I recently started reading “The Spiritual Mandela” by Dennis Cruywagen. On reflection, Mandela had so many reasons to be angry and filled with hatred, yet he believed in and lived in a way that demonstrated forgiveness, reconciliation, and the dignity of every person. These are deeply Christian values that Mandela exemplified. Even with his strong Methodist background, Mandela was reluctant to share his faith. He did not testify, ‘win’ people for Jesus, build, send or made more disciples in the traditional sense, yet his life and actions was a testimony to millions.
I was again challenged by the above. In 2022 Campus Crusade for Christ South Africa celebrated 50 years in South Africa. We were reminded of how God has helped us with our mandate to win, build and send people into the world with the Gospel. We have such a wonderful legacy with resources and people that can take us even further in the next 50 year in glorifying our Lord and God!
All of this is important, and we take the time to share our gratitude with all of you, thank you. But I also want to take a moment to tie this back to the first thought on the life of Mandela. Before we are all the things that we ‘do’, we need to first ‘be’. In the Bible, James 2:18 brings together two seemingly contradictory parts,:
“But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (2:18).
The truth is that being a child of God is firstly a personal and intimate relationship which changes our lives and renews our very existence! It is not simply what we say or proclaim, but who we are in and though Jesus Christ. Paul says there was a mystery hidden for ages and generations but then God revealed it, “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:26-27). That is the wonder of the good news, Jesus now lives in me, in my brokenness with all my shortcomings, and in my pain. He also lives in the best of me – Jesus in me is my hope of glory!
As children of the living God this is a marvelous reality. May we celebrate Him as he enjoys us because we are His.
I find freedom in knowing that I am forever who I am through and in Christ – even when I slow down, rest and just chill, I am still His.
Enjoy this family time, be renewed, restored, and know that nothing can ever separate you from God’s love in Jesus Christ.
Love in Jesus