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I Am the Alpha and Omega [Part 3]   Leave a comment

Alpha

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” Rev 22:13

7. Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

God did not populate the earth once with animals or plants. He gave the possibility to the millions of species He created to do it themselves through reproduction. Some trees can produce more than 1 billion seeds which in turn would produce massive number of plants and seeds.

Vegetables, fruits and plants were to be the main or only aliment that would feed the whole population of humans and animals(Genesis 1:29-30). In this vegetarian world, animals were not created to eat animals nor animals created for man to eat them.

So in the beginning everything that grew was useful and the job that God gave to man was to cultivate the garden of Eden which apparently had the most appealing plants(Gen. 2:15). I like fruits and I planted quite a few seeds of fruits I like to eat. I live in a fertile region and it is not necessary to add stuff to the soil. It is a pleasant experience to see the seed change to plant, grow and bear fruits in abundance. On the other hand, it is not an enthusiastic experience to constantly remove useless herbs, thorns or thistles. It is a sad experience to harvest fruits that have been attacked by pests or to notice that the seeds did not germinate despite having cleanse and plough the land . Before the fall of man, the soil was in perfect state and plants could fastly multiply to feed humans and was suitable for all kind of animals. Probably, the curse in Gen. 3:17-18 reduced the amount of vegetation required to feed animals and man thus causing animal to eat others and man to eat them. Famine for instance is a direct result of man’s sin. Another clue we have is that it was only after the flood that God allowed Noah to eat flesh(Gen. 9:1-4)

The earth’s rotation completed and it was the third day.

8. Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good

Imagine how the world would have been if there was no concept of time. We would not be able to set meetings where everyone could meet together, make time-based contracts or scientific experiments. The absence of light allows the earth to cool and living creatures to rest, its presence allows photosynthesis to occur and provides vision. A lot of scientific reasons could be given to explain the importance of having the presence or absence of light. Time reminds us that we’re mortal beings and we’re on earth just for a moment. Our watches have been calibrated to tick at regular intervals in order to complete the 24 hours at the same time the earth completes its rotation. On the first day God said “Let there be light” and here God talks about these celestial bodies that would be used as reference to indicate days, seasons or epochs. As long as the earth rotated only on its own axis, there could be only day and night. There could not be seasons or visible signs such as eclipses, summer, winter, autumn or spring. Probably, the earth started to revolve around the sun at this point in time thus causing the phenomenons of seasons and signs in the sky.  Without the moon or the stars we would have had darker nights. Even though stars provide little light, they have been sufficient signs for navigation in ancient times.  The earth’s rotation completed and it was the fourth day.

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Posted February 14, 2018 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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I Am the Alpha and Omega [Part 1]   Leave a comment

Alpha

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” Rev 22:13

The book of Genesis starts with “In the beginning” and the book of Revelation talks about “The End”. The concept of time started for the world at creation and it will become void after the destruction of the world and the creation of the new heaven and earth(Rev 21), which will subsist for eternity. We have few information what will happen after the destruction of the world and even less information of what happened before the beginning of the world.

Jesus did not only mean that He was from the beginning and will be till the end. He is really the start or initiator of what we call beginning and end. This implies that He was before everything existed and will even be after everything created cease to exist.

This is what He said:

I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One”   Rev. 1:8

From start to end, Jesus is the expression of God’s will. In analogy, from A to Z, α to Ω (Greek), א to ת (Hebrew) or any language that words can be expressed.

It is worthy of remark, that as the union of א aleph and ת tau in Hebrew make את eth, which the rabbins interpret of the first matter out of which all things were formed – Adam Clarke

John said: “In the beginning the Word already existed.The Word was with God,and the Word was God.He existed in the beginning with God.God created everything through him,and nothing was created except through him

No wonder, Jesus is called the Word of God(Rev 19:13). It was Jesus’ name or title before He came to earth. Jesus is the executor of God’s will or simply put – The Creator. He is the author and cause of all things that is visible or invisible whether on earth or heaven(Col 1:16). God’s Word is the means through which God’s thoughts have been translated ,are translated and will be translated into existence.

