Presentation Versus Content

In a past issue of the Preaching Now newsletter, Michael Duduit wrote: “As the father of two boys, I’m learning some of my most important lessons around the breakfast table.

For example, he wrote, “I have learned that the nutritional value of the cereal is of far less concern than the box: what’s on it and what’s in it. Is there something interesting to look at on the box, and/or does it have some special prize inside? If Jimmy Neutron is on the box, then it’s a keeper. (For those of you without small children, and who are thus culturally unaware of the latest cartoon celebrities, you’ll just have to trust me on this.)”

It appears that his boys consider presentation more important than content. While he knows that’s not true, he’s also learned that they’ll absorb some pretty nutritious content if the presentation gets their attention. They’ll even eat healthy stuff if it looks interesting enough!

This, I believe, is a great lesson for preachers and public speakers.

Discover Your Language by Max Lucado

Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2: 2–4)

Oh to have heard this moment in Jerusalem. Andrew describing God’s grace in Egyptian. Thomas explaining God’s love to the Romans. Bartholomew quoting the Twenty-third Psalm to Cretans. John relating the resurrection story to the Cappadocians.

Some in the crowd were cynical, accusing the disciples of early morning inebriation. But others were amazed and asked, “Whatever could this mean?” (v. 12).

Good question. Crowded city. Prayerful followers. Rushing wind and falling fire. Fifteen nations represented in one assembly. Disciples speaking like trained translators of the United Nations. Whatever could this mean?

At least this much: God loves the nations. He loves Iraqis. Somalians. Israelis. New Zealanders. Hondurans. He has a white-hot passion to harvest his children from every jungle, neighborhood, village, and slum. “All t
he earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num. 14:21 ESV). During the days of Joshua, God brought his people into Canaan “
so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty” (Josh. 4:24 ESV). David commanded us to “sing to the Lord, all the earth! . . . Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Ps. 96:1–3 ESV). God spoke to us through Isaiah: “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isa.49:6 ESV). His vision for the end of history includes “people for God fr om every tribe, language, people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9 NCV).

God longs to proclaim his greatness in all 6,909 languages that exist in the world today. He loves subcultures: the gypsies of Turkey, the hippies of California, the cowboys and rednecks of West Texas. He has a heart for bikers and hikers, tree huggers and academics. Single moms. Grayflanneled executives. He loves all people groups and equips us to be his voice. He commissions common Galileans, Nebraskans, Brazilians, and Koreans to speak the languages of the peoples of the world. He teaches us the vocabulary of distant lands, the dialect of the discouraged neighbor, the vernacular of the lonely heart, and the idiom of the young student. God outfits his followers to cross cultures and touch hearts.

Pentecost makes this promise: if you are in Christ, God’s Spirit will speak through you. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover your language.

With whom do you feel most fluent Teenagers? Drug addicts? The elderly? You may be tongue-tied around children but eloquent with executives. This is how God designed you. “God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (Rom. 12:6 NLT).

For whom do you feel most compassion? God doesn’t burden us equally. “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men . . . He fashions their hearts individually” (Ps. 33:13, 15).

[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)

Gracious Father, I am deeply grateful that you took the initiative to reach out to me—even in my sin and selfishness—in order to bring me into your eternal kingdom, through the work of Christ. I cannot fathom such love! And yet, Father, I admit that too often I try to hoard your grace, putting up walls of protection that I might keep hurt out and blessing in. I confess I am like the clam that shuts itself up in its shell, afraid of threats from the outside. Lord, I recognize that you call me to unshell myself and to partner with you in your mission of love. Unshell me, Lord, so I, too, may reach out to a lonely, discouraged, and even hopeless world. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

From Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference Copyright (Thoma s Nelson, 2010) Max Lucado

Faith, Prayer, Atheism

There was a little old lady who would come out every morning on the steps of her front porch, raise her arms to the sky and shout, “Praise the Lord!”

Well, one day an atheist moved into the house next door. Over time, he became irritated at the little old lady. So every morning he would step out onto his front porch and yell after her, “There is no Lord!”

Time passes with the two of them carrying on this way every day. Then one morning in the middle of winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted, “Praise the Lord! Lord, I have no food and I am starving. Please provide for me, oh Lord!”

The next morning, she stepped onto her porch and there were two huge bags of groceries sitting there. “Praise the Lord!” she cried out. “He has provided groceries for me!”

The atheist jumped out of the hedges and shouted, “There is no Lord. I bought those groceries!”

