2. Being a generation of change rather than a generation that runs
Key text: Matthew 6:25-34
So we started a series last week called NkosiSikeleliAfrika and in this series I want to address some of the negativity about our country by taking us back to the reality of what God is doing in South Africa.
If you haven't noticed our national anthem starts with the words NkosiSikeleliAfrika – God bless Africa.
I love the fact that a country who longs to engage her ancestral roots or longs to be a purely secular state has as her nation anthem the declaration – moreso the prayer - God bless Africa!
Can we stop for a second and realize that although men rage against God and His control they are subject to it!
Can we stop for a second in all the negativity and realize that the anthem of our nation is pleading with God to bless her!
If you could do me a favour can you turn with me to Matthew chapter 6:25-34
while you are turning there I want to say I believe God can bless Africa (call me an optimist). However, in saying that God will bless Africa only through His people. God has always chosen to work through people in bringing about His grace and His kingdom to this world (Acts 2).
Whether you know it or not; if you know Jesus and follow His rule; you are the people that God wants to use to bless Africa with.
So in saying this I want to Address the topic of the immigration topic. Should I immigrate? Should I get out before we become another...? I ask this tonight because I want to challenge you on your world view and the things that drive you. The simple answer to whether I should immigrate or not is: It all boils down to your motivations for leaving... Are they pure?
We should be motivated by being a part of what God is doing. That is more important than anything else. Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34
The reality is what drive most people to leave is not a seeking of God or His kingdom it is a seeking of safety and being comfortable.
And so you have to ask the question;
1. What drives you?
I think it is unfair of me to say that all people who leave the country are doing it because they are selfish and just want to be comfortable. But I want to address tonight what might be driving our fear and our desire to leave.
The application of this goes much further than just about whether to stay in a country or not. It will drive our desires in our work place; in everything that we do.
So as Jesus say; do not worry about about your life...
Just isn't saying here hey YOLO! (for those who are older and wiser and don't know what YOLO means it is an thing younger people say just before they are about to do something stupid. it means You only live once (so might as well do something stupid).
Jesus is not calling us to a life that is not prudent (taking stock of what we have to do). In fact Jesus calls us elsewhere to be as wise as serpents.
He is telling us the church to not live with an anxious concern for our own well being or getting our way.
We are called to lives that are lived in surrender to Him! our first concern is does God want me doing this.
This is why we are called to life that abandons selfish anxious concern for our own well being.
does this mean that we must walk the streets of Hillbrow to show God that we have no concern for our own well being... again no we have called to be wise! and to live wisely! the call is to not let our anxious thoughts be the sole motivating factor for why we do something.
There is a practical reason and a spiritual reason:
anxious action leads to danger
generally (and this is a generalization so please take it as such) when we act from a place that is full a fear we make rash decisions that lead to dangerous conclusions.
a phycologist put it this way. She was afraid of flying because of an event that happened to her once while flying. so now every time she gets on a plan she freaks out because she feels out of control. All she wants to do is go into the cockpit and take control of the plan (now if she tried she'd get arrested and if she was successful she would definitely crash the plane.
One day she looked across from her and saw a man relaxed and just enjoying the flight and she thought to herself if the plan goes down both her and the man are in the same "boat" and there is nothing that either of them can do to change the outcome the only difference is that the man is enjoying the flight and she is not!
anxious action breaks our faith
We are called to live by faith! this is why God over and over calls the Christian to not be afraid; when we make rash decisions from fear we are trying to take the control of our lives away from God.
The message of the Bible is clear; even if the worst happens surely God is still in control?
make sure you are making your decisions from a place of faith and not a place of fear! because if it is from fear you will never fully escape that! because you are trying to be in control of you life which you are not; God is!
Our motivations for staying or for leaving must come from a pure motivation a motivation that God is doing this in me! God is calling me to (whatever it is).
The goal of your life is not to be comfortable or to make a lot of money or even to be safe; the goal (the only goal) of your life is to find out what God has called you to!
if you discover that you will know
2. What empowers you?
If God calls you He will equip you and if He is equipping you; you can do anything through His power!
If God has called us to this land then he will equip us to be a force of change in this land! and to me that is more exciting that anything else!
It is God who can change this land and we can be a part of that if we connect into what He is doing.
You see I stay because I trust in the power of God to work! that empowers me to face each day; it motivates me to be a part of the change that this country need.
God in me is what I need to be more and do more!
Jesus confirms this is Matthew 6 when he says don’t you know God is looking after you. Don you know God cares for the small things of this world; surely you are more to him that they are.
If you know this why are you making unimportant things so important!
If you know God is for you and caring for you and empowering you; live like it! seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness ( and just if you are unsure do it I promise you God will give you everything you need on top of that).
The thing is Satan wants us concerned about things that truly don’t matter; trivial things of comfort and ease. if he can distract us enough then we become useless to God.
God is saying let go I've got the fine details worked out you simply seek me and my Kingdom!
You don’t think you have what it takes to be a force for change where I have called you; don’t worry about that either because you don't; but I am in you and I will personally empower you to do what would be impossible for you to do on your own.
If you are empowered by God Himself what are you really worried about!
and if we are called by God and empowered by God what is stopping us; lets get out there and share because...
3. Good News is good.
The good news of Jesus Christ is GOOD!
Surely our nation needs to hear that Jesus loves them! That their past can be dealt with that they can be freed from their sins!
And I believe that as the Gospel is ministered into peoples lives that they change (not instantly)! they become more and more like Jesus.
And I don’t know about you but a nation of people that is more and more like Jesus is a place that I want to live.
However they will never become like Him if we never go!
The ministry of the church needs to be for the people she finds herself in.
We, church, are called to minister the Gospel to this area! This is God's calling for Wilro Park Baptist!
To tell them the good news that Jesus has come to set them free! This needs to be a place where people can here the news that there is a God who saves; and we need to be a people who call people to know this God who can save!
That is why we are called to be His ministers where ever we are! where it is in our schools, varsities or work places; we are called to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
I believe that God will bless Africa if we are willing to do that!
So lets focus on the right things; which is what is God calling me to do; and how can I be more effective in being a part of what He is doing!
Let's give up on our selfish desire to always have it our way; let's ask God to lead us to start doing things His way and lets see if we can be a generation of change rather than a generation that runs.
For a second as we end just imagine telling your children; we were part of the movement that changed South Africa!
We were there when the gospel went out in power and started to change the hearts of the people of this land!
Maybe we will maybe we wont; I just know that I don’t want to miss out on what God is doing! with all I have and with all I am I want to be a part of the movement of the Kingdom of God in this country!
Wont you join me!
We are not going to sing to close tonight we are going to pray that God will start a movement! that we can be a part of that movement; that God will bring revival in our area and in our country!