Message South Africa is going from strength to strength. Evangelist and author Angus Buchan addressed their Vision Night this spring with a powerful call to stand up for Jesus…
This morning, God spoke to me through a group of young men in prison – the young men you at The Message Trust are working with here in Cape Town. Let me tell you what I saw: I saw life! I saw fire in their eyes. These young men told me: ‘When we get out of this prison, we’re going to change this nation for Jesus Christ.’ It blessed me out of my socks!
It reminded me of a time many years ago I used to take a big yellow truck into Africa to unreached people groups with clothes, food and some Bibles. They never wanted the clothes, or the food. But they wanted the Bibles. Why is that? Because God has put eternity into the heart of every man.
These young men you’re working with in prison want Jesus. They know it’s Jesus who sets them free. This is why I love The Message Trust. This is not just a ‘good work’ you are doing – you are proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. And this is what people truly need.
Good decisions are everything in life. On 18 February 1979 I made a decision in a little Methodist church to follow Christ. It was a choice about how I was going to live the rest of my life. And changing a nation for God starts with making good decisions.
Recently I came across a powerful little book called ’Heroic Children’ in an old Jewish bookshop. It told the stories of nine children who were in concentration camps during the Second World War. They were all treated horrifically – between 1939-45, 1.5 million children were murdered. But this group beat the odds: when these children were released, they went on to live the most remarkable lives. One became a multimillionaire in New York City, another a top paediatrician in Canada, another a top violinist in Johannesburg.
The human being is an amazing thing. You can take away his food, his sleep, degrade him so badly that he no longer has a name but is known only by a number. But there is one thing you can never take away from a human being: their capacity to make a choice. These little children made a decision that they would not be mastered by their circumstances. They stuck together and they overcame them.
Hope in Jesus
Our circumstances must not determine our relationship with Jesus. Here in South Africa, we are facing many challenges right now. I’m a farmer, going through the worst drought in 200 years. But that doesn’t change my hope in Jesus. We’re seeing political unrest, economic chaos here and around the world. But that doesn’t change my hope in Jesus.
In John 16:33, Jesus said, ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ Like never before, our faith in Christ must become a reality. If our faith in Christ is determined by our situation at home, economically or politically we’ll never last.
Every drought ends with rain. We’re going to get through it in South Africa. And it’s not going to be according to my plan, but his. I’ve never been so excited about South Africa. There is nothing like a fire to sift the dross from the gold. We have an opportunity to see the greatest revival of our times. Like never before, let us make a decision to believe God’s promises and not the lies of the devil. Jesus has promised that he’ll never leave us or forsake us.
A time of crisis is the right time to solidify our stand for Jesus. A faith that costs us nothing is worth nothing! This is no time for fair-weather Christians. If Jesus Christ is not the most important person in your life, you’re not going to make it.
It’s time for us to stand up and acknowledge Jesus Christ. Let us tell our children the truth about what the Bible says: ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ We are here to be ambassadors – to bring a message: Jesus Christ is Lord. That’s the only message. There is no other.