From My Devotions This Morning… (10/03/2018)

Tough Love

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works”– 2 John 10, 11.

At the heart of Christianity is love. Paul reminds us that of the three, faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love (1 Cor. 13:13). However, we should not confuse love with tolerance of falsehood. Love does not mean paying a blind eye to heresy that threatens to destroy the Church.  Christians must never give approval or support to false teachers. Those who preach the false gospel, which is no gospel at all, are not misguided brothers but the enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18). Of course, we should pray for them, love them while hating their falsehood, show them their error, and strongly challenge them to repent. But Christians should not offer them any encouragement or hospitality for it might be interpreted as a sign of approval. The false teachers might also take advantage of any hospitality shown to them to pounce on the unsuspecting and vulnerable people with their heresies. This for sure is tough love.

Love: The Story of John

John one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ is an interesting character.  We first read about his problem with anger in Luke 9:51-56 in which Samaritans have refused Jesus a passage to connect to Jerusalem.  John is angered by Samaritans and he asks Jesus if they should command fire to come down from heaven and consume the Samaritans. Jesus rebukes John.

Later on John writes his First Epistle and the major them of the letter is love. “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer… he writes in 1 John 3:1, 15.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God,” he adds in 1 John 4:7.

What happened to the old short-tempered John? It is no doubt that the time that John spent with Jesus from the incident of Luke 9:51-56, John learnt more about love from Christ. The power of the love of Christ steadily transformed him and anger and selfishness slowly gave in to love.

This is what happens when we spend time with Christ. The more we turn our eyes upon Christ, the more we become like him. The more we look at the cross of Christ, the more his love fills and controls us. The world can, continually, remind us of the need of love for each other  but it is only Christ that will enable us to love truly.  Without Christ, there shall never be genuine love in this world.

Reflections on my 30th Birthday

Three decades ago on a day like this one, a baby boy was born and was later named Confex Mwayi Makhalira. As usual, little or nothing was known of who and what this baby boy will become. But now,  looking back from where I have come, I have every reason to fall on my knees and praise God the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ for his immeasurable love, grace, kindness and mercy upon my life.

I wouldn’t say I have had it all, however, through it all, God’s gracious hand has led me. The journey as usual has passed through mountains and valleys and yet even though I did not know it, God guided every step and movement I  made. Where I am is where he wants me to be and where I will be tomorrow is where he, before the foundations of the earth were laid,  determined that I would be. Honestly, I can’t fully understand it all but because Scripture tells me so, I believe it entirely.

As God has been molding me to be who and what I am today, he has used many vessels. I thank God for my mum and dads for being there for me always. God thank you so much for my grandfather who taught me to work hard and love mankind despite where they are from and what they do in life.  From the very early days of my life, he taught me to love God and value Him above all. I always cherish that gift of  Westminster Shorter Catechism you bought me when I was still young and said, “Son, next to the Bible, believe this teaching.” I also  thank you Lord for my grandma who taught me generosity and the importance of sharing, especially, within the family.

Many teachers in primary and secondary school, college  and church have also done a great and commendable work in producing the final product that I am today. Oh, how can I forget relatives and  friends, too numerous to mention, for supporting and lending a helping hand through out my journey of three decades.

My wife of one and half years, Mwai, also deserves a special mention and thank you. I thank  you Lord for this wonderful and great friend and lover.  Apart from you Lord, she is the next person that is ever close to me. Some only  hear of tears I shed when the going gets tough, but she is always there to wipe the tears and offer a comforting hand. Similarly, when I laugh, she is the first person to hear the laugh before it echoes in the lives of others.

Above all Lord, I thank you for the gift of life in Christ Jesus  so that I can appreciate all these people and things. Freely you have given me this life and freely you sustain it according to your will. Words can’t fully express how grateful I am.  I am now feeling the way King David felt when you made a covenant with him:

“Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And this was a small thing in your eyes…and what more I can say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant. For your servant’s sake, O LORD, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness…There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you (1 Chronicles 17:16-20).

Jesus once again, thank you for my life of thirty years. Thank you for saving a wretch like me that today I can sing of your goodness, grace and love. Oh, how I love you. Friends, join me as I celebrate and exalt the greatest name of all, Jesus Christ. You are my all in all.