire to be the perfect, mature Christian and everywhere I want to present the perfect, mature Christian life. And I am sure that any serious Christian would support my quest without question. It is a truly noble one.

But… sometimes (like tonight) I stop in my mad dash for glory and sit overwhelmed as some very basic thoughts begin pummelling my mind. Sometimes the reality of what actually took place at Calvary tries to wriggle its way into my spiritual consciousness. Did God truly give His Son, His only Son, Jesus, to die for me? Did Jesus really come and live on this earth, this same earth that I live in? I mean, did God through His Son leave His abode in Heaven and come down and take on the form of a man and live on this planet? No! That is unthinkable! And is it true what I hear, that He did that just for me? That is even more improbable.

Did Jesus truly go through all the suffering that He went through specifically for me, that I would not be lost, but be saved? Did He really… or am I dreaming?

Am I worth any of that – leave alone all of that? Ha! Of course not! I certainly am not worth an iota of the trouble that God underwent. Had I been around I know exactly what I would have told God: “Please God, don’t! Go ahead if it’s for someone else; but if it’s for me, no.”

He might have asked, “Are you sure, Mwita?”

And I would have replied, “Lord, I have never been more sure of anything in my life.”

So God did it without asking me.

The proposition is an improbable one. But I am made to understand that this proposition is a solid reality. Maybe something else is at play here. Something outside of the realm that I as a human being knows, is at work here. No doubt there is a LOVE here, an INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE. It is a love that I, certainly, cannot comprehend.

Sometimes this basic fact of salvation alone overwhelms me more than all the ‘mature’ stuff I am racing to unearth. As I lay me down to sleep (it is well past midnight here) I gladly allow the tears to flood my eyes as I meditate upon the unthinkable.

I tell God, “God, this is a dream. A sweet dream; but a dream nonetheless.”