The name of the Lord is suffering even today!


It’s not bad enough that Christ suffered on that hill for us.
That he was beaten, mocked, chastised and killed for you and I
That his justice was denied and the innocent killed for my sin
That the most holy God was drowned in the sewage of your sin
But he was cast away, ripped from his eternal union to take my judgement


It wasn’t bad enough that he was rejected by those he came to save
That the very ones he sought to redeem cried out for his death
That his very disciples betrayed, denied and deserted the Saviour
But even today his message is maligned and his people twist his Gospel
Like our forefathers we reject, deny and undermine his claim on us


It was bad enough that all his apostles suffered for his message
That his people were called a cult and cast away from Israel
But today his name is used as a curse word, a play word for children
His eternal rule is ridiculed and none fears the Lion of Judah
Everyone trembles at human rulers but laughs at his face


It was cruel and futile enough for the former governments to attack him
But in every age and every state they rebel and renounce his claim
The world of today like yesterday treats him the same if not worse
They treat his message, his claim and his people the same way
None considers the humble Passover lamb is the ferocious Lion of Judah


But it’s worse in his own church and among his own disciples
By word, deed and testimony we betray, deny and desert him
Some twist his message for their own gain, laying a claim on his people
Others claim to hold out his Gospel but by their conduct deny it’s truth
And the many forget his very existence, rarely seeking to live for him daily


We may look down on those who killed and tortured our Saviour
We may despise the early disciples and the first church
But we need to ask, are we any better today or worse?
Is the risen Christ alive in our sermons, in our witness and living?
Is he the Lord and Saviour, ruler and God of us and everything we possess?


Our world doesn’t mind a full weekend holiday in his name
But it must consider the fate of sin as seen on that Good Friday
If God didn’t spare his innocent son for the sins of the world
What makes you think he’ll overlook yours that fully deserve judgement?
Run to him for his Easter refuge or prepare for the judgement of eternal hell


Christian, don’t waste this Pandemic!

Title borrowed from John Piper’s book, Don’t waste your Life.

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If as Christians we believe that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 then we need to ask whether we are missing the good out of this Pandemic?

It’s inconceivable to the human mind that anything good would come out of tragedy but church history since the Exodus to the Cross and the birth of the early church proves it happens this way. Suffering is the gateway to Christian growth and will ultimately usher in eternal glory with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

It was Jesus suffering and death in the hands of evil religious leaders and a cowardly ruler that bought us eternal joy and salvation. The groom and darkness of that Friday birthed the precious Easter Sunday. We were reconciled to the Father and given the hope of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus from this life of suffering and death is the foundation of our faith and what informs how we live now. Otherwise, as Paul says:

… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15.

So going by this foundation it means death won’t be the end of us. Our hope of resurrection goes beyond the threat of diseases and economic breakdown. Those things will affect us and to some of us worse than others but they won’t steal our hope. On the contrary, God can use this time to shape us to be more like Christ in his sufferings. To grow in the flames of suffering in our love and trust for God if we align ourselves with his plan and purposes.

This could turn out to be a memorable time of Church growth numerically and in regard to its discipleship. But it could also be a time of great confusion and backsliding if we focus on the bad, the uncertain and forget our sovereign Lord is still in control. My cry is that we won’t waste this time but make the most use of it to live for Jesus as we always ought to as strangers in this world.

To turn to God in prayer. Seek to grow in our knowledge and love for Jesus and his Word. Seek to expand his kingdom by our witness in word and deed. To look at the fields as Jesus would say and see it’s ripe for harvest:

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. John 4

This is the time to reach out to friends and family with the Gospel truth and Gospel love. It’s the time to soak in fellowship with God in our devotion and prayer. It’s time to model family devotion and fellowship. It’s time to learn Biblical reflection. Time to encourage one another with the life-giving truths of the Gospel. Time to create and develop good spiritual disciplines. Time to preach. As Steve Lawson echoed;

There has never been a greater hour to preach the gospel. The darker the night, the brighter the light.

We don’t know how long this COVID-19 will take before a cure is found or we recover from it. And we should continue praying for a cure and be wise in controlling it’s spread. But as Christians, we should also make the most use of the time as we live for King Jesus even in this.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5.

He rose that we may die!

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20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2.

Easter break came and we are back to our daily routine, long weeks and short weekends. I know the feeling if only every week was 4 days long! But to a Christian, Easter means more than a long weekend. Because that first Easter did not just change history, it completely affects our identity and how we live as Christians.

You could say Easter is the compass on how to live the rest of the year. It reminds us of who we are, those bought by his blood. And it gives us hope beyond the grave, that death will not be our end. Easter refocuses our attention to where we are headed, our eternal home with King Jesus. But the question is how are we to live now?

Die to selfish ambition
Paul says we are to live by faith in the one who died for us. We walk by faith not by mere eyesight as everyone else. And we are no longer to live for selfish ambitions as the rest of the world.

But now having died to self, we live for the one who died that we may live with God. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, when Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

The man you hear is dead, for Christ now lives in him. It is Christ, says the apostle Paul, who now lives in me. And in this, we have sure confidence of our faith as the people of God, as we bear the marks of Jesus on us, our death for his life.

17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. Galatians 6.

Live for the salvation of others 
We are not here merely waiting for the end of times but living for Jesus. And if Jesus came to die for our reconciliation with God then we die to self in submission to him and his mission.

As his ambassadors, we seek others to be reconciled with him. We crucify those wild dreams to make a name for ourselves for we belong to another.

Instead, we seek to please him and live for his dream, the reconciliation of the world to God.  As 2 Corinthians says, his love compels us to seek the lost. Indeed, if our souls didn’t yearn and bleed for the lost, Christ wouldn’t be alive in us.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5.

Build his Body
Since we are dead to ourselves, we belong to Christ and his body. For we are not saved alone but as a community of believers. It’s no longer my life and my goals that matter for King Jesus calls me to his mission which is the mission of his church.

I’m eternally bound to my brothers, their weakness is my weakness and my greatest concern is that they are built up to maturity in him.

In the Bible, we learn that God is not working through a million individuals doing things separately but in the office of the Holy Spirit, his church.

21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2.

The business of God is to bring us into the sheepfold of Christ and grow us to maturity, to conform us to his likeness.

He achieves this through his Word and by the gifts of one another. And as we speak God’s truth to one another, we grow in full knowledge of him:

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4.

Have you fully died?
The problem is many of us Christians want to have our cake and eat it. We definitely want to live for King Jesus but a small part of us is still struggling to its last legs. Some of us are more aware of this than others. And unfortunately, we see it more in others than we see it in ourselves.

My prayer after this Easter is that we will withhold nothing to the one who died for us. That he will help us through his Word to kill selfish ambition for his mission.

To repent and kill sin every day. And to desire what he desires: that many may be saved and come to know him as their Lord. That we will be deeply convinced to give ourselves fully to his work as every Christian should.

He rose that we may die. To live and work for him who died for us. And as Paul says our labor in him is not in vain:

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor 15.

As CT Studd said, only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. All other work and way of life end in vain. But this is worth dying for.

I pray that we will be fully convinced by his Word that this is the true Christian calling. To fully die that he may live in us. Amen!

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Crazy, Dreamer, Christian?

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Perhaps this title describes some of your good Christian friends, they are nice but for lack of a better word simply crazy. They want more from life and happens to call it Christian. Maybe you are my friend and you are like, yeah that narrows it down.

I mean, how can you believe a man who says there’s life beyond the grave? And you know they will be on it again this Easter calling you to investigate Jesus’ claim on this.

Are they Crazy?
But while all Christians might be crazy you think some of them should know better. I mean in other matters they seem to use brains but on this, well, not much seems to be going on upstairs. How can that be!

In the first century, some of the well educated and respected religious leaders were confronted with this claim of the resurrection. The Sadducees would have none of it, once dead always dead, they said. Anybody who claimed life beyond the grave was simply a nutcase. So they came to Jesus with this question.

18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question …Mark 12.

They told him a scenario that would discredit the resurrection, as it would mean chaos for their marriage traditions.

…23 At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” …Mark 12

But unlike us, the Sadducees should have known better regarding God’s power and his plan since they would have believed in the Jewish scriptures and were creationists after all.

Why would the God who made the world not be able to breathe life to the dead? And as Jesus tells them, if they paid attention they would see the witness of their Scriptures about life beyond the grave.

24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?…26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” Mark 12

Their forefather Abraham was a witness against them of those dead yet living. Jesus says, God is not the God of those who once believed but now gone but dead and yet still living.

And if they studied the Psalms and the Prophets they would have come to the conclusion that God’s plan was to make Jesus, the Christ, king of God’s new creation with eternal life for his people.

Maybe not Crazy!
Perhaps your Christian friend is not crazy to believe in life beyond the grave. God’s power and the Old Testament in the Bible bear witness of this. That’s before we even consider Jesus own resurrection from the 4 eyewitness accounts and other New Testament books. At this point, we don’t even need to go to other reliable extra-Biblical sources.

As a matter of fact, these religious leaders would have been witnesses to Jesus raising the dead. Which means this was not just a question of evidence but of faith in God and his plan.

A Question of morality!

At the beginning of this chapter, in Mark 12:1-12, their real motivation behind their question is exposed, they didn’t want anything to do with God’s Son as they wanted to keep their authority on God’s people. And the story ends with them killing God’s Son to usurp him. Unfortunately their reign and logic are shortlived as 3 days later he is raised from the tomb.

They wanted to keep God’s vineyard and its fruits for themselves. Just as we want to keep what God has given and entrusted to us without regard to our Creator and his rights on his creation.

They failed and stand in judgment as will all those who rebel against God’s king. They should have paid attention to the Psalms:

11 Serve the Lord with fear,
    and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalms 2.  

What about you?
Perhaps our problem with Christianity is not one of evidence but of morality. It’s not that there’s not enough evidence to believe in Jesus claims but that we don’t want to believe it to be true. And if it is evidence then in the Bible God tells us a lot to convince us on this if only we would listen to him.

Dreamer or Christian?

Paul says that if there’s no resurrection then all your Christian friends have wasted their lives for nothing and we are wasting your time. If so then it’s time to wake up from this drunken stupor.

What’s worse, if this is true then your Christian friend is not a nice person after all but a liar and a false witness who should be in prison.

 …13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14 And if Christ has not been raised,our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised

…19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15.

If I was your Christian friend I would desperately want you to investigate this further, perhaps by reading one of the eye-witness accounts like Mark’s Gospel alone, with a friend or visiting a church where the Bible is clearly taught. Don’t just assume the stories you had in school or in religious debates. So much is at stake here.

And if you are a non-believing, loving friend or family to a Christian then don’t let them waste their lives or continue to live in this madness. Talk to them about their faith in Jesus.

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