This is what God said to the Jesus:

He also says to the Son,In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.” Heb 1:10

God just spoke and it came to be(Ps 33:9).

“Let there be light”, and there was light! Genesis 1:3

“Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39

“Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared (Luke 5:13)

Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed (Luke 7:7)

Posted February 1, 2018 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The discipline of the disciple   Leave a comment

A disciple of Christ is one who submits himself/herself to spiritual, mental and body discipline.

Discipline is an exercise done to self or others to instill growth. It involves, heart, mind, body and soul. If the discipline exercised on others is not done out of love or for good reasons, it is considered being “controlling”, “abusive” and “dominant”. Self-discipline is a sign of maturity since no one is required to keep us training as we can do it ourselves. A child requires to be disciplined because he/she has no experience of life and need training.

Paul said: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Cor. 9:27

Think about an athlete Paul says. An athlete is disciplined at the time he exercises. He has strict control on the food he/she eats and is mentally ready to take up a new challenge each day to attain his goal. Discipline is essential to have a healthy family, body and relationship with others. James says that one who is able to discipline his tongue is a perfect man. Paul advised Timothy to exercise spiritual discipline as it is both beneficial for spiritual and body health. Paul said to Timothy that it requires discipline to be godly.

On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”1 Tim. 4:7

In order to give what it takes to God,our family and ministry, it requires to be disciplined in the way we manage our time. Discipline spares much trouble because you’re not only doing the right thing but also the thing right.  Discipline is the pathway to do what you know is right even if you do not want to do it. It is of course easier to talk about discipline i.e. how to eat, how to exercise than actually doing it. I experienced that disciplining  myself in a particular area of my life was difficult in the beginning but after a few months it became a habit. When self-discipline becomes a habit in different areas of our life, we become more diligent and mature. Spiritual discipline therefore results in spiritual maturity (Eph 4:13).

When someone finds it difficult to discipline self to exercise, he/she looks for a coach in a gym to get him/her training. Nutritionists give strict diet to obese people to help them improve their health. How then can a Christian be helped to be spiritually disciplined? God presents Himself as a Father who disciplines His children(Heb 12:6). God uses the bible, life circumstances, the pastor or a mature Christian to discipline us.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” 2 Tim. 3:16

Our attitude to discipline will either result to maturity or rebellion. It is a painful experience to exercise a body which has not been training for years. So it is when a Christian has not been living a disciplined life for years. He’ll either give up and continue in his sin when chastised or endure the corrective actions until he becomes spiritually fit.

Training several hours a day is not difficult for a world class sprinter but might cause a heart-attack to a one time runner. Living a disciplined life is a decision. Many take that decision to be disciplined in one particular area of his/her life but finally give up after a few days. It requires perseverance for discipline to become a habit. Think about it, if you’ve been able to discipline yourself for 6 months in a particular area of your life, you’ll most likely be able to do it for 1 year and eventually for your whole life if it became a habit.

The body murmurs about waking up early or exercising when the weather is cold outside. The body complains because it has to wait for the food to be cooked when its hunger could immediately be satisfied through a fast-food. Self-discipline allows a man and woman to exercise self-control on their sex drive and spare them much trouble.

One obvious result of discipline is patience. Adam Clarke defined lust as “I want it now!”. This is a childish behavior of wanting everything immediately. Impatience is therefore a sign of immaturity. Vegetables which grow at their own pace are healthier than those which are forced to grow fast through fertilizers. Better things take time and are usually more valuable.

Veggies are not always as tasty as junk foods but healthier.Physical exercises cause body pain but keep the body fit. Restrictions on expenses cause discomfort but protect self and family. So it is with discipline, it causes pain and discomfort because our flesh naturally seeks for pleasure. Do you want to exercise self for the purpose of godliness?

