“Sparkle with God’s glory”

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 18 Jan 2015

(Wedding of Thomas Dumisani Mhlongo and Makhosi Maphumulo – see photos below)

Matthew 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This world is pitch dark. There’s so-called family planning where teenagers get “the pill” to prevent them from falling pregnant outside of wedlock. They forsake good traditions of being pure and exchange it for bad western ways. Boys have girlfriends and girls boyfriends while still at school. Things are rotten around us.

Paul says, “I want to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2Cor 11:2). The importance of purity has been lost these days. Children are born out of wedlock, or girls murder their children through abortion.

These days I drove to the Tugela when someone stopped me on the way and asked that I come and share a meal with them, because I’ve done so much for them. We ate under a thorn tree and then they brought out the bottles of booze, Smirnoff, brandy etc., but we excused ourselves that we don’t drink alcoholic drink. When they asked us why, I explained that we don’t drink alcoholic drink, we don’t smoke or live immoral. They answered that that’s why we live to be so old, while they die about half that age, because they love those things!

The Greek word for shine is to sparkle, so we should sparkle with the glory of God. If we don’t shine, those who aren’t Christians will point to us and say, “how can we be a Christian while you do all these sins we do?” A charlatan do such things but not a child of God who follows Him faithfully and preaches His Word faithfully. Such a thing will be a disgrace and dishonour the Name of God!

I know Thomas since he was small. I remember even the wedding of Thomas’ parents.

He and Mr Dube were like twins in their drinking of booze, before they met with the Gospel and were transformed by God. When I was still a young preacher, I met Mr Dube on a footpath and greeted him. He wore a big jacket and said that he was sick with flu. I said to him Jesus can heal him and suggested that we pray right there. However he was actually drunk and I didn’t notice. As we knelt to pray a half full bottle of booze fell out of his jacket’s inside pocket. He quickly pushed it aside that I won’t notice. We prayed and he went on his way. Later he met Mr Mhlongo, the father of the bridegroom. He gave him the bottle to drink. Mr Mhlongo was surprised and asked him why he didn’t drink it. He replied that he met the minister on the way and they prayed together and that he can no longer drink. Mr Mhlongo then drank of the booze but immediately vomited. He asked Mr Dube what the minister put in the bottle to make him so sick. He replied that they only prayed together. Then they threw the bottle away and both stopped drinking alcohol and boozing from that day.

As a small child Thomas told his mother that he had a desire on his heart to serve the Lord at radio Khwezi. Sometimes his mother confided that she feared her child would get proud, but Thomas has stayed faithful to the Lord all these years, even when he had to do studies overseas. No wonder we should shout with joy! It is uncommon these days for young people to remain faithful and pure. We have so many children born out of wedlock and young people living together like married people without being married.

But young people entering marriage in purity such as these are honourable. If only other young people would follow suit, there would be no AIDS problem in our nation.

There’s also the awful drug called “krokodil”, worse than AIDS, causing a frightening condition. If you don’t want to be consumed by these evils, flee from sin.

Let your whole life shine, at home, at your work, wherever you are, whatever you do. Let your wife never have reason to have suspicion of you (or the husband of the wife), but that your light so shine that it’s clear to Whom you belong and Whom you serve.

Wedding of Thomas Dumisani Mhlongo and Makhosi Maphumulo