Introduction Blessing Sincuba
It is wonderful to see children of God meeting around His word. We wait expectantly for God to speak to us through His word. Singing together is our opportunity to worship and glorify God. Welcome to everyone who has joined us today. We wish you God’s blessing.
Testimony of CYPSA member Kevin Jacobs
I come from Johannesburg. My single mother brought me up to the best of her ability. I have never had a father in my life and a boy without a father figure tends to go astray. I began smoking cigarettes at the age of 10 and marijuana at 13. Things simply went from bad to worse. At a young age people tried to help me but young people always know better. I ended in jail and my life worsened. I went to rehabs many times but they never worked. In January 2019 my mother passed away and when I buried her on 3 February I decided to change my life. At another rehab where I relapsed, someone told me about this place. My sister and brother-in-law got me here and this is where life changed for me.
I learnt to come back to church. I learnt to pray again. I learnt that when you pray God answers prayer in His time, not our time. Through counselling I learned prayer and confession. Confessions help because it takes a lot off your shoulders and makes you feel lighter. God blessed me so much that I made things right with as many people as possible. This is the first Christmas and New Year that I have spent with family. It has been awesome. It is something we have not done for years. My family was so pleased with the change in my life that they came to experience what is happening at this mission.
I would like to thank the mission, Reverend Stegen and the aunties who work with us – Ms Lydia Dube, Aunt Busi. Thank you to my counsellor for what he does for me.
CYPSA member Jabulani Mdluli
I come from Johannesburg. I am standing here because of the sex education issue. In this country we have human rights but the government does things without consulting us. The CYPSA young men reject sex education. Would you like your child to learn sex education at school and not things that are beneficial? The government should not be doing this.
I support that which the young man has just said. What will the future be like if from the age of seven years children are taught Comprehensive Sex Education in the schools? Remember the story of Esther. Her uncle Mordecai wanted her to speak to the king about the problems in the country and although Queen Esther was not permitted to see the king, she said she would go even if it cost her life. Mordecai warned her saying that she should not think that she would escape the suffering of the Jewish nation because she was the queen.
We should not be complacent because our children are safe but we should stand together. If we keep quiet our young people will be annihilated. Let us stand up because this is not just the government, it is the devil who wants to destroy people and he is using laws and the government to do it. We have to save our country because the world cannot save it. Jesus is entrusting us with something. Let us not disappoint Him by being inactive.
A van Eeden
Why do you teach children something? So that they can do it. Why do you teach children how to ride bicycles? So that they can ride. Why do you teach children languages? So that they can speak. Now we teach children about sex. Do you think it makes sense that we teach them but they should not do it? If you teach a child about sex, you light a fire within. If you teach a child about the male and female body and the use of certain organs for sexuality, do you really think the child will only want to look at the images and not actually see what things are like? It is a sick and crooked logic to awaken within a child instincts that even a dog or cat has. It is ridiculous that it is made out to be something very complicated.
Sermon: Michael Ngubane
The word of the Lord tells us that the last days will be difficult. There will be people who have the appearance of godliness but deny the power thereof. There is no such thing as faith being a personal thing which a person remains quiet about. May God give us the grace to be active and obedient otherwise the Lord will say that we knew, but did nothing.
I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. 3 “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?
When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? 5 Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”
Isaiah 5:1 – 7
God has various ways of drawing people to Himself. God is concerned about a person who is not where he should be and He tries by all means to get a person back to the place he should be. God is not happy with people entering a lost eternity and that is why He calls out to them to save them from the troubles they find themselves in. God wants to reveal a person’s sin to him through various passages in the word and through a song, as in this text. A song has a way of entering the heart and mind of a person and guiding them.
This text speaks of God’s nation, the Jews, whom He separated from other nations. Through the Gospel we can be counted as children of God. It is because of His love that we have been called to be His children. We are royalty, children of the King and He is concerned when we are lost.
I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. Isaiah 5:1
Artists compose and perform songs about love and people they love. Some songs are written under the influence of dagga or drugs but this love song really means something. It comes from a man of God, for the people of God, about something that is burdensome.
This vineyard is the house of Israel, the children of God. His feelings for this nation are different to his feelings for others. The prophet, Isaiah, was troubled and he shouted out this message from the One who had sent it. (Prophets had intimate fellowship with God.) The people of God are compared to a vineyard which was in a special place on a fertile hill. It was not hidden in a valley but it was on a hill where it could be seen from far away. The life of a child of God should be on a hill and never in a valley where nobody can see it. Do not comfort yourself if you are living in a hole where nobody can see you. God has called us to a higher life where we can be seen.
On this choice hill, he planted choice grapes and surrounded it with a fence. He prepared it and hewed out the winepress from a rock. In the centre he placed a tower so that He could keep a watch over the vineyard that nothing would harm it. The child of God is planted in a safe place. A child of God is protected. Rocks and stones have been removed. A child of God who walks around with a hard, dissatisfied heart is terrible. Are there people who have hard hearts? No matter how hard it is, listen. No matter how many times God has spoken to you, you must hear, even if you have taken your own way and made your own decisions.
God separated the children of Israel because they were His first love. He called them His people. He had chosen them. They had a special position. Child of God, do you realise the love with which God has loved us? He does not want you to get dragged into anything, He does not want you to be swallowed by the world. He selected you for Himself only. He did not want anything to separate Him from His children so He prepared a fertile place where He planted the vine. He dug out a fountain with which He watered the vineyard. He waited expectantly to see what fruit would be produced. God expects something after everything His Son has done. God watches expectantly.
