Well, happy new year! I have to say that Stoffel and I had a great, great new year celebration.We were at a conference at Santa Cruz and at midnight we were dancing away with Jesus and each other!
At this conference, I had the opportunity to go and ask the main speaker about some of the things he said in his sermon… Being from Africa, I always get so annoyed when any 1st world country sees and treats our country and continent as a charity case.. It is obviously very easy for me to get annoyed because I never had to go to bed without food once in my life and I never had to sleep in the rain unwillingly. So I have no context of why charity is needed accept to see it daily with my eyes in my home Country.. but if I close my eyes, the pain of that what I see goes away.. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is so unfair of me getting annoyed with people wanting to give to the poor in our country.. after my chat with this pastor I came to realize that I too want to give and make change..
In his sermon he was talking about their ministry and basically what they do, is annually they go to the dumps in India and throw a heavenly feast for all the kids and people that lives on these dumps. Already India works in a caste system.. so imagine what these people must look like who is living on the dumps.. the lowest of the low.. I think only those with leprosy is lower than these people on the dumps.. This pastor shares of how these people are so blessed by the feasts and the love they receive from the ministry team.. Then, in my very african- middle- class – pretending-to- care- about -the -poor -mind, this question comes up.. “What happens to the people of the dumps when the ministry teams leave?” I have seen it millions of times on missions in Africa. We, as Westerners, enter their world and shake it all up with materialistic things and then when we leave, we leave them worst off as before we came..
I thought to myself that I had enough of this bragging from the 1st world countries that they give.. I am going to ask this pastor that question..maybe it will make him think. Then I asked God how it can be possible that He is the same God that speaks to this man and to me? If so, why has this man not thought his actions through or heard from God that they must do more than just throwing feasts once a year.. Then God said:” Ask him Linda.”
I do not have the boldness to ask this man in front of the audience so I waited till he finished his sermon and approached him.. You must understand, this is a well known pastor.. many people persecute him because of the way he preaches about Jesus.. and here I stand, sure that I have something that will make him think. I told him that I was from Africa and that I am in ministry. I said that we have a lot of poor people in our country..well, basically I just said enough to intimidate him.. I then asked him my question.
He looked at me and said:” Well, there is some practical staff that we have running on the dumps, like a orphanage but,” he says,” it is all about the mystical power of the Gospel..” I looked at him confused and then he shared about how the first year they went to these dumps, the people lived under sheets that pretended to be tents. He said that they just loved on these people and shared the gospel of love. When they left, no one of his team stayed behind and no one shared with them practical ways of living life. He said that when they came back the next year, these people who they reached out to the previous year build houses for themselves. The place transformed because the people were transformed, today 5 years later these people has turned into a thriving community whose main goal is to get people who was just like them, off the dumps.. I looked at him and my eyes started to well up.. I underestimated the power of the gospel.
This man knows Jesus, he understands the power that happened on that cross.. He believes in the finished work of the cross. We cannot add anything to the gospel.. Jesus did it.. perfectly and supernaturally.. we will never understand fully the power of this God we serve and love. The only thing we can do is to believe this incredible news and receive it. Paul speaks about when you accepted Jesus in your live, the old is gone and that you are a new creation. For many years, unknowingly, I believed that this meant that I am still me but just clean, but I still have the ability to make me dirty again. Almost like I was a old beaten VW beetle and then became the new VW bug.. Now I am ashamed of this thinking because basically I am saying that God Almighty is not so powerful and that He did not do a perfect work on the cross.. How sad and so embarrassing to have believed that! What Paul actually said here is that when you received the gift of salvation, your Spirit became alive and you became a new creation.. in other words you were a old broken VW beetle and became a Spaceship from another world! Your new nature is so far removed from the old they are not even from the same worlds! Now this sounds more like a very powerful God through Whom all things are possible! The Gospel is supposed to transform you!
This understanding just made me fall so in love with Jesus,I am so set free!! My only job is to love God! To hear the gospel and the work of Jesus compels me to worship Him.. I cant help it! I just want to love on Him!
I want to end with the story about Martha and Mary from the Bible. They, and their brother Lazarus,were very dear friends of Jesus. Well, when their brother died, they called for Jesus. He came a couple of days later, and Martha went out first to meet with Him. When she saw Him she said: “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus replied and said that her brother will rise again. She said that he would on the day of resurrection at the last day. Then Jesus replied and gave her a very good teaching about Him being the resurrection!
Then Jesus calls for Mary and she comes and ask exactly the same thing Martha asked.. but Jesus responded differently to her. He wept. He then went to raise Lazarus from the dead… we know these two sisters.. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, while Martha worked to serve Jesus. When Martha got upset with her sister for just sitting there, Jesus said to her that Mary has chosen the better thing and that it will not be taken from her. See, Martha desired theology and received a doctrine from Jesus where Mary desired intimacy and received a miracle from Jesus..
It is finished, you can rest in Him and allow Him to just love on you.. I promise your life will be supernatural..