The living stone

Jesus the rock that holds me up

With recent events around the world: elections, BLM, even Brexit talks still and the virus which we will refrain from naming, it is crystal clear that we are headed for shaky times or dare I say shakier times. I mean I say crystal clear but for some they haven’t got the foggiest idea of what is going on. The bible does relate that there will be those who” have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear and hearts but do not understand” Ezekiel 12 verse 2.

As a child I always heard the expression “a rolling stone gathers no moss” . This non biblical proverb has been said to carry the meaning of someone not staying steadfast in something and therefore not reaping its rewards. It is dare I say no better time to be a Christian.For many of us the light of Christ has shone on the darkness that is sin drawing us to repentance and revealing things the bible says even angels long to look into Peter 1 verse 12. That God would chose us mere mortals to reveal these things to is a miracle and yet many shrug in disbelief at the signs of the return of Christ. We must be steadfast a vigilant always watchful of the things which are happening around us. We must be steady stones gathering the moss of the word of God, prayer,discernment and righteous living. We cannot afford to be rolling around the world because this will prove to be fruitless.

Since we’re on the topic of stones I think it only fair to mention our living stone Jesus Christ. I was reminded of Exodus 17 where the children of Israel went out to fight against Amalek. In their fight, Moses gets weary as he holds up his hands to see Israel prevail. These shaky times will be the  testing of our faith and allegiance to Christ and many even now are falling away. We will get weary but we must push through. The best way to do so is to remember the rock of our salvation. The scripture continues to show how they put stones under Moses’ hands to hold them up and Aaron and Hur helped to hold up his hands also. Where are the Aarons and Hurs of your life? These are the ones who will pray with you in the seasons of discouragement and weariness. They are quick to remind you to look to Jesus whom the bible calls our precious cornerstone. This is the same rock the wiseman built his house upon. Israel’s defeat of Amalek reminds us that we need not think ourselves alone in these times. God is with us and as we come to Christ with our weariness He will give you strength for they that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not get weary; they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40 verse 31. We are already victorious its just that our fight to meet victory seems tough but as God was with Israel then so is He  with His church and His people.

A kingdom of segregation?

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We live in such a beautifully but messed up world. One of the greatest blunders in human history is racism. Whether you call it colour consciousness, light skin, dark skin or even in-between it all stems from racism. It is no wonder why people are always so kinked in themselves about other races who make themselves seem superior to others. Let’s be clear, I’m talking about black and white. It would be great if I could just say that in 2018 things should be different, and so hope to change the mindsets of mankind. However, I know the deal! I know that nothing can ever repay for lives lost and stolen through slavery. Not to mention the injustice many still face. From police killings to inequalities in the workplace, many black people still feel stuck and so they are angry towards whites and would rather stay as far as possible. “No mixing,” they say and even the church is impacted by this.

Bringing the world into the church

There are certain attitudes expected from people of the church and people of the world. I know all too much about this and have seen how many times we transfer our worldliness to the church and expect for God to be pleased with us. You cannot function as a child of God whilst harbouring these kinds of feelings. It boils down to whether you are just religious or whether you have a relationship with God.

Every true believer should know that they are to love their neighbour as their selves Matthew 22 verse 39. How can you claim to love God whom you have not seen and hate your brother who you see? 1st John 4 verse 20. It is the call for us to not use carnal “fleshy” nature to combat issues of life.Where others seek retaliation and vengeance, we should instead put on forgiveness and allow the love of Christ to rule in us. This makes for maintaining the testimony of Christ.

To say that in the melting pots of western societies there is still that deep segregation within the church is shameful. There should not be an all Nigerian Church or an all “White” church, especially in the communities around me, but that is what you will find. I know it is easier to speak to someone who is similar to you, but if winning souls is your aim as a church (which it should be as it is our first priority as children of God) why are you not stepping out of the box to reach these souls as well. They say there is a place for everyone but what if your church is the only place these people can receive the gospel? Are you going to shun them because they look different or because you feel different towards them?

A Gospel for all

I am always drawn to John 3 verse 16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that WHOEVER believes in Him can have everlasting life.” The Gospel is for EVERYONE and not just some. Not Just blacks or whites or Asians or the in-between alone but for ALL. I think this slips the minds of many believers today. Imagine if Christ said only blacks could receive salvation or vice versa, the majority of us would be in trouble and God would not be seen as the loving God He is. In His mercy, He has made salvation inclusive because He only made one race but because of sin and mankind’s stupidity, we see this filtering through the church.

I have had a few discussions about this with people and it baffles me that some are so consumed with what they want from God. How do you expect God to bless you when you won’t even obey Him. One of the greatest commandments is “…Love thy neighbour as thyself” Matthew 22 verse 39. As this is a commandment, you would expect this to be a high priority, but as this involves us making ourselves uncomfortable it becomes somewhat redefined to be “love the people around me, the people who are like me.”

I do understand that many white folks don’t want to hear the gospel and the truth is that more black folks go to church, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one who wouldn’t be open to receiving it. Our job is not to be the judge but to be the bearers of the message issued by the almighty judge Himself. Whether they accept it or not is up to the individual and we pray that they do. The world may be singing this song of “stay in your lane and I in mine” but the church’s song should be different.

After this, I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7 verse 9. This is one verse that has stuck in my mind since the beginning of my walk with Christ. If this is a picture of what heaven is going to be like shouldn’t you be preparing yourself now. Hating people and keeping yourself distance is a hindrance to obtaining heaven.

Who do you resemble?

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Avoiding others because of what they’ve done to you or retaliating, in the same manner, is not the way we should react as the church. No matter how justified you may feel it goes back to the point of sacrifice. Just as we are undeserving of God’s love and mercy, nevertheless Christ came and gave Himself in our stead. So, looking at His example-ship we should imitate Christ as Paul says in 1st Corinthians 11 verse 1. Show love, grace and mercy. 

I know that there are going to be those who just don’t care. They blame mixing for societies confusion but if they really looked to God they’ll see that the world wants to label everything and everyone. In order to find where your true identity is, look to your creator and don’t rely on society because they have lost their way. This is why it is so important to keep the world and the church separate. I digress. If after the flood Noah and all his children went in the same direction we wouldn’t have all this mess. We are all the same we just look different and that is the beauty of the HUMAN RACE!

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