Here is the danger for somebody who belongs to the Church of Christ: there is no fruit. There is no difference between the child of God and the people of the world. There is the danger that nothing is produced, there is no fruit after all the trouble the gardener took to select and prepare the place. God expected fruit but He was put to shame when nothing was produced. If God would visit your life today what would He find? After all that His Son has done, what does He find in your life? Has your life changed? It is wonderful to see the change God brings about a person’s life – how old things pass away and the person is different. This is the trademark of the work of Christ in His children: things change. The appearance changes, the manner of speech and the vocabulary changes, the walking style changes, the brain changes – everything changes. God selected His people because He wanted them to be different from others. God wants us to be different to the world. We should not be conformed to the world’s ways of doing things. He has planted something new in our lives and in our hearts.
People complain about laws but God has given us a living law that changes us. We must change. Our lukewarm state must change. In a lukewarm state people complain about everything – everything is a law. The nation of God was completely different. Don’t you want others to see that you are a living child of God and that Christ can be seen in you?
He planted it on a fertile hill and surrounded it with a wall. God has built a wall around you. Allow Him to do that. After he had completed the work, He waited. Be on guard, friends, lest what happens to us is what happened when Jesus looked for fruit and found a bare fig tree. He cursed that tree. Why? There was no fruit on it. This is the danger you will be in, child of God, when you do not bear fruit.
The fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5 – the love of God that separates you from evil things, love for the children of God, love for the things of God, love for those who need help. This fruit should be evident in the life of a child of God. It is critical for a person who is part of this vineyard to bear this fruit. For example, a young man who lives at KSB, in God’s place, who receives everything, should be found on a different level to others. It must be obvious through your life that you live in a different place and have a different God and receive different things. You should not be a young man who is kept busy with worldly things like porn. Is this obvious in your life? Young girl, is your life different or do you create a pathetic picture that makes people feel sorry for you. God wants good fruit which is not unreasonable. He expects you to bear that fruit in accordance to what has been given to you.
Why have you not heard what you were supposed to hear? Why has He not done what He should have done in your life? What has prevented the expected results from your life? Why should others have questions about your life? You are no longer expected to be living in sin but you still are. Where have things gone wrong? Why must you continuously be corrected? Why do you not have a sense of right or wrong? Why have you not repented? The difference is not clear. Although something is expected, nothing happens. If this the case, there is sin in your life. Friend, make very sure that there is no sin in your life such as criticism or questions that devour and rob you of what you should be, depression. God’s children should be different.
What is it that keeps you from repenting? What is it that makes you speak the way you do? What is it that makes you so hard-headed? What is it that makes people question your life? What must you still do? What must God still do for you? Is the fault with God? Must God say, after all I have done for you, you are still like this? Why are you living life on such a low level when God expects your life to be on a high level? You should examine your heart and question yourself, “Why am I in this state? Why do I have no fire for God? Why is my life lukewarm?” Whether you live amongst the people of God or in the world, your life is the same. Your life makes no difference in your home.
The Lord Jesus Himself is the watchman of the vineyard. That makes it a safe place. A child of God is protected by a fence raised by Christ Himself. The Lord Jesus watches over you. Friends, it is wonderful to meet the challenges of life with the arm of God’s grace that strengthens and carries you. No matter how you are attacked, this deep peace guards your heart that you are in the hands of Jesus. In whose hand are you? Who protects you, who guards your life, who straightens you out, who steers you, who speaks to your heart, who reprimands you when you do something wrong? The person who walks with God hears God’s voice saying, “No, my child, not like this. Don’t go there. Don’t even be tempted to go there.” By listening, you are saved from catastrophe. Some people are killed because they do not listen to God. When God speaks they do not hear or listen. They do what their flesh and their hearts want. What should have happened in your life that has not yet happened? If that watchtower is not in your life, you are a lost child of God.
Because there was no fruit God said, “I will remove the hedge, the protection, so that anyone can trample it down.” When God’s protection has been removed, nothing troubles a person, there is nothing a person fears to do. Such a person does whatever he wants and goes wherever he wants because there is no hedge. Animals come and go. The vines are no longer pruned. Satan enters and leaves as he likes because the One who was guarding that life is no longer there.
If God visits your life, He must not be disappointed. How many times has He been disappointed? How many times hasn’t He tried to bring you back home but you did not want to obey which is why you have been given over to the lust and evil in your heart that is worse than what it was in the beginning. The final state of the vineyard is terrible. Nothing attracts people. There is no fruit only leaves and thorns. It is beautiful from far but on closer inspection it has nothing attractive to offer. That is why there is nothing happening in your life anymore. There is no communion, no change, no progress.
God’s judgement on this vineyard was severe. Do not be content with a lukewarm life. After all, you are not really happy. You do not have grace but you just accuse and criticise. You are not growing, you are sick. Your look like a sick Christian. How can you make any progress, the water and hedge have been removed, there is nothing to help and protect you anymore?
God said that He will watch over the people found in His vineyard and give them everything they need. It is wonderful to be in the hands of God where He can lead you into new, unexpected things. Woe to you if you have slipped out of His hands for then you are lost and it is hopeless. This is the time of grace. Grab it with both hands and God can remove you from this state and the evil fruit of Satan will come to an end in your life. God wants fruit even out of season, lest He curse you as He cursed the fig tree.
In 2020 God expects His church to bear spiritual fruit. He expects the church to show the nation how things should be done. We should not copy the world but bring life to people who do not know Him. This will happen if we remain in God’s garden and follow His will for our lives.