So God blessed the seventh day and made it HOLY (Genesis 2:3).
*side eye suspicious face*
Could He reallllllyyyy have given us any more of an obvious clue? Sunday was a day full of surprises, because what God had in store forus was almost scary, when He says ‘holy’ don’t think He doesn’t mean it!
Overwhelmed by the intimacy and transparency displayed the night before, subconsciously thinking we’d reached the maximum spiritual encounter the trip was going to offer, we woke up with a bounce in our step and new love in our hearts ready for church. But boy would the next 6 hours prove us wrong. Remember that ‘gun’ Pastor Bill was preparing for us I told you about in Day 2? Well, today shots would be fired, and they would hit each target right on the bullseye.
We drove to Tenerife Family Church a little nervous, knowing that we’d be expected to introduce ourselves and some people would be asked to perform. But, having met a few of its members the day before in such a relaxing and open setting, being privy to all their ‘secrets’, we figured it was the least we could do to show just a little of our appreciation. Praise and worship was beautiful. In a church with less than 100 people it was easy to find yourself questioning where the other 200 voices were coming from, but that’s what you get when people are on fire for Christ! We were then given the stage and Lisa and Emmanuel helped confirm that we weren’t just talking the talk, but we could walk the walk; take a look at Emmanuel’s spoken word:
Amazing right? When you let God use you, the beauty of His power is endless. But anyway, the real message was PB’s sermon on hypocrisy. See where this is going? Well we didn’t, but basically halfway through the sermon we were positive cameras were going to pop out and people would shout ‘PUNKED!’ His sermon was a mirror image of the things we’d each discussed in our villa the night before, a confirmation that community without transparency is empty; love does not exist there, but how could he possibly have known? 10 separate personal stories all packed into one, if you could see the way Naa-Dei typed that day you’d understand what we mean when we say she’s an undiscovered novelist, that girl can write!
PB started by adding a new word to our diction: Homothumadon. This is a Greek word used in the Book of Acts and literally translated means ‘with one mind’, ‘with one accord’ and ‘with one passion’. The image created by its use in the original language is that of an orchestra. A number of different notes all sounded by all the different members of that orchestra, but they all harmonize together to produce music that is pleasing to the ear and moving to the soul. Essentially, Paul uses it to help us understand the uniqueness of the Christian community; it is pleasing and special. So what does this mean for us? Well, it’s simple really; transparency is key. The church needs to be a safe haven for its members to be encouraged to openly acknowledge individual weaknesses to flesh and recognising that everyone is capable of submitting to sin, because, when the church lacks this framework, people are indirectly made to impersonate perfection. They hide behind lies and build barriers preventing the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to dwell inside them, and the only one who loses is the individual walking in hypocrisy, doing ‘good’ things which are not of the heart since they have not been genuinely planted there. So ask yourself, what is the atmosphere of YOUR church? And what can YOU do to improve it? What’s that saying? Faith without works is…?
We then read the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). As liars, they didn’t seek real freedom. When we pretend, we forget who we are and we deny ourselves the chance to understand what the Gospel really means; that He has pulled us out from darkness and provided us with the Holy Spirit to mould us into His image and likeness. How can we expect to be helped, I mean, practically use the wisdom given to each of us, if we don’t get into a position of openness and accountability with a loving community? How can you expect renewal of mind? You will remain caught up in sin, constantly perpetuating the evil tings even you consciously desire yourself to be rid of. If you decide to walk privately in your faith, hypocrisy will creep in like a thief in the night:
Ecclesiastics 4: 9-10 – 9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Proverbs 27:17 – 17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another
Hebrews 3:13 – 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today”, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin
If I haven’t made it clear enough, this sermon was powerful, and even to this day remains a message we wake up thinking about.
After the service, we went back to the villa and waited for 6 o’clock to show itself so we could make our way to The Living Room for its Sunday forum, of course, not before we could get another err questionable home cooked lunch in on the agenda. Now, since we were guests we were again expected to prepare a little something, but this time testimonies and a devotion on love led by Micheal.
THE DEVOTION – Love
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 – 4 Love is patient, love is kind … This is one of the most beloved chapters in the Bible on love yet many have not reflected on the larger context and its implication for today. What does it mean for love to be patient? With patience being a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5 22-23) to insist on one’s own way is selfish and directly opposes godly love: “God’s patience waited in the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:20). Patient endurance and long-suffering are hallmarks of a loving character so that when the object of one’s love fails or disappoints in some way – which it will – love will be able to melt away the impatience and frustration that intercede and make such a relationship unnecessarily fragile. What does it mean to be kind? Simply put, kindness is characterised by benevolence and tenderness. A kind person is disposed to help others and to do so with sympathy and consideration. Godly love will make a person kinder. No one can be loving and unkind at the same time, and again, being a fruit of the spirit, how can the spirit dwell inside you if you are unable to display kindness?
This discussion encouraged a very relaxed and informal atmosphere, and again, we were graced by personal stories and memories from members of the church, and unsurprisingly, when it was over, just like the night before, many continued to share thoughts and experiences in an even more intimate setting, and for someone like Moyo, some words were all too much of a confirmation that God is active and He will use anyone, friend or foe, to communicate an important message with you at His will.
Don’t be shy now! Come back for Day 5 on Monday, God Bless x