Arriving at the Lamunu Hotel in Braamfontein was exciting. The impressive courtyard area with its super-sized screen was a pleasant distraction from the cold Joburg night we were in for. Popcorn makers, coffee brewers and all sorts of technicians were getting ready for the first feature: Jaws! Read more
OK, so it looks like the US State Dept also gives and takes away 🙂
But blessed be the name of the LORD.
Our Visa selection notice has been revoked along with 22000 others of the 1.8 million Read more
This morning when I finished parking my car at a parkade, one of the car wash attendants approached me about a car wash. I noticed that he had some cotton wool shoved into his ear.
Before he could say anything I asked him what his name was and what was wrong with his ear. He told me that his name was Philemon and that his ear hurt and liquid was coming out of it. I asked him if he would like me to pray for his ear to be healed, and chatted to him about whether or not he knew Jesus. Although he struggled to hear what I was saying, he understood what I asked and did want prayer, albeit a bit reluctantly.
It turned out that he is a Christian and fellowships at a Pentecostal church. I laid a hand on his ear and prayed for it to be healed, and then gave the Lord thanks. I encouraged him to continue to pray for his ear to be healed and promptly left on my way to the office where I work.
While walking toward the lift lobby area, two ‘car wash’ ladies ran after me and stopped me before I got to the lift. The one lady, Kate, asked me to pray for her healing. She had been taking pills for a physical problem; however nothing has helped her so far. She seemed in despair, but not without hope. She didn’t want to share exactly what her problem was, but I reassured her that the Lord knew exactly what it was and it was His will to heal her. I asked her if she knew Jesus and she replied that she didn’t, adding that she had also only been in a church a few times.
I laid a hand on her shoulder and we began to pray. As I confessed healing over her body in Jesus’ name, she did also – and loudly! I followed on to rebuke the devil, and again she joined in the rebuking. We confessed Jesus’ name and gave him thanks. Even as we prayed, which happened to be in the view of everyone who walked or drove past us, I felt that the focus should be on the Lord, Kate and the prayer, not the people around (who in my regard should be ignored for the moment, which in any case would definitely get something to think about! 🙂 )
Well, after we concluded the prayer, I asked Kate if she would like to give her life to Jesus. She was so excited at the idea she didn’t even think twice about it – she just said yes. I then led her through a prayer where she committed her life to Jesus, confessing belief in who He is. Then, asking her where she lived and about going to a church, she and her sister Nolte were interested in where I fellowship. I told her about Cornerstone and then gave her information about Uptown and Central, where and when she can come attend.
It was very refreshing to see such faith and excitement in a person for the Lord, and also how God uses circumstances in such a way to bring Him glory! Praise God!!
As you may or may not know we are running a course on worship for one of this term’s Bible School subjects. We are now into our fifth week of the course and I’ve just been struck with what is really such a basic truth; God is big! He’s huge!
I know you may be thinking, “Ok, we already knew that.” but sometimes an old, familiar truth gets a fresh spark of life thrown at it and suddenly you really believe it all over again. Exploring the subject of worship is like trying to fully explore God Himself. It can be a daunting thing, simply for the sheer volume of it and yet, it is an incredibly rewarding thing to do.
To study the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of worship is to discover the “Who” of worship. Without knowing the object of our worship all we do is make a noise. All our clever musical arrangements, all our catchy songs and refrains, our dancing, clapping and general carryings on come to nothing if they are an end in themselves. But to truly know the One for whom the “carrying on” is for – that is worship. Let me qualify that further; God does not require our worship as if He were somehow in need of constant affirmation from us. He is the eternal one, the Alpha and the Omega. He is wholly self-sustained. For “who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” (Rom 11:35).
Actually, when we worship Him it is for our own good. When, according to John 4:23, we worship in Spirit (because God is Spirit) and truth, as Wikus reminded us last week, we worship in the truth of who God is. The “truth” part of that scripture is the truth of God’s eternal nature and not our own, often grossly inconsistent truth. When we gather together to worship, or indeed when we worship on our own, we are not meant to try to “stay true to ourselves”. We don’t just honour Him when we feel we are being sincere about it. Our hearts are so deceptive and will readily lead us down a path of introspection at the expense of fixing our attention on Jesus where it belongs. Our worship would therefore be as inconsistent as we are prone to be. Thank God that He is consistently awesome and always worthy of praise! When David was feeling melancholic he would often speak to his own heart as if it were something apart from him, sometimes questioning it, “why are you downcast?” and encouraging himself to, “put your hope in God…” and he would urge himself to “yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.” (Ps 42)
God is always worthy to be worshipped and He is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in Spirit and in the truth of who He is. We cannot attempt to look more deeply into the subject of worship without looking deeply into the nature of God Himself as He has revealed to us by His Spirit and His word. And we certainly cannot do that without responding in true worship.
To reiterate; to truly know the One for whom the “carrying on” is for – that is worship.