|Extract from Ministers' Meeting in Vaal Triangle, SA, 17 August 2002
(Archive of other audio sermons)
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17 August 2002 - "Prepare the way of the Lord"
(Introduction by Pastor G Lebosa)
Why do we have these meetings? Why do we work hard to sort out our lives and lay
a firm foundation?
We are preparing for true revival that will last into the next generation. We
want to prepare our hearts for God to work. If you want to build a high-rise
building, you must dig deep to lay the foundation to support the building.
The Christian life is like a relay. The early church started off with Peter. He
ran his part faithfully and passed it on to the next generation. During the past
generations God raised up men like Martin Luther, Wesley, etc. to run their part in the
relay. They ran faithfully. Now it is our time to run and do it faithfully.
What will the next generation say of us? Will they hear of our fame, prosperous
living, beautiful churches, etc., or will our footprints lie in the sand of how we ran
faithfully carrying out God's fire? We must run faithfully while we have the time.
(Summary of sermon by Rev Erlo Stegen)
It is very important that a firm foundation be laid, before we build a
high-rise building. Before we build up, we must dig down, as Jesus commanded His disciples
to "launch out into the deep" to catch fish.
Even after laying a firm foundation, we need to watch and pray continuously in the
building, for even Christians can destroy the building through envy. Envy is the great sin
of preachers. No, when God blesses a person, you bless him too, that God's blessing might
rest on you too.
To lay a firm foundation, sort out your life with God.
A certain bishop in England at the Westminster Abbey had his epitaph written on his
tombstone. When he started to preach he thought the world would get converted, but they
just carried on unconcerned. So he preached to get England converted, but England just
ignored him. Then he said, let me at least save my wife and children. So he preached to
them, but they just carried on in their old ways. On his deathbed the mystery was revealed
to him - he should start with himself. He had wasted his whole life. If his life was right
with God, his wife and children would have repented. Then England could have repented and
even the world.
Another preacher was gifted greatly, so that after he preached, everyone were
awe-struck. He was invited all over the world, and all praised him. On one of his trips
his wife accompanied him. At a certain large congregation, the two leading women
accompanied his wife to the front. Her husband preached a wonderful sermon again.
Afterwards, one of them said to her, "It must be wonderful to be married to such a
preacher!" She replied disgustingly, "You do not know him at home".
Preachers of the Gospel, if we cannot even command the respect of our own family, how
will the demons respect us? Remember the seven sons of Sceva who tried to preach Paul's
gospel. They were united, but did not command any respect from the demons, because their
lives were not right with God. When the others heard what happened, they feared greatly
and brought their sins to the light, and publicly burned their occult books. Do not preach
against and attack sin, while there is sin in your life, and sin have dominion over you.
There are many ministries all over the world that have been destroyed, because the
preachers preached against and exposed sin, while they themselves were living in sin.
There was a certain preacher in the center of Africa who had revival and the work grew.
After some time, however, everything started to wane. He called for a daily prayer meeting
with the elders. This carried on for a considerable time, until one of the deacons came to
him and requested that they only came together once a week. The preacher, who was a man of
God, answered, "No, we will gather twice a day". After just 2 meetings, that
deacon broke down and confessed his sin of being unfaithful with money that was entrusted
to him. As he sat down, the next elder stood up, and then the next, all confessing their
sins. That evening the church was packed, and God worked mightily through His Holy Spirit.
The work revived again.
3 For this is he that was spoken of
by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the
way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among
them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:
notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
There is no message that surpasses this message of John the Baptist. He was the
greatest born of women.
We cry to the Lord to save Africa, but He replies that we have not prepared the way for
Him to work. It is one thing to teach a person not to steal or commit adultery, but quite
another for the person not to do it. There are hills that must be removed and valleys that
must be filled, before the Lord can work. So here in the Vaal Triangle, if you want the
Lord to work, you must prepare the way for Him by putting your life in order.
We read in Revelations that Jesus wrote to the angels of the seven churches. They were
the leaders of the churches. He called them stars. We who are the leaders of the church
are called stars by God as well. Do you shine as stars? Do your wife and children shine as
stars? If you cannot govern your own house, how can you govern God's house? If you do not
have authority with your wife and children, how will you have authority with the church of
God? Search through your life and family and see if each is on God's way. Just look at
your own life. If you cannot govern your own desires and tongue, how can you govern the
church? Let us put ourselves on God's scale.
May it be recorded in heaven that you went from here and did what God requires, sorting
out your life, your house and your family. Let this word be engraved on your hearts -
"Lord, start with me"
Q & A:
Q: We hear and see all the projects that are possible, but how do we start. Where will
the capital come from to start the projects?
Listen to the answer:
A: The work at KwaSizabantu started without funding, by using what we had. The work
could grow, because what we had could be used to generate capital for more work.
A person might come to the mission who had to leave school early. He
gets converted, and wants to study further. We determine his interest and let him
specialise in that direction, e.g. building, poultry, motor mechanics, chicken farming,
sowing, cooking, jam manufacture, etc. We teach him to specialise in that field without
having to pay, and he even receives a little pocket money to buy the bare necessities.
After some time (a year or two) the person can start his own business. Because he is a new
creature in Christ, he is able to save the money he received to start his new business
with. His money is no longer spent on booze, smoking, and girls, etc. He can e.g. buy a
few chickens, raise them, sell them and so build up his own capital.