Salaam

I’d like to send out a warm welcome to the guys from Kays in Cape Town – big up. We had a fantastic time you guys hosted us so well.

To the Umbilo crew – we’re glad to have you and you rock too :-). I’m a bit caught between where I enjoyed myself better lol! Cause both your youth groups were fantastic. Here at MAD4Christ we’re praying for you hard.

We’re excited for you and expecting God to use you in a exciting way. No cliché. May Christ use you up. Pour you out. And make a name for Himself through your youth in Cape Town and Durban.

Now let me welcome everyone else as well. So you don’t feel left out. Young Christians from all denominations on this list, people from various walks of life. Even those of you who aren’t necessarily Christian but still enjoy reading our MADness. We love you. We love Jesus. We appreciate your willingness to listen 🙂

Ok so now to today’s piece.

Havent you heard? The Trinity sat down. God. Or as the Bible puts it…”Elohim”. We the Lord are One. If you transliterate directly into English. They sat together in council and decided to make man in “their” image. Now imagine that. Imagine being of one mind and one spirit. Unified in outlook purpose and perspective…and then now sitting down to discuss an issue. Imagine being in agreement before sitting down to talk through an issue? That’ll preach by itself. If it doesn’t I’m sorry I can’t help you. Marriage? Friendship? Family? Agreement before discussion? 🙂 Wow. I’ll leave that there before I digress. So the point?…We all resemble God. Regardless of race, gender or creed. We display the nature of God to the cosmos. We are an announcement to the other worlds. When we sing…we are explaining to the universe what divine harmony is. When we talk, our speech, speech patterns. Even our voices are a sneak preview of what the Most High sounds and talks like on a small scale. When we think, when we mentally conjure, create and dream…we are a universal billboard for the inner workings of the mind of God. Ok I’m bothering some people. If so that’s unfortunate. The Bible says in His image and that we are co-heirs and that believers take on the nature of Christ. And here’s one from David that I love.

Do you like angels? From what little you know…do they amaze you?

Check it out
Psalms 8:4Psalms 8:4
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What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psalms 8:5Psalms 8:5
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For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Two key words – little and crown. One so we’re not that much less powerful or amazing or beautiful or glorious than angels. Second…no angel receives a crown. Only royalty or blood relations to the King receive a crown. I’ll let you take that wherever you decide. But for the brave ones, those with brave worship in their hearts or fantastic faith…you can accept that even the way look walk, laugh, love and just be causes angels to pause and worship God because it reminds them of their creator. These humans who can simoultaneously build Babel towers and realistically paint flowers, march in the streets of beijing China, or New Delhi India or Nashville Tennessee for civil rights and freedom. These amazing creatures who can do such dark wrongs and such sublime good. They turn from us humans and look at God speechless having nothing to say except flying back to and fro before the throne crying you “Holy Holy is the Lord” Not cause humans anyway are always perfect. No because of God’s unsearchable love and powerful capabilities.

So why did I go into all that?
Put aside your pre-conceived notion of what Muslims are like any other prejudices before  you read further. Put aside any bad press Islam has in your minds. I’m sure its in there somewhere. Unfortunately most of what we know is either TV or movie or CNN based. Which is a shame.

Cause this morning this devotional is about unexpected un-returned objective un-inhibited unreligious undenominational love through the simplest act of kindness one can ever do…show concern.

Luke 6:32Luke 6:32
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For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
Luke 6:33Luke 6:33
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And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
Luke 6:34Luke 6:34
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And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Luke 6:35Luke 6:35
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But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Now I used this reference because we habitually (wrongly) look at other people as them and we see conformists or similar people as “us”. Yet God sees us all as His children. So that makes us siblings. With everyone.

I was walking home yesterday. And as I neared my house taking one of my long cuts, I was passing by two indian brothers (did you catch that) on the other side of the street. One was carrying a baby and they seemed to be in a hurry. Now I was dressed in one of my long beige African robes. Lau as they say in Sudan or Kitenge in most of East Africa if you want to know the technical term. They clearly mistook me for a muslim.

So they stopped and the guy with the baby says “As-Salamu Alaykum!”

And don’t get all technical on me. I know there are other spellings. Anyway I haven’t been home in a while so I nearly missed it. I nearly responded “Shalom” but I held back in a little confusion. Can you believe that?! I’m thinking to myself – why’s this guy talking to me? How sad or shameful. That someone reaching out has to have a reason. Someone who doesn’t look or is not dressed like me can possibly want nothing from me or want to just be kind to me. Suspicion or maybe I have my own internal biases that the Spirit still needs to work on.

So anyway…he asks “are you fasting?

strangely enough since MAD is fasting I’ve been prepping so yeah I am fasting.

SO I said “YES I AM!” with this big grin on my face. He didn’t know but I started having church in my heart! Cause I knew what was going on at church with the youth as we get ready for our quarterly Daniel fast. But at the same time…I still was a bit confused.

So He asks “where are you going? Is it close?” Still confusion on my part. Suspicion at least is gone but still lost. Hey don’t blame me. I had a really rough day.

Anyway I say “yes….about 15 minutes”

He turns and looks up at the blazing orange sunset and says to me…”Look at the sun…are you sure you’re going to make it?

Wait for it….now by the way I need to mention he was also in a hurry I could tell. Cause he was walking quickly but by this time he stopped completely. And we’re talking to each other across the street.

So he continues “DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO EAT?” [emphasis mine because I kid you not my jaw dropped.]

So say yes I’ll be fine and he looks at the sun and smiles back at me saying “Are you sure, you’re going to be ok, you have something to eat?”

And I said yes thank you very much

And we ended by saying to each other, and actually responded this time “wa-alaykum salaam

So…now you’re all by now asking ok whats next or what’s this brotha about to say after all that.

Well a couple of very simple things.

  1. This guy didn’t ask my name or nothing like that. He just wanted to know if I was going to be ok. Do you have something to eat. Genuine, anonymous concern.
  2. He didn’t ask if I was muslim, he assumed. Which in itself to some may be bad. But check this out, he thought he recognised a brotha…didnt know this kenyan dude walking home but he wanted to fed him. So he identified himself with me…a stranger . “This man is my brother, he may be fasting because its that time..I need to help him” remind you of something?
  3. He didn’t see my colour and he didn’t want to. He only so how we are the same.

On point one above here are some quotes from Gandhi (I’m really throwing stuff at you today 🙂 )

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
Hatred ever kills, love never dies; such is the vast difference between them.

To forgive is not to forget. The merit lies in loving in spite of the vivid knowledge  that the one that must be loved is not a friend. It is the law of love that rules mankind. Had violence, i.e. hate, ruled  us
we should have become extinct long ago. Whether humanity will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know. But that need not disturb me. The law will work just as the law of  gravitation works, whether we accept it or not. The person who discovered the law of love was a far greater scientist than any of our modern scientists.

On point 2 above here’s something from the One and Only

Luke 10:25Luke 10:25
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And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26Luke 10:26
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He said to him, What is written in the law? How do you read it?
Luke 10:27Luke 10:27
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And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
Luke 10:28Luke 10:28
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And He said to him, You have answered right, do this and you shall live.
Luke 10:29Luke 10:29
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But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

You and I are on verse 29 unfortunately. Lets be really honest. We’re reading this and willing to justify ourselves that we’re doing ok :-). And God loves us and we are. But check it out

Luke 10:36Luke 10:36
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Then which of these three, do you think, was neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?
Luke 10:37Luke 10:37
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And he said, The one doing the deed of mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise.

Have we done (me included) verse 37?

I believe we should have a more excellent spirit. The Holy Spirit has given that to me recently. This phrase “more excellent”. To not lie. To not kill. To not cheat. To honour…as David says are perfect and holy Law that we must meditate on day and night. Psalms 119:97Psalms 119:97
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. But this is a tutor. The 10 I mean. We must surpass the letter of the law and engage the Spirit of the law. The motives and the motivator of the law.

And so there is a more excellent way in verse 27 and 28 above. I believe if Jesus was sharing that with us today He would rephrase it and say “Do this and you shall live abundantly”. Why do I say that? Well I believe we will be saved. But unfortunately I also believe that many of us will on taste heaven when Jesus comes back. Even more unfortunate is that we’ll be more heavenly only when when heaven comes. There is a more excellent way. Hebrews 8.

That muslim man saw my outfit and recognised or thought he recognised a brother.

BUT WE HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. Shouldn’t we be seeing the “spirit-fit” of people passing us by? Shouldn’t we be seeing images of God walking up and down the streets and hallways of malls we shop in? And have something “religious” enough in our hearts to ask “Do you have something (Jesus) to eat?”.

Galatians 5:14Galatians 5:14
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James 2:8James 2:8
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: If you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well.

Love is the fulfillment. And it is the “royal” law …WOW. Let me challenge you this way.

Lets take the 10.

Will you love God if He never answers another prayer request again in your lifetime? Or must God perform to win your loyalty? “though He slay me”

Do you honour and respect your parents even though they may not love you? Or must they be good parents before you honour and respect them? Some of us don’t have good relationships with our parents cause they were sincerely abusive or maybe even non-existent or if present then they were there and not there. You’re thinking I’m crazy. Why respect or honour a drunkard? Well remember God’s reaction when Noah’s son laughed at him? Who was wrong? Human eyes Noah was drunk and son was right. But in God’s eye’s he’s your dad, you’ll never be his equal. You may not respect his drinking but you should have honoured him by covering his nakedness. See? There is always a way. Or how do you think Jesus got to a point of teaching “love your enemies”? In God’s economy favour blessing and honour is bestowed from a loving overflowing heart not given to a worthy recipient. Why would God call Himself son of David after a murderer and adulterer?

Remember the sabbath and keep it Holy. Remember your marriage day and its vows and keep your relationship holy. YOU ONLY REMEMBER WHAT YOU ADORE. And you KEEP HOLY , or keep as precious what you value and treasure. Your partner’s birthday is precious to you. So you remember it (I hope lol). You keep it holy. If you have a date with the queen of your heart but you’re stuck in the office, you drop the office and take your girl out (I hope lol). Unless you ask before and she gives you permission to hurt her a little and postpone or arrive late. But even the phone “umm baby, looks like I’m gonna be late”. Is hard for YOU MAKING IT! Why? Because God put it into your genetics to not like missing out special time with someone you love and care about. WHY? Cause He’s smart. Its to help remind you of time with Him. When you miss it…you feel something. It hurts you to miss that special time with God. Or it should. And so God designed human beings to hurt when they miss quality time with their loved ones as INSURANCE or to HELP THEM remember that they were BUILT for quality time with God – For we are his workmanship created for good works 🙂 You see how smart God is? He made with built-in help. But we just live and our emotions and bodies do things that we just ignore and take for granted lol! Everytim
e you hurt or ache or you hunger or such…I bet you its a reflection of something siimilar in your relationship to God.

I’m not gonna go through all ten. But you get what I’m saying. We think we keep the 10 but we don’t. Lets be honest.

Finally on point 3 as I end this one –

Romans 10:12Romans 10:12
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: For there is no difference both of Jew and of Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call on Him.
Galatians 3:28Galatians 3:28
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: There cannot be Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is no male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So we are more the same then we are different

Here’s some quotes from Martin Luther King Jr

It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.

May God bless you all

Shalom
me

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