The little old lady threw her arms into the air and shouted, “Praise the Lord! He has provided me with groceries and He made the devil pay for them!”

Thanks and best regards,

IAT Boluwatise

Worth Sharing

This is a story worth sharing indeed. It came in a mail from a friend. I love it, you should too.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.

During their visit, the conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups — porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite –telling them to help themselves to the cof fee.

When all the alumni had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, “Notice that all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just
more expensive and, in some cases, even hides what we drink.What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups, and then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; your job, money, and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life.

The type of cup one has does not define, nor change, the quality of life a person lives. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”God makes the coffee, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of
everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Enjoy your coffee!

Thanks and best regards,

IAT Boluwatise

Legitimacy of Power and Sword Versus Wisdom in Prayer and Dependence

In one of the issues of Breakpoint commentary, Chuck Colson pointed out that, “This fallen world is dangerous, and out of mercy, God has given legitimate governments the power of the sword to protect us. The just war doctrine, derived from Scriptures, enables us to evaluate and hold our national leaders accountable when they must use the sword.

“We know from 2 Chronicles that King Jehoshaphat of Judah was a great warrior with a large, seasoned army. But when Jehoshaphat was confronted with an invasion, instead of riding out to meet the invaders, he led the people in prayer. “We do not know what to do,” he prayed, “but our eyes are on you.” And God’s deliverance came in a thoroughly unexpected way. Jehoshaphat’s army didn’t fire a shot.

“Christians should follow the example of Jehoshaphat in prayer. Yes, we have the finest fighting men in the world… But remember that prayer is mightier than our armies, and God alone gives the victory or defeat.”

Thanks and best regards,

IAT Boluwatise

Grace, Divine Protection

The following story is the personal account of from an experience Pastor Rob Morgan had. It is a good illustration of the protection we enjoy in Christ.

“Several years ago, I was walking down a sidewalk in East Nashville, making a pastoral visit. Suddenly I saw a German shepherd flying across a lawn, barking, snarling, teeth bared, mouth frothing. I was so startled that as it lunged at me, I screamed and jumped backward. But between me and my would-be attacker, there was a chain-link fence. The dog struck the fence full force. My heart was racing, but I was utterly safe because of the protective fence.

Satan can growl and bark, lunge and threaten. But when we’re enclosed by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he can do us no real or lasting harm.”

Courtesy: Pastor Rob Morgan in his book, The Red Sea Rules.

Thanks and best regards,

IAT Boluwatise

Prioritising Between Doing and Teaching

“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach until the day in which he was taken up ….” – Acts 1.1

It is time as Christians we began to understand the reality of our calling, that the Christian faith is not evidenced by the abundance of words we speak and in the concepts we generate but in our life actions. Possibly, one of the reasons why spiritual formation is on a downward trend today is because we have not extolled the virtue of right living.

Luke, in his account (Acts 1.1) succinctly and declaratively acquainted us with the life of Christ. He asserted that Christ was first a doer and then a teacher. This shows us the reason for his great exploits in influencing people for God. He demonstrated by the life he lived the things he taught.

For example, it took his exemplary prayer life for his disciples to demand of him to teach them to pray (Luk. 11.1). So if a man that is not prayerful is teaching prayer to the people, he will go as far as giving them academic knowledge.

Christ was able to turn the hearts of men to God, simply because of the way he, himself, was committed to the father.

I remember a denominational preacher I once knew about. He was reputed to have always told the congregation he pastored to do what he was saying and not what he was doing. He did that to prevent many of them from becoming cultists like him, but you see, he could not be effective in establishing the realities of our spiritual walk with God in their lives.

Our Christian witnessing would soon move to another level when we understand that God expects us to live the new life than to generate concepts. We must be the ones to first experience the things we know according to Paul: “The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops”

Peter also made us to know that the Lord should be honoured in our hearts always: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness of fear, having a good conscience ….” The place of the heart, from where flow the forces of life, comes before explanations.

Our light shall shine and our good works would be seen by men, from our Jerusalem to the extremity of the world, when we focus much more on living the new life than talking about it.

Both are important, but there is a priority.

Hello world!

Hello world.
I’m glad to come up here through the WordPress.
I believe through this means I shall be able to do what I love to do – adding meaning and value to life.
I shall be back here in the next few hours or days to start properly
Until then, live right and make the best of your day.
Stay in control.

1 18 19 20