This week I spent quality time with South African ‘ Royalty ‘. With Zoleka Mandela the granddaughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela!
Of slight build. But pretty as a picture. Quiet, but commanding voice. With the Miriam Makeeba lilt. An internationally-acclaimed road safety advocate. Moving people to tears! Our own Prime Minister confessed he was on the brink. I came close too.
But fragile. And has been through a lot! Her story will be aired on the award winning #Profile on #TVJ, hosted by Ian Boyne; not this Sunday but the next one. Riveting stuff. Painful stuff. But full of hope, as she rose like the phoenix from the dust. To become a much sought after motivational speaker!
The host of #HotlineonRJRFM #EmilyShields, one of Jamaica’s best and brightest, graciously agreed to interview Zoleka. And when Emily found out about the #FreeMandela connection, she was ‘ over the moon’. Estatic! Like seriously enraptured! As for those of us who grew up – ES must have been a yoing girl – during the ‘ struggle ‘, Nelson Mandela is like Royalty.
Emily even began to sing ” Bring back Nelson Mandela “. #HughMasekela. On radio. Live! And was accompanied by ‘ caught up in the fever’, rasta drumming, by one of the party.
So South African Royalty came. Conquered the hearts of many. The excitement at the Jamaica Cancer Society where she visited was palpable. And left. After three days. To catch a 15 hour flight back to Jo’berg. But first a short stop to NY. What sacrifice. She hopes to return. When? Who knows! But a little piece of her heart was left here. Treasured by those who took pictures with her. Gave her a hug. Prayed with her. And just loved her. Not just because she is Royalty. But because, as Taurus Riley sang.
‘ She is Royal’!
This week also I spent time, quality time, with Royalty. Of a different kind altogether!
And He revealed to me, through His Word, one of the great lessons in the Bible.
” What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound ? By no means!
How can we who died to so go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him in baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6: 1-4.
The passage resonated so much with me, even though I had read it so many times before. As it reminded me of one of the fundamental truths of the Christian Faith. That we have died! In Christ. And in Him raised to a new life. Powerful stuff. Life and game changing stuff. The Gospel Truth!
A truth which led to the posting of this message on Facebook.
When things seem not to be going your way, try not to be suspicious of God. He is a good God. He is a faithful God! We need to trust Him in every circumstance, however bleak it may appear. Personal stuff. Other people. Nation. That’s the ‘ mind of Christ ‘ we are to cultivate, for we have been buried with Christ at Baptism. And just as how Christ was raised from the dead to a new life, to the glory of God, so too with Him, we are raised from the ‘ old man who died’, to Eternal life. Romans 6 #earlymorningdevotions
So to be suspicious of God is to allow the ‘ old man ‘, now dead in Christ, to once again take control. Perish the thought. O for grace to follow thee more. For in Christ, the old man, the law, sin and yes, even death itself, no longer rule. Only Christ in whom we have new and unending Life. Right now.
Comment – It’s great to ‘ hang ‘ with earthly Royalty for a while. Whether South African or Jamaican. And to love and appreciate them. But that’s it. Back to Jo’berg. Back to training. And still fragile. Regardless!
But with Heavenly Royalty, the Psalmist- which I was led to read tonight – gets it right. Heavenly Royalty is to be blessed. For only He is a Healer. And full of mercy.
Yet fragile. As the Christ child. But raised from the dead. With power. And therefore always with us. Always healing.
Bless the Lord , O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. …….
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalms 103:1-5, 8-12 KJV
Chris Tiegreen has the last word.
Verse: Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!
“……Unfortunately, history is filled with Christians who have taken grace too casually. We have seen it abundantly and concluded that with much of it to go around, we might as well spend it recklessly.
Casual grace has led us to conclude that sin is not that big of a deal, that we weren’t that badly off to begin with, and that God is not really as uptight and holy as we once made Him ought to be.
But while that’s the prevailing view of casual Christianity, it isn’t biblical. Grace was given to free us from sin, not free us up for more of it. Make sure you understand the difference. God is still Holy, and grace is still precious. Always live in a way that shows that both are sacred to you.”
The question is, have we truly died with Christ, by grace, to sin and death and fear. If not, then people won’t see the Risen Christ in us. Thank us for bringing Him to visit. And get excited. Not about us. But about Him. For He only is King. And highly exalted!