 

Posted August 29, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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Servant Leadership   Leave a comment

Servant Leadership

But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mat. 20:26

  1.  Different from conventional leadership

Jesus taught that Christian leadership is servanthood which is clearly opposed to the world’s concept of being the “Boss”, “Director”, “Captain” or someone having authority over others. Most if not all types of leadership (dictatorial leadership, strategic,charismatic etc) have a man or a group of people at the head having authority. The professional world does not know such thing as an inversed pyramidal way of leading. How can a slave be a leader ?

The word “deacon” used by Paul in 1 Timothy refers to servant or slave. Adam Clarke described it as “The office of a deacon, in the primitive Church, was to serve in the agapae, or love feasts, to distribute the bread and wine to the communicants; to proclaim different parts and times of worship in the churches; and to take care of the widows, orphans, prisoners, and sick, who were provided for out of the revenues of the Church

This definition implies that such a person does not exercise authority on the Lord’s flock, he serves humbly and is concerned for the weak. This type of leadership position is not limited and does not cease to be when you leave position at church or at work. This leadership is really about your character and who you are.

Paul himself described himself as a slave of Christ. (Rom 1:1)

I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ“(1 Cor 9:19)

2. It’s not about what you have but about who you want to be

It’s not your intelligence or experience that makes you the type of spiritual leader Jesus is talking about. Jesus said that it is a personal decision to serve others. If you really want to be great in the sight of God, then serve.

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave

Paul mentioned no physical,financial or intellectual qualifications to be this kind of leader. The qualities that Paul mentioned had to do with conduct at home, at church and especially with non followers of Jesus(1 Tim. 3:7).

3. This kind of leadership is sacrificing self for others

A great leader in the world is measured by his financial results, physical performance, political decision or intellectual abilities. Though Jesus was the utmost authority on earth, He came to serve humanity by pouring out His life for their salvation. Paul said:

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Rom. 5:6

Jesus gave an example to his disciples to follow when He washed their feet. Great leaders in the eyes of God are experts in feet cleansing(not theirs of course).

now he loved them to the very endAnd since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. ” John 13:1-14

4. This leadership seeks no reward and is rooted in humility

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God,he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges,he took the humble position of a slave” Phil. 2:3

This kind of leadership is not motivated in getting something from others but in giving to others. Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:35

It does not have to prove something to be recognized.

There is no need to do self-appraisal or show your senior what you did in order to get a promotion. Your CV is written by God not by you.

5. This leadership draws its strength from love

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

How to know if you’re a servant who pleases God?

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you patient and kind with your family? Are you serving them?

Are you jealous, boastful, proud and rude with your colleagues or are you gentle, helpful and pushing them towards success? Are you serving them?

Do you easily get angered and have an unforgiving heart with your neighbor? Are you serving them?

Do you persevere in serving others despite no recognition and being hurt by them?

Servant leadership is imitating Christ’s example of serving others.

Paul said: “My old self has been crucified with Christ.It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. ” Gal 2:20

6. It is a Master and slave relationship

Paul made himself a servant of all and was an instrument in the Master’s hand to pour out His love on people. If we call Christ Master then it follows that we consider ourselves slaves.

A slave does not seek for his right but obeys His Master. There’re no menial tasks but all are duties. They do not have working hours, they are readily available any time. They do not live in luxury but are satisfied with what they have. Slaves have no reasons to seek for glory.

In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.”Luke 17:18.

Finally, successful spiritual leadership is not through strategy but through the influence of the Holy Spirit. Without submission to the Holy Spirit, we will not bear the fruit of the Spirit and our leadership will be carnal.

Imagine how the workplace would have been if the boss had an attitude of servanthood towards employees, how our country would have been if the political leader had a servant attitude towards citizens, how a classroom would have been if the teacher had an attitude of service towards students or how the family would have been if the father/husband served his wife and children. If those in authority exercised servanthood, it would have brought less harm, more peace and love.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted August 5, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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What good deed must I do to have eternal life?   Leave a comment

CamelThroughNeedlesEye

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Mat 19:23

Context: Jesus was about to leave for Jerusalem and a man came running and knelt down at his feet to ask a important question (Mark 10:17-22)

Who was this man? The Gospel of Luke (18:18) tells us that he was a religious leader and Matthew precised that this man was young and rich(Mat. 19:22).

In our era we could say this was the perfect guy any woman would like to marry or the right businessman to make honest deals with.

We discover in these verses that the man was humble and was sincerely seeking for an answer to a question which was a matter of utmost importance to him. His question was simply: ‘How can I get into heaven?’

If he was sick and old we could understand that it was a legitimate question to ask before dying, but here it was a young man which still had vitality and time. Though he was a religious leader, he came with humility and considered Jesus as the teacher who could taught him what to do. The question that this young man had did not just pop up suddenly and caused him to run. I believe that for quite some time he tried to answer this question by himself but nothing worked.

Before getting to the the subject, we can see through this scene, the soul of  a man which says: ‘I am religious, know well God’s laws and obey them but still I feel unsatisfied and not at peace in my heart. I still do not have the peace and conviction that I will go to heaven. Why?

I call this situation the Desperate Soul’s syndrome. He was rich but his soul was still unhappy. His flesh was satisfied with the things of this world, his religious conscience tried but in vain to reassure his soul of salvation but that soul kept lamenting and be desperate. The flesh wanted to fool the soul by saying ‘My soul, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!‘ Luke 12:18

The soul no longer wanted to be fooled. The soul’s desire was not quenched with worldly things and kept tormenting the young man with this question: ‘Where will you make me spend eternity, heaven or hell?’ To this question, the young man had the answer but not the one his soul wanted to hear. This man probably heard Jesus’ teachings before and he knew that Jesus was kind of a doctor who could tell him what he could do to calm down his soul.

Jesus often liked to unroll little by little His plans when talking with people. For example he did not tell the Samaritan woman that she had 5 husbands at the beginning of the conversation, nor did he grant the request of the Canaanite woman at first request(Mat 15) . He wanted the woman who had a blood lesion to reveal herself instead of clearly stating that it was her. Even though he knew there were just a few bread and fish, He asked his disciples how all the thousands people will be fed.

Jesus knew why the rich man came but told him a first answer which He knew the man tried and did not work. Jesus told him: ‘Keep the commandments’.

So the man retorted, OK but which one? The commandments are divided in 2 parts, the first 4 related to God and the last 6 related to man. By mentioning the latter, Jesus again mentioned answers He already knew and practiced:

Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not testify falsely ,  Do not steal and Honor your parents.I obeyed these like many people. Well, even the respectable atheist has a code of conduct and honor his parents, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not testify falsely and do not murder.

Sigh, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”

Now comes the crux of the answer which I believe is related to the first 2 commandments – relationship with God. The rich young man was a religious leader and I believe he observed the Sabbath and probably did not misuse God’s name. However, he did not realize that he was violating the first 2 commandments which dealt with having no other gods. The rich man’s problem was that the god of money,Mammon, invaded his heart and kept him away from God. His possessions made him idolatrous. To deal with this gangrene in his heart, it had to be removed and this caused him a heartache.

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22

Adam Clarke said of this verse:

If thou wilt be perfect – Τελειος ειναι, To be complete, to have the business finished, and all hinderances to thy salvation removed, go and sell that thou hast – go and dispose of thy possessions, to which it is evident his heart was too much attached, and give to the poor – for thy goods will be a continual snare to thee if thou keep them; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven – the loss, if it can be called such, shall be made amply up to thee in that eternal life about which thou inquirest; and come and follow me – be my disciple, and I will appoint thee to preach the kingdom of God to others. This was the usual call which Christ gave to his disciples

What does cupidity means in biblical perspective?

In my opinion, it is not limited to the amount of possession but also about storing up more what is needed for personal use. Storing up more what is needed is then cupidity or greediness. One can be a millionaire without being avaricious and one can possess little and be avaricious. To this Jesus said:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Mat. 6:19

To be rich, therefore, is in general a great misfortune: but what rich man can be convinced of being miserable?

The trade off for the rich man was: Should I get rid of the possession that gives my flesh comfort to possess the peace of soul possession cannot offer?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!

Posted May 13, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The Passover, the Lord’s Supper and Easter   Leave a comment

 

 

Lord's Supper

The downcast disciples on the road of Damascus had a sad remembrance of Jesus. They said: He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel…” Luke 24:19

This is not how Jesus wanted His disciples to remember Him so He explained to them what the scriptures told about the Messiah. It was only after Jesus shared bread with them that they recognised Him.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:30

These disciples quickly forgot what Jesus taught.Jesus said “Remember, what I told you” Luke 24:24.What do you remember of Jesus? What can you say about Him?

The angels said to the women who came to Jesus’s tomb:

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24:4

John the Baptist said of Him : Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

When Jesus asked who people said He was, Peter said: But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Mat 16:15

John described Jesus as the Word of God made flesh and each disciples remembered Jesus in a particular way.

The Lord’s Supper was an ordinance that helped the disciples of Damascus to remember Jesus. It remembered them who Jesus was and what He did. Jesus wanted His disciples to remember His death on the cross and return.

Why an ordinance?

In the past, God appointed 3 national festivals among the Jews to make them remember of extraordinary things He accomplished. Man easily forgets so it was important to establish such things as feasts to keep it a practice from generation to generation. When children asked their parents about the raison-d’être of these feasts(Ex. 12:26,13:8), it was the opportunity for parents to pass on to them what the Lord did in the past for their ancestors.

“God, out of his great wisdom,” says Calmet, “appointed several festivals among the Jews for many reasons:

  1. To perpetuate the memory of those great events, and the wonders he had wrought for the people; for example, the Sabbath brought to remembrance the creation of the world; the Passover, the departure out of Egypt; the Pentecost, the giving of the law; the feast of Tabernacles, the sojourning of their fathers in the wilderness, etc.
  2. To keep them faithful to their religion by appropriate ceremonies, and the splendor of Divine service.
  3. To procure them lawful pleasures, and necessary rest.
  4. To give them instruction; for in their religious assemblies the law of God was always read and explained.

No matter their differences or from which tribe of Israel they were, all came together to celebrate in family these feasts. This is still true among different Christian denominations. Despite their differences, most if not all celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The slavery in Egypt reminded of the privation of liberty, suffering in the body and service of a foreign ruler. The freedom from sin brought by Christ is analogous to the deliverance of the miserable life of Egypt.

It is worthy to note that it was the community(including children) which sacrificed the lamb and it was not specifically destined for the priests alone(Ex. 12:6). This remembers us that Christ was killed by the community.  The Passover reminded the Jews of the miracle God did to deliver them from slavery in Egypt. The Lord literately passed over houses without killing the first-born of the Israelites. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the paschal lamb ceased to be offered by the Jews throughout the world even though they kept the remembrance. No more sacrifice was to be made and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was instituted to keep this true paschal sacrifice in commemoration.

Paul said:”Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us.So let us celebrate the festival” 1 Cor. 5:7

The Lord gave one New Command:Love one another as it sums up the laws and the prophets(Mat. 22:40).

He gave one new ordinance: The Lord’s Supper Luke 22.

He also gave one mission: Go and preach to the whole world(Mat. 28)

The Lord’s Supper reminds why Christ has come and what He did. This is an ordinance that shall perpetually continue until Christ’s coming.

Paul said:  “This is my body, which is given for you.Do this in remembrance of me…For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.” 1 Cor 11:23-26

In Luke 22, Jesus said: ““I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:15

On the day of Passover, Jesus wanted the disciples to remember Him in a special way. He was going to be the long foretold Passover Lamb and it was His day. This is what Jesus wanted His disciples to remember:

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you

Easter has nothing to do with Passover, it is a pagan festival which in no way points to Christ as the sacrificial Lamb. Easter remembers of eggs, chocolates or rabbits and takes Christ off the stage. The Lord’s Supper however was a solemn moment where Jesus’s disciples shared in a dinner with their to-be Savior.

I have heard many preachers portray Jesus as a martyr who suffered much. What rendered the sacrifice of Jesus acceptable to God was not as such His suffering but who He was. Jesus said  You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. ” John 5:39

It was not just anyone who went on that Cross. Jesus’s name is God’s Word(Rev 19:13). He is God with Us(Emmanuel), the Son of God and Son of Man. He is the one foretold who will crush the serpent’s head.He is the promised posterity of Abraham(Gal. 3:16) and the promised descendant of David who will be King forever. He is also the High Priest of the tabernacle in heaven. Theologically, there’re so many things to say and remember about Jesus. However, when we think about what Jesus said in His last supper, we REMEMBER the crux of His Mission and the very essence of His person.

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” Luke 22:19

 

 

Posted April 15, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The quest for spiritual leaders   Leave a comment

01-here-i-am-send-me-300x169

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Is. 6:8

Have ever you met someone who radically impacted your life and the way you think?  It could have been the passion, love or wisdom of that person which influenced you. I have met such a man whose wisdom changed my way of seeing things and still another man whose passion for a cause sparkled in me the desire to do the same. I met these people for a couple of hours and have not met them again since. Some very important decisions I took in my life were influenced because of them and I’ll never meet them again to let them know. These people left their thumbprints on my heart and mind and I will never forget what they said. Through their books several authors also impacted my way of thinking and somehow shaped my character and still they will never know.

Jesus was such a man who radically changed the heart and mind of people. He left his footprint in each villages He visited. Jesus’ fragrance did not go unnoticed. His teachings spread through the world and changed the life of millions of people.

Being in fellowship with Jesus causes you to be such a person who is a blessing to the people you interact with. Are you such a person people like to talk with or avoid?

Does the word you speak communicate divine comfort, blessings, love or wisdom? Or do those words spread threats, curses, hatred, foolish jokes and hurt those who listen to you?

When Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, the first thing he said was:

Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King,the Lord Almighty.

My heart is filthy and prideful and I also live among people whose heart are unrighteous. I feel so unworthy to stand in the presence of God. I have failed so many times in my conduct and word spoken. I’m ruined and an unfit servant of the living God.

It was a solemn moment when Isaiah saw the glory of God. The scene of the seraphim picking a piece of burning charcoal on the altar and touching Isaiah’s lips with it was also emblematic. The divine creature did not cheer up Isaiah by telling him that his sins were negligible. It had to be dealt with even if it symbolically meant purifying the sinful part of the body by burning it. It’s a painful process to be purified of one’s sins – you’re brought to your knees until pride is taken away. When  we stand in the presence of God, our sins come to light and guilt takes place. God knows that no mortal man can stand in His presence without feeling uncomfortable and He provided ways to atone for the sin of men.

See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.

If guilt and sin are still present in our hearts, God will not be able to use us to be that fountain of blessing to others. The God called out: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?

The verse does not say: “Isaiah, can I send you? Isaiah will you go for us?”

Isaiah response was spontaneous, send me. If you’re hearing God calling out do not close your mouth. Say wholeheartedly, “Here I am, send me where you want and do what you wish”

In his book, Out of the comfort Zone, George Verwer pointed out that many Christian organization and churches struggle to find leaders willing to take responsibilities. Jesus himself said that the harvest is great but the labourers are few. Very few Christians respond to God’s call. They just stand as spectators seeing the churches going into ruin and evil spread. Edmund Burke said something about this attitude of passivity:

-The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
 –Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
I have witnessed that God  miraculously equip those who respond to His call. If you’re convinced that God has called you for a specific ministry, just do it. Do not wait for someone to mention your name to serve God. You might never know if what you sowed bore fruits.
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Col. 3:17
“Whatever you do or say”- This implies your whole character. If you have not been a good representative of the Lord with your neighbors, colleagues, family and friends, it is not too late. Repent and confess your sins like Isaiah did. God will provide a way to purify your sins and use you again for His glory. Isaiah was commissioned to: “Go and tell this people” and Christ also commissioned His disciples to go and tell to the whole world of the Good News. What shall we do with God’s call? Shall we respond and say ‘Here am I, send me’or ‘Lord, this is not my ministry, look here’s a missionary organization’.

 

Posted February 25, 2017 by Cedric in Uncategorized

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