My Life as a Christian

A Midnight Call from a ‘Prophet’

The day was Wednesday, January 23 and the time was exactly 11:32PM when my cell phone buzzed on a lamp stand beside our bed disturbing my peaceful sleep. I don’t like night phone calls so reluctantly I picked the phone, my eyes still half-asleep.

“Hello…”

“Hello, I am a prophet and I have a special word for you from God,” came the voice from the other end.

The moment I heard about the phrase. ‘special message from God,’ I cut the line and was going back to my sleep when my wife woke up and asked what was happening. Sleepily and dismissively, I told her that it was one of those unimportant and misdirected calls.

Four minutes later while trying to retrieve my enjoyable sleep, my phone buzzed again, but this time it was a Short Message Service (SMS)all written in capital letters.

“NDINE PROPHET NDIMAFUNA NDIKUWUZENI ZOTIMUKAVUTIKANDIMUMIMBA NDIYENDIKATINDIKUPEMPHELENI.”

Literally meaning  “I AM A PROPHET I WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE STOMACH PROBLEMS AND WANTED PRAY FOR YOU”

Again, I ignored the SMS and wet back to sleep. But it was not over. A few minutes later, my phone rang again.

“Hello, I am a prophet….”

“Please, you are disturbing my sleep. Leave me alone, please. I don’t believe in any special word from God apart from the Bible,” I cut the line angrily. I am not so sure whether it was  righteous anger but to my relief, the ‘prophet’ did not call again.

In the morning, I revisited the whole incident.

“Of course, sometimes I experience stomach problems but that night I was fine. Why didn’t  ‘the prophet’ wait until morning to call? How urgent was this ‘special word for me’? These and many other unanswered questions lingered in my mind.

Any way, that’s the story about the midnight call I received from ‘a prophet.’

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My Life as a Christian

My Prayer for 2013

My prayer for 2013 is that God will enable us to live a thankful life all the time and that the worship of Him will take a center stage in our lives.

My prayer for 2013 is also that  Christians will love the Bible more and will be like the Bereans who whenever they heard a preaching, they received it with all eagerness but also examined their Bibles to see if whatever was preached was indeed God’s Word (Bereans 17:10).

My prayer for 2013, further, is that God will enable Christians to realize that Christ is enough and that we do not need to add anything to him to make Christianity more beautiful or more appealing. I pray that Christians will not be taken captive by empty deceit but will walk in Christ, rooted and built up in him (Colossians 2:6-8).

My earnest prayer for 2013 is also that Christians will not sick the ‘blessings’  without ‘the giver of the blessings’ for Christ once reminded us: “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life which the Son of Man will give you (John 6:27).

My prayer for 2013 is that we will all seek to glorify God alone and in that way our lives will be meaningful.

May you have a blessed and gracious 2013.

 

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My Life as a Christian

Thank You

This is the first post on this blog in this year 2013. A few days ago, we were in 2012 but now the year 2012  is fast becoming history. Oh, how time flies! As we sink deeper and deeper in the year, I would like to take time and thank God for enabling me to write and share His word in 2012. Writing is never always easy; however, by His grace, He enabled me to put ink on paper in the year. Glory to Him alone.

Above all, I thank God the Father for His indescribable gift of Christ. It is because of this Christ that this blog exists. Without Christ, I could not have written whatever has been posted on the blog. Please ascribe all the errors on this blog to me but all the glory belongs to Christ whom without him, I am a dead man in sin and trespasses.

My thanks also should go to the readers of the blog, especially, those who take their time to give me feedback and comments. You will never know how encouraging and motivating your feedback is to me.

I would like also to thank my family and friends for supporting and encouraging me to keep on writing. There were times when the mind went blank not knowing what to write next but you helped me with ideas and topics. There was also time for tough love when I had to share a hard teaching on the blog. Thank you for encouraging me when I was hesitant.  What could I have done without you?

As we look forward to what God will bring us in 2013, I pray that He in His grace will continue to use this blog to glorify himself and that He will increase while all of us decrease for  “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him” (John Piper).

May you have a blessed and gracious 2013.

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My Life as a Christian

My Struggle as a Preacher

I vividly remember the day I preached my first sermon. By then I was 19 years old. It was a day that my church set aside for the youth to lead the service of worship. After I had preached the sermon, titled, “The True Christian” many people came to me afterwards. They congratulated me and praised God for a wonderful message. Then I thought that that’s how it will be. This incident somehow made me believe that whenever I preach many will be pleased with my message. However, I was very wrong. As I continue to serve Him as a preacher, there are times when I receive a cold shoulder from listeners.

Sometimes you can clearly read on the faces of some responses like: “How dare you preach that message?” Why disturbing us in our comfort zone?” You know such type of responses. At first, I was very much disturbed by this kind of responses. But as I grow in ministry, I have developed a thick skin, so to speak. I hardly care the response of the audience. No, I am lying. The truth is that I always struggle with the desire to be accepted. I want people to accept my message.

However, “The voice of truth tells me a different story,” sung Casting Crowns. The voice of truth tells me that it will never happen as long as I strive to remain true to Scripture. This is one of the great challenges that every preacher faces or will face. There is no middle ground. You either preach God’s Word and displease some people (probably  many) or preach what people want to hear and please many (but not all people, of course). This is my struggle too.

Let me confess here. It’s no fun to have people dislike you because of what you believe and teach. You might be convinced and convicted that that is the truth you ought to preach but the thought of being despised or disdained is awful and makes you think twice. But thank God, for His grace that enables us to stand against the storm of the majority (who might not like to hear God’s Word as presented to us in the Bible). We should take comfort in the fact that Christ also experienced the same. Just read the Gospels, and you will see that many Pharisees and Sadducees did not like Christ’s message yet He is God and there is no falsehood in Him.

Apostle Paul was also not an exception. Read what he writes to Galatians’: “As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ,” (1:9, 10).

From the passage one basic truth stands out:  All preachers can be grouped into two: God-pleasers or man-pleasers.  As I have already said, there is no middle ground and they shall never be. This is the struggle of a preacher like me. But we thank Christ that His grace is sufficient to carry us through if we resolve to be God-pleasers.

“Now  to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24, 25).

In these words lies my comfort not only as a preacher but also as God’s child.

 

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My Life as a Christian

From Holiday with Joy

Time of silence is now over and I have to get back to work right away.

I thank God for the great holiday I had.  For once this year, I had time to forget all the hurdles and challenges that come with work.  There was ample time to be there for the family more than before as my wife and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We traveled around visiting places, friends and relatives. It was indeed time of refreshing.

I had also time to reflect on the journey I have traveled so far and also focus on the future. The joy from the Lord that comes with knowing that you are traveling on his appointed way assured me that I am not alone in His vineyard. He is ever with me.

As I thought about the future dream of serving Him further, my long-time forgotten hobby of poetry, suddenly, sprout up.  For first time in five years, I wrote this poem:

 

THE SWEET DREAM

The dream is sweet

I can’t wait for it

Sowing the seeds in pain

Knowing sweet fruits I will gain

 

Realistic about it I have to be

But from a far I can see

Many rivers are there to cross

For it can’t be realized without a cost

 

It will never be easy that I know

But by His grace I will still sow

His invisible hand will guide

The appointed doors will open wide

All in all, it was a great and refreshing vacation. Glory be to God who supplies everything we need in Christ Jesus. AMEN!

 

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