Monthly Archives: January 2011
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29 NKJ
A small child asked his father, “Dad, who is a Christian?” The father replied, “A Christian is a person who loves and obeys God. He loves his friends and neighbors, and even his enemies. He prays often, is kind, gentle, and holy, and is more interested in going to heaven than in all earthly riches. That, son, is a Christian!” The boy looked puzzled and thought for a minute, then asked, “Have I ever seen one?” The child hasn’t, have you?
I am sure you have heard it said not once, not twice but several times that Christians should be a little bit more like Christ. Pastors have preached millions of messages on how to be like Christ. Mahatma Gandhi was asked by evangelist E. Stanley Jones how Christianity could be more acceptable in India. “I would suggest, first that all of you Christians …begin to live more like Jesus Christ” Gandhi answered. He is reported to have said, he loves our Christ, it is Christians he is not too sure of. Christians are supposed to be a striking likeness of Christ; we should be pictures of Christ.
Ladies and gentlemen, we believers are all merely pilgrims in progress, trying – and in the process we have been found trying indeed; but the very term “to be Christ-like” is confusing. Like Him in what way? His ability to perform miracles? To cast out demons? To teach? To face His accusers calmly and silently? So when Paul said we should be conformed to the image of His Son, what was he talking about?
The dictionary defined “Christ-likeness” as “like Jesus Christ, especially in character or spirit”. As simple as that may sound, I am still not sure what “in Spirit” really means. Well, I believe that the term “to be Christ-like” has got to do with His attitude towards, first, His father’s will and secondly towards humanity. I am sure you are asking, and exactly what does that mean? We will get to that next week. I will appreciate your opinion, engage me on this one.
A well-know professional golfer was playing in a tournament with President Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nicklaus, and Billy Graham. After the round was over one of the other pros on the tour asked, ‘Hey, what was it like playing with the President and Billy Graham?’ The pro said with disgust, ‘I don’t need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!’ With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, ‘Was Billy a little rough on you out there?’ The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, ‘No, he didn’t even mention religion”. WOW! I’m assuming Dr. Graham handled himself in such a way that spoke more to his friend than a thousand words would have done. So then my question again is…Are you like Christ? Or at least, are you trying to be like Christ?
I will leave you for now, if we don’t meet again, I will see you at the dinner table in Papa’s house.
Rev. Kingsley Ayesu.
A friend once said, “Although no one can go back and create a brand new start, I believe we can start from now by creating a brand new ending.” You don’t need a good start to have a great finish. Shakespeare said “All is well that ends well” not “that start well”. So the beginning was rough and the middle looks messy, but don’t you worry, God has a way of putting the pieces together to give a great picture. People who have never had their lives fall apart do not understand why some of us look at life the way we do. If you’ve ever had your life broken into pieces and you are trying to put it back together, you come to a point in your life where you see life from a different perspective. The year 2010 may have ended on a sour note and you hoped that 2011 will start on a brighter note. Yet, you are already a week into the brand new year and you are still wondering what the year is going to be like. But guess what beloved?? You do not need a good start to have a good finish.
Adolf Hitler started his career in a catholic school to become a priest… the rest of his story will forever be remembered in infamy. Joseph Stalin was a seminary student but he ended life by killing 30million Russians. Judas Iscariot started as an apostle and ended as a betrayer. King Saul started well but died as an enemy of the Lord.
Paul started as a murderer and finished as a deliverer and the greatest apostle of all times (in my opinion).
Some of you have experienced shame, brokenness; let downs, heartaches, trials, disappointments, betrayal and your life has fallen into million pieces. The Bible says in all of these things we are more than conquerors .One of the great attributes of God is that, He doesn’t break us privately but rather He breaks us publicly. It is so that folks can see your “before and after.”
The other day, my wife and I went to glamour shots to take some pictures and on their walls they had some “before and after” pictures of some people. As I looked at the pictures on their walls, I immensely had a sense of appreciation towards the creativity that had been put into developing those pictures. I could compare and contrast the two pictures and as beautiful as the “after” pictures looked, I would never had appreciated them the way I did if I didn’t know what the “before” looked like. I was amazed by the “after” pictures more because I had the “before” pictures to compare to and boy, was there a difference. I believe that is how God treats us. He wants people to see your “before” so they can appreciate your “after”. God gives people the opportunity to witness the pain and shame you go through in order for them to understand why you give Him (God) all the glory you do.
When King David was anointed, he was not enrolled into the lineage of royalty but into the school of brokenness. Before you walk through the palace of kingship, you have to walk through the caves of Adullum. You are a work in progress so don’t wave the white flag of surrender and quit. The Palmist said rejoice not over me oh my enemy, for when I fall, I shall rise again and when I sit in darkness the lord will be my light. The righteous may fall 7 times and the 8th time he will rise again. A song writer said, I am a soldier in the army of the Lord, and when a soldier falls down in the army of the Lord, he will rise again. Ladies and gentlemen, many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all.
This is just your “before” beloved. Folks are mocking you and you can hear their jeering laughter. Pay no attention to them, because very soon they will witness your “after” and know that your God has done great things in your life. So you didn’t get a good start? That’s ok; God doesn’t need you to have a good start to give you a great finish. Keep on keeping on, He will work all things together for your good.
I will leave you all for now, if we don’t meet again, I will see you at the dinner table in Papa’s house.
Rev. Kingsley Ayesu.