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Archive for January, 2009

Master Class of Jesus Christ (29)

January 31st, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: 2 Cor 2:5-11 (NIV)

The fourth principle we learnt in hearing Jesus was:

4. We are not to hold any grudges – by extending Christ’s forgiveness to us to others.

 

I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me.  Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough.  Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him.  Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement.  So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.

I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions.  When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too.  And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us.  For we are familiar with his evil schemes.  (NLT)

This is a very important point in the dramatic shift in worldview Jesus is presenting as the new reality.

Behind a lot of fundamentalist and messianic type movements is the anger, resentment of the disposessed. The madness of most revolutions is fuelled by hatred and vengeance for gross injustices.

Yet at the foundation of this new world order is forgiveness. We are to share Christ’s forgiveness towards us to others. Truth and Reconciliation movements seek to do this. They should be supported.

This means that Jesus is not satisfying old hostilities. He has not having triumphant conquerors who strike back at others to get even. His message to the poor is the Kingdom of God is yours. His warning to the rich is that you are finding a false and fleeting comfort. Beware of the trap.

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Message for the Day

Master Class of Jesus Christ (28)

January 30th, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: Psalm 73:1-28 NIV
Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
and clothe themselves with cruelty.
These fat cats have everything
their hearts could ever wish for!
They scoff and speak only evil;
in their pride they seek to crush others.
They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut throughout the earth.
And so the people are dismayed and confused,
drinking in all their words.
“What does God know?” they ask.
“Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
Look at these wicked people-
enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain.

If I had really spoken this way to others,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
Truly, you put them on a slippery path
and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.
When you arise, O Lord,
you will laugh at their silly ideas
as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant-
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
(NLT)

 The third principle we learnt in order to hear Jesus was:

3. Everything is to help us enter God’s happiness – to experience his joy of life – to experience God’s pleasure.

No more hunger, no more tears – we hear the New Jerusalem in Jesus teaching. Today people are lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God. It has always been this way.

The Psalmist is telling us not to envy the wicked who appear to be carefree in their wealth, but to know that reality is in God and true goodness and strength belong to God. Our desire is to be with God forever.

Message for the Day

Master Class of Jesus Christ (27)

January 29th, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: 2 Cor1: 18-22

As surely as God is faithful, my word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.(NLT)

 The second principle we learnt to hear Jesus Chrsit was:

2. The conviction that whatever we hear is not to condemn us but help us to respond more fully to God’s already Yes to us.

Jesus was not condemening anyone in his message. He primarily was bringing good news. But good news also has a prophetic warning.

If you reject this new world order and live by the false values of the old order, who will comfort you when it collapses? You have based everything on nothing.

It is good news to hear what Jesus says. We can freely drink form God’s living waters – no matter what happens on this earth and what type of human government we live under. He is totally for us.

I am sure Christians in Zimbabwe are holding on to that. If we live under a democratic and mostly honest government we should be very thankful. But the vast majority of Christians are by our standards, in poverty and more often than not under corrupt regimes.

Message for the Day