Category: Inspirational Notes

Taking selfie with God

Let one take a selfie with God and I will believe in His existence, says the unbeliever. But would such a selfie be accepted if there was one? Not so. The onus is on the unbelievable. Let him go before a mirror  (it has a better resolution than a camera!) and invite God aloud:

Here I stand before the Mirror!

A distinguished sound of my vocal cords I can hear,

Two holes in my skull are filled with liquids,

A vestigue of an accident, they have enabled me to see!

But you, God, where are you? Have you any semblance?

If the unbeliever leaves the mirror without seeing God then there is none so blind as him who cannot see!

mirror

Is the Almighty Creator a piece of matter to be investigated with crafted tools? To know and experience God and His power depends much on your attitude. The philosopher C S Lewis admonished:

If you are a geologist studying rocks, you have to go and find the rocks. They will not come to you, and if you go to them they cannot run away. The initiative lies all on your side. They cannot help or hinder. But suppose you are a Zoologist and want to take photos of wild animals in their native haunts. That is a bit different from studying rocks. The wild animals will not come to you: but they can run away from you…Now a stage higher; suppose you want to get to know a human person. If he is determined not to let you, you will not get to know him. You have to win his confidence. In this case the initiative is equally divided…When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others – not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong directions (Lewis, 1944, p.164).

Saint Paul in the Holy Scriptures declared, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom.1:20).

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Lewis, C.S.(1942). Mere Christianity. New York: HarperCollins.

“It’s mine!”

As I was putting things in place this morning, preparing to leave home for work, I noticed a pencil on the floor. Unknown to me  was that Terry (my younger son) also had his eyes set on it. As I tried to reach for it, he ran quickly and grabbed it, felt excited and exclaimed, “It’s mine! Its me who saw it first!“…Quite a child’s way of analyisng things – I discovered it and so I own it! But, is that not how human society behaves. One discovers a certain pattern or phenomenon and next is awarded an achievement as doctor or professor. Notice that discovery is not creation. To discover is to merely find what was previously hidden from sight. When one discovers something we should surely be thankful because that could help society in one way or the other. But to worship the discoverer as though he created the thing discovered would simply be absurd! To think, “There is  no one who caused this thing because I can explain how it got here” is simply foolishness. Is this not how some scientists have behaved? They discover how certain phenomena of the universe occurs and then declare “Once man thought this was an act of God but now we understand how it came to be and so God doesnt exist.” Such an assertion assumes that mechanism (how something happens) rules out agency (the creator of mechanism). Now, just as the undersranding of how different pieces of wood fit together to make a table doesnt rule out the existence of a carpenter,  so does comprehending how the mechanism of the universe works not rule out the existence of God!

50 years and Israel

In 1917 there was the Balfour Declaration which recognised a homeland for the Jews. After 50 years,in 1967, the famous six-day war took place in which three arab nations bent on obliterating the small nation were miraculously overcome and Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. And after 50 years again something peculiar is happening before our eyes as Jerusalem is making headlines around the world!
 
Is it not written that “In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession” (Lev.25:13)? “Andrew, but look at what the Israelis are doing to Palestians?” Well, to discern truth you have to watch mainstream media news with extreme caution. Much of what you will get from mainstream media are sound bites of ‘trees’ of news, not THE ‘forest’ – the real big picture of a situation!
 
Does this surprise us? Not at all. The media is playing its role in fulfiling another verse: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech.12:3).
Join me on Facebook Live this Sunday (3:00 PM Central African Time) as I take a journey through the modern history of Israel; looking at various events of the last centuries which led to the present political conditions. And more importantly, we will look at what the Scriptures say concerning what is happenig before our eyes.

Taste and See…

I was at a restaurant in Cambodia, so hungry and yearning for a good meal.

Choosing the food to eat was the problem. No one at the restaurant knew how to speak English. In Camdodia they speak Khmer – a language so completely foreign as it has its own alphabet system. Next the waiter dropped a menu on the table.Alas, it had no pictures but strings of unknwon symbols!…Well, together with my host we walked to where they cooked. There close by was another menu with pictures. But these foods were still strange. We needed to smell and taste them to know them!

The smell was good.We saw the rice, the meat, the vegetables and pointed out what was to be put on our plates. We tasted the meals and they were great!…Isnt this like our Christian walk?

One can never comprehend God by merely reading about Him. No amount of theology can truly inform someone about the nature of God. One needs to TASTE and SEE that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Just as one can never warm himself with a painted fire (no matter how good the art work is), so one can never be converted by a ‘historical God’. He is called “I AM”, not “I was” or “I will be.” You need to know Him in the PRESENT!

My fear as a teacher

As usual before I started my lecture I greeted my students and talked on one or two items that made international news headlines…the class was quiet…I continued speaking: “Remember something like that happened when the Axis powers fought against Allied forces in WWII“… I realised that I was talking to myself. Faces of students looked lost.

Curious, I asked: “Do you know what has been happening between America and Russia over Syria the past two days?” A few students mumbled some words expressing ignorance over the matter…I went further to ask: “What about the Axis powers and Allied forces. Who were they?“…None could explain.Next I asked each student to tell me something…”No sir, I have never heard anything about it” was the response from everyone.

I was deeply afraid and concerned. What will future generations be like? Will it be generations of highly skilled men in their fields of study but so ignorant of the world around them? Will they be nincompoops that know so much about Manchester United and Barcelona than where they are coming from and where their world is heading to? A generation that spends so much time on selfies and social media and very little or no time at all spent on books? No, not academic textbooks but books that would enrich someone’s understanding of themselves and the world around them.

“it would only be a gift of words”

I woke up at 5 Am to refresh my mind with history notes on the Middle East. Reading about how Israel persevered to rise in that hostile region is quite intriguing. The words of Chaim Azriel Weizmann, a Zionist leader and Israeli statesman, caught my attention:

“A state cannot be created by decree, but by the forces of a people and in the course of generations. Even if all the governments of the world gave us a country, it would only be a gift of words. But if the Jewish people will go build Palestine, the Jewish State will become a reality—a fact.”

1948 came and we know how determination, action, and perseverence gave birth to Israel. Faith without works is dead. Faith with works manifests Life!

“Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews”

Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” – Pilate wrote the words, in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, atop that cruel Roman cross. That was the harshest punishment for the cruelst criminals in Rome. Did Pilate write those words because he believed Jesus to be the king? Far from it. It was a warning of the fate of all would-be trouble makers. At a time when Jews were under the control of Rome and continous Jewish insurrections to fight for independence had been a constant headeache for Rome, for one to declare himself king was quite a treasonable offense. Crucified, up on top of that hill, people were suppose to be afraid of the terrible fate that awaited those who were zealous for an independent Jewish kingdom. However, the faith of desciples and believers did not wane. Theirs was not the kingdom of this world. Like a mighty flame of fire the Gospel spread in Jersulaem and across into Gentile nations! It was not a Gospel of a dead Jesus but the resurrected One whose presence we can feel in His Word and in His manifestations to this day!

Tend to your Lamp!

In the Jewish tabernacle they used to have a lamp which burnt continually. God said to Moses: “thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always” (Exo.27:20).

Notice that it was to be PURE OIL! I read somewhere of how impurities in oil can affect the lighting it produces. And talk about LIGHT, we have all sorts of light today! Over in taverns and pubs there are lights with blue, purple and red in them. That is not light. It is an excuse for light! Isnt this what has happened to Christendom today, having a dim and dark compromised Gospel in place of the Glorius pure Light of God’s Word?

For the light in the tabernacle to burn continually, priests were dedicated to tending the lamp. The practice went on from generation to generation. However, one day there arose a priest who served for so many years, he grew old and could no longer effectively tend to the lamp. Just how many believers have served God so long until they have become so used to it, thereby foregtting their work to tend the lamp? As for Eli “his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see” (1 Sam.3:1). Well, God’s Word is the lamp onto our feet. We have to yield to it prayerfully. We have to sit under the blessed pure anoining of the Spirit to keep the Word burning in our hearts.

But Eli could no longer see “and the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD” (1 Sam.3:3). Just in how many assemblies (‘temples’) today has the light gone out and people gone to sleep? The trouble is, when eyes are getting dim and the light is going off, one may not notice that it is getting dark….

Let us wake up and tend our lamps. Be in prayer. Fellowship with believers. Always pray with your wife and children together. Let us keep the lamp on!

Have a blessed day!

(Preached at the Zambia Revenue Authority Lunch Hour Fellowship)

Christ lives in me!

Teacher pointed to a shorter stick and said “One” and we repeated after him.Then he pointed to a longer stick counting “Two“…

Next day, the lesson was to repeat but this time he raised the longer stick expecting us to start counting. “No, there is a mistake here” one pupil corrected him: “We have to start counting with the shorter stick!

To the young mind the objects – the sticks – embodied numbers. The sticks were numbers and the numbers were sticks. So, to posess sticks was to posess numbers. Did teacher despise our ignorance when we asked that question? No. He gladly complied knowing that “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa.28:10). However, growing up later, we could count without the aid of sticks. We could count ‘in the heart’.So we threw away the sticks. However, throwing away the sticks did not amount to throwing away arithmetic. Sticks are not numbers no more than works of the Law are righteousness.

Sticks were ‘shadows’ pointing to the REAL CONCEPT of numbers! When they FULFIL their purpose, one is no longer bound to OBSERVE them. I love God so much that I dont need a written Law on the doorposts of my house telling me “Thou shalt not profane the Name of the Lord”. He lives in me. I am dead to the flesh and Christ liveth in me. I dont need to be warned that if I dont go to church I will be punished. Like Jeremiah prophesied: “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me” (Jer.31:34). Everyday is church time and I earnestly look to gather with the saints whenever there is opportunity. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Col.2:16-17).