Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Golden Rule - Christianity is a Relationship!

We have all heard the famous command, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” But that statement is not complete as it is. There is an initial and fundamental part to it that is often ignored, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and then love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

You’re probably thinking the first part is not so necessary, we just need to love people as ourselves. But the truth is, we cannot truly love others or even ourselves unless we go back to the source of love - God.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Wedding Day is coming!

I remember my wedding day. It was special. Very special. My darling groom was immaculately
dressed, he had travelled thousands of miles to be married to me. I too was beautifully dressed. I was gorgeous! I had been attended to by the hairstylist, manicurist, make-up artiste,..etc. My white gown was spotless and fitted perfectly. I was ready.

As I walked down the aisle to stand close to my groom , I could see all our family and friends straining to have a glance at this beautiful bride. My husband was no different. I saw him smiling as he beheld the object of his affection. The woman of his dreams finally becoming his wife forever. So he waited patiently, he knew it was going to happen soon.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Christianity is not just a Religion. It is a Relationship!

The key message of religion is if you do good, you get rewards from a god. You don’t have to be in relationship with the god, just do as you are told, then all will be well. But Christianity is markedly different, it encourages us to relate with God as a father and friend! Wow! Christianity is founded on relationships, vertically with God and horizontally with man through the Cross.

I am all too aware that some of us were given the view of ‘Christianity as a religion’ when we were growing up. We were told to avoid sin, in order to please God and go to heaven when we die. On the surface, it looks like a good teaching, and yes as Christians we should strive to live right. But the motivation for living right is fundamental. Are we living right (obeying God’s commands) because we want to go to Heaven or are we living right in appreciation for what God has done for us?

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The God who gives second Chances

Some months ago, I read about Charles"Tex" Watson, one of Charles Mason’s cult members who murdered Sharon Tate in 1969. She was an actress, and at the time of her death, was 8 months pregnant. 

She and her friends were killed in her house, in an attack that was very random, unprovoked and very barbaric. It  was evil in its purest form.

At the time I read that story, I was heavily pregnant just like Sharon. I imagined what she felt at the time of the attack, and my heart just broke. I wept like a baby.

This tragedy happened even before I was born, to people I didn’t know, yet I was overcome by intense emotions. One of those emotions was hatred and anger. I even prayed that God would not forgive the killers, especially the leader of the pack, Watson.

It just so happened that He did. I was enraged!

The God who gives Choices

Two things happened some days ago that inspired this note. I read that Meriam Ibrahim had been freed from prison and her death sentence overturned. If you don’t know her, she is the pregnant Sudanese lady who was sentenced to death for apostasy (converting from Islam to Christianity).

The second one was receiving a pamphlet from the Yes Together Scottish campaign group. The group took time to put some very convincing reasons why Scotland is better being inside the UK than as an independent country. And then they asked people to make an informed choice in the referendum; not out of fear, or out of some nationalistic pride, but based on facts.

In many ways, this ability of people to choose is what makes Christianity so appealing. Unlike other religions that thrive on fear and force, Christianity offers freedom of choice.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The God of Balance

In secondary school, I was in a Christian students’ fellowship. Part of our responsibilities was evangelizing to others. I remember that many times I tried to scare my classmates into becoming Christians. I would tell them of the horrors of Hell, and would ask them to make a commitment immediately, just in case they died suddenly.

Sometimes they fearfully did,and would join me in fellowships for a while. But after realising death or rapture wasn’t happening soon, they would revert back to their ways.

I too became a confused Christian not long after. All I knew was the judgement of God, and not really His love. So I often compromised my faith and lived like a hypocrite. After a while, I became convinced that God was such a loving and understanding God who was not bothered by my ‘few’ sins. I felt that as long as I went to church regularly and got involved in many activities, God wouldn’t mind my frequent slip-ups. I felt I was better than others who sinned even more or didn’t go to church.

Why Christianity makes no ‘Sense’

By the word sense, I mean ordinary human understanding or knowledge. The Bible tells us in 1Corinthians 3:19 that human wisdom is considered by God as foolishness. So yes, many things in Christianity seem foolish or senseless to a typical non-Christian. Let’s look at some of them.

God saving Mankind through the death of Jesus: The other day I watched a debate between a Christian and a Muslim on Youtube. One of the issues the Muslim scholar had against Christianity was our belief that God sent His son to take on human form and suffer death on our behalf. 

The Muslim said it was unthinkable for God to reduce or humble Himself to that level. He wondered if any earthly King or President would do that, how much more the Heavenly King? Well God is not only the King of kings, the Creator, but He is also a Father. Many fathers and mothers will often sacrifice their comfort for the sake of their children. It is for this reason that Jesus,God’s only begotten Son, was sacrificed on the Cross that we might be saved. In Phillipians 2:5-8 we read:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who,being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather,he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!