On Sunday 7th January 2018 I preached a message of hope and optimism concerning our national condition. You can listen to it HERE:
I have included my sermon notes for those of you who would like to follow along as you listen to the message.
- Well known hymn by Graham Kendrick, ‘Shine, Jesus, shine’ written many years ago but to appropriate to us today: [Say it with me as a prayer for SA] ‘Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory. Blaze, Spirit blaze, set out hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow. Flood the nations with grace and mercy. Send forth your word Lord, and let there be light.’
- In Nov 2016 I wrote an article ‘The worm has been turned’, but only published it in April 2017. • ‘I am convinced that we will look back on 2nd Nov 2016 as the day the worm was turned’; The Supreme Court order to release the Public Protractors ‘State capture’ report. • ‘Light is now shining brightly on the areas of corruption … the rocks are being turned over one by one and light is shining brightly on the worms beneath’.
- What we have witnessed since early April 2017, just 9 months ago, has been truly illuminating… here are just some of them: • The Gupta leaks – Eskom – SAA – SARS – SABC – Bell Pottinger – Trillion – KPMG – FBI investigations – Nuclear deal – Concourt rulings.
- How the light is shining and how the worms are wiggling – THANK YOU LORD! Shine, Jesus, shine!
- But now it’s the start of 2018 – what should WE be doing, saying, and hoping for? How should we be shining the light of Jesus into our land?
- Eph 5:8-21 [Read]
- Vs. 8 ‘You yourselves used to be in darkness’… now ‘you are in the light’
- Why? Because of being ‘in the Lord’… Born again of the Spirit.
- The change agent from darkness to light for a person and for a nation is spiritual transformation… not ‘radical economic transformation’.. but
- At both an individual and national level, meaningful transformation at every level, political, economic, and social, flows from spiritual regeneration
- This text refers to the outworking of spiritual regeneration as ‘the good, righteous and true fruit of the light’.
- We have been praying for national revival for 8 years now – this is not the time to stop, but rather to pray with even greater passion and urgency – we start again this year on Mon 15th at 7h30 pm… come and join us. 1st thing WE can do in 2018.
- If praying for revival is the first thing we can do in 2018, the year of the fruit of the light, then the 2nd thing is to ‘find out what pleases the Lord’ (Vs. 10).
- This injunction is repeated in Vs, 17 ‘Do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is’
- Vs. 11 mentions two things that please the Lord, that we can start with:• ‘Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness’• ‘rather expose them’
Thank God for the courageous whistle blowers, honest journalists, God-fearing politicians, and judges… they have been bright torches during 2017, shedding light on massive corruption, crime, and monstrous iniquity of all kinds.
- So in 2018, we need to be praying for these brave people and organisations – supporting them financially – speaking well of them, and to them… We can ALL do this!
- 3rd thing Vs 15 ‘Be very careful how you live’ – in our financial dealings, moral stance, our example… BE LIGHT!
- Live as Christ-bearers in every circle of influence we have.
- 4th thing Vs 16 ‘making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil’.• We all have opportunities for being the light in the normal course of events.• But if we ask, the Holy Spirit will present us, each of us, with supernatural opportunities that we would otherwise not experience.
- That is why Vs. 18 ‘Be filled with the Spirit’
- One last thing to take from this passage for 2018 is in Vs.19-21 [Read]
- This speaks of our corporate life as members of a local church:• Speak to one another with words of praise and thanksgiving to God • Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ Jesus
- We do not have to shine alone in the darkness for we are part of the greater light of the church [Illustration of one candle lighting other that light others etc.] SHINE, JESUS, SHINE
- I want to end where I started, with Vs. 8 ‘For you were once darkness, but now are light in the Lord.’
- I know this applies primarily to our personal rebirth BUT the Spirit whispers encouragement to me to apply it also to our national situation.• Nov 2016 marked a turning point for our country with the judicial release of the State Capture report.• April 2017 marked another critical moment with the mass Bloemfontein prayer meeting.• Dec 2017 revealed a sequence of political decisions and judicial rulings that I believe constitute a 3rd decisive point in our history.
- Radical change HAS STARTED and I believe that it is time for us to come out of the emotional caves of scepticism and despair.
- It is time for us to speak faith, hope, and love to ourselves, our families, and our nation.
- Make no mistake, there is much to do and many challenges, twists and turns along the way. Much to reform, redress and rebuild.
- BUT we are no longer walking deeper into the darkness; we are immerging into the light!
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Isa 60:1-2