#Gafartawa in Hausa means ‘Forgiveness’ – The one that has been ‘forgiven much loveth much; but the one has been forgiven little loveth little’ (Luke 7:47). It is not our ability to love and forgive that proves that we are christians; it is rather the revelation of who Christ is that allows us to love and forgive – Remain blessed in the Lord.
Almost two years ago; I was asked by good sister of mine from University to send her a response to a very popular video from Prince EA titled: Everybody Dies But Not Everybody Lives. This video is a fantastic video that many would say is real; motivating; inspiring & educational at the very least amongst other favourable measures. It has been and will continue to be used for motivational seminars, empowerment initiatives, youth groups, schools and more. There were certainly some soundbites that I thought were interesting and see where the speaker is coming from. Generally, I was nodding my head during the entire video – not in agreement with what Prince EA said but in remembrance of the powerful words of Jesus Christ within the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-16) that are polar opposite of Prince EA’s words within this video.
The world says: Blessed are the competitive – who are driven, who make out of their life what they want it to be and have the respect of this world, the respect of well motivated and the respect of the moderately religious. But Jesus said within the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are the lowly’ and ‘Blessed are those whose imprint of Christ and conformity to His Will is so stamped upon their hearts and their lives – that are hated by this world, hated by the well motivated and hated by the moderately religious’. In fact – the exact opposite of the teachings within the Beatitudes is more or less what I saw in this video. Below is a short response that I sent my friend (who i’ll name Monica) who permitted to re-publish it here. And yes – I do hope that God can use it as a blessing to a handful of you.
‘It is the fact that it’s the fact you never truly lived’ – from my perspective – Christ and the completed work of God for us in Christ Jesus at the Cross is sufficient for us ‘to live’ both in this temporary world and in the eternal world to come.
“They regretted the risks they never took, the dreams they never pursued”
– from my perspective – I see where He is coming from and agree that there are opportunities that if we do not take in life will pass us by – but this is the story of everybody. The limit of this video is that the man interviews ‘100 elderly close to their last breath’ – it implies the assumption that all men and women will make it to this stage – absolute nonsense. We unfortunately live within a generation that believes they will wake up tomorrow morning – not understanding that everything is by God’s Grace – James 4:13-17 – popular mainstream songs like Lukas Graham’s “Soon i’ll be sixty years old”
illustrate what i’m saying.
As Job (in the bible) found out with the fate of all his children when he lost them “it’s the Lord that gives and it’s the Lord that taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21). He is right with regards to regrets, However there are things in life that we do that God has called us not to and things in life that we don’t do that God has called us to. We have ‘regrets’ of doing the wrong thing and ‘regrets’ of not the right thing in life not because of our laziness or inability to do these things but because we are sinful and born into iniquity (Psalm 51:5). The freedom from the temptation of sin is found once again in God’s Gift of Faith (Eph 2:8) to believe in the finished work of Christ Jesus’ atonement at the cross and his resurrection.
“Martin Luther King; that man never had a dream; that dream had him…. Do you have the courage to grab the dream that picked you.” – it’s a creative and somewhat mystically meaningful statement – I see what he is trying to say (with regards to us and the black community) being afraid/unable to excel in the God-given gifts and talents that God has given every one of us. To some extent – sociologically – the man in the video is right – we do need encouragement, support and belief to grab and excel in our gifts. However, there is something (in my worldview) more important than this. Some will say don’t rob people of the gift God has put in you – sociologically – correct! But as believers we shouