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Showing posts from July, 2014

Freedom of Forgiveness

Three US former servicemen were standing in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, the capital of America, and one asked his friend, “Have you forgiven those who held you prisoner?” The other replied, “You know, I will never forgive them.” And then his friend said to him, “Well, it seems that they still have you in prison then, don’t they?”
That story emphasises an important point: unforgiveness is a prison without walls! The good news is that it is a prison we can choose to break free from by the power of God the Spirit. Apostle Paul writing to the church at Ephesus says :

A Transfer Payment

The Christian life takes effort, and that’s a good thing; making an effort is the best way to know you’re for real. Be glad that blocking out time for prayer and Bible reading is inconvenient. This gives you an opportunity to prove that you really do love God, for we only make time for the people we care about. Rejoice for the opportunity to love your enemy, forgive the friend who wounded you, keep your word when it hurts, swallow the gossip you are dying to share, call in a favor to help someone else, and look away from the barely covered model on your television or computer screen. The burn you feel means you’re paying a price, which is something a hypocrite would never do. What has your faith in Christ cost you? Gladly pay it, and keep the receipt. It’s proof that you’re for real.
MICHAEL WITTMER Wittmer's point is an important one. The "cost of dying to self" is not just for God. It is for us as well. When we experience the cost it should reassure us that we are living…

Because of Jesus

Because Jesus is strong for me, I am free to be weak
Because Jesus is my defender, I am free to be quiet
Because Jesus is right, I am free to be wrong
Because Jesus won for me, I am free to lose
Because Jesus is someone, I am free to be no one
Because Jesus is extraordinary, I am free to be ordinary
Because Jesus is beautiful, I am free to be ugly
Because Jesus owns everthing, I am free to be poor
Because Jesus succeeded for me, I was free to fail
Because Jesus is first, I am free to be last

Bottom line:

Jesus is turning my world upside down!

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Untransformed Desires

When Jesus transforms our desires, we realize that the problems we have with sin in this world are not because we want pleasure too much; our problem is that we want pleasure too little. It is tragic when so-called Christians live just like non-Christians, running endlessly after the next temptation, the bigger house, the nicer possession, the newer pursuit, the greater notoriety, the higher success, and the more comfortable lifestyle. Such a quest for pleasure in this world reflects a lack of contentment in Christ. Deep down inside, people seem to be afraid that if they let go of the stuff of this world, they will miss out on satisfaction in this world. But disciples of Jesus gladly leave behind the trinkets this world offers because they have found surpassing treasure in Christ. The passionate pursuit of true, deep, and lasting satisfaction always leads to Jesus. DAVID PLATT There's something about the way Platt writes that just cuts the straight to the heart and leaves you gas…

Slay Yourself, 2nd Edition

I am currently thinking about a lot the challenge of Messiah Yeshua to me as his follower to die to myself. This is the biggest lesson I am learning at present. And he is bringing a number of good authors I have read in the past to mind. I recently quoted David Platt the call to "slay yourself". But here is how Paul David Tripp expresses the same challenge : "From the earliest age, our love of self shapes everything we do and say. We fight over toys, the last bowl of cereal, and who gets the bathroom first. We work to be thought of as right, to be viewed as attractive, to win the argument with a neighbor, to get the promotion. We strive to be first, best, the center, the most powerful, the best known, the most loved. We really do love us and have a wonderful plan for our own lives! We indulge our desires and do anything we can to meet our own “needs.” If we were really honest, many of us would say that we would be completely satisfied living our own lives for the sake …

One Minute Lesson (Lesson 17)

Remember that I am God, and there is no other God. I am God, and there is no one like me. From the beginning I told you what would happen in the end. A long time ago I told you things that have not yet happened. When I plan something, it happens. What I want to do, I will do. (Isaiah 46:9, 10 NCV)
Lesson:
God is unstoppable. When plans he something, it happens!
Application:
Don't panic on God's behalf.
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Slay Yourself!

In a world where everything revolves around self—protect yourself, promote yourself, preserve yourself, entertain yourself, comfort yourself, take care of yourself—Jesus said, “Slay yourself.” And that’s exactly what happened. According to the Bible and tradition, these four fishermen paid a steep price for following Jesus : Peter was crucified upside down, Andrew was crucified in Greece, James was beheaded, and John was exiled.
DAVID PLATT Is it just me or is it not the case that in the Bible the more closer people were to Jesus the more literal the taking up the cross became?

One Minute Lesson (Lesson 16)

This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (Isaiah 14:26, 27) Lesson:
God controls everything that happens in the world. And He cannot be stopped!
Application:
Let God stay awake. You go to sleep! God is in control!
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Social limits of markets

Kelvin Albertson has an interesting article where he argues that neoliberalism focus on self interest (expansion of economic freedoms) inevitably leads to increasing surveillance (reduction in social freedoms). In other words although society may be becoming economically freer it comes at the expense of less social freedoms. It turns out the free market actually imprisons : The need for self-interested but free individuals to be constantly regulating each other to promote social good explains the seeming paradox that, as the state withdraws from the economy in line with neoliberal theory, its role in criminal justice expands. Where the actions of some have adverse social consequences, the state must attempt to disincentivise them through regulation and punishment. And this, of course, requires rigorous detection and monitoring.

Building Babel

I read earlier this year that work on Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower is expected to start later this year. It is being constructed by the same company that built London's Shard skyscraper. At the time of the announcement in February 2014, it was set to be the world's tallest with at 1 km, more than three times taller than the Shard. The owners believe it will be "a landmark building that will clearly demonstrate Saudi Arabia's ambitions to the world".

One Minute Lesson (Lesson 15)

Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God...Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:8, 2:3) Lesson:
The call of the good news of Jesus is an invitation to suffer for Jesus.The gospel is that good! This is strange for many of us because we think following Jesus is about reducing our suffering. Perhaps a question we need to think about at the start of this week is this: How are you planning to suffer for Jesus this week?
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Calling all callings!

We are free in Christ to do every calling, no matter how small, for the Lord. MICHAEL WITTMER (Source: Despite Doubt) How liberating!
Can I just add something? There's no small task as long as it is for Jesus. Why is that? Because there's no small Jesus! Only Big Jesus [Colossians 1:15-23]
We must grow to understand the full force of this verse : Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?....And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37, 40). The bar for service in God's kingdom is very low! Even giving someone a drink for Jesus at home or work is service for His kingdom!
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Power of Confession

If the cleansing of confession depends on the confessor, we are all sunk, for none of us have confessed accurately or adequately. The power of confession lies not with the person who makes it but the God who hears it.
MAX LUCADO (Source: Grace) We need to be reminded of this truth every time we come to God in repentance. True confession must be genuinely repentant but we must remember its power is rooted in Him. Unless we get this truth we won’t experience the peace of God, even when we have already received peace with God
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

We are not as strong as we think we are

I came across this touching story of Nate Larkin in the book I am Second : Real Stories, Changing Lives which vividly demonstrates human frailty : Nate Larkin went to seminary, where he trained to be a pastor, but he also learned an unexpected lesson. His class took a seminary-sponsored field trip to New York City. They journeyed to the red light districts to witness firsthand the exploitation of women by the sex industry.
They walked into the porn shops and saw the graphic reality of the forbidden fruit. “I was shocked by what I saw, disgusted by it,” he said. His face twinged and his eyes closed, forcing those first gritty pictures out of his mind. “But I was also fascinated by what I saw. It hooked me deep. I didn’t just like porn, I became obsessed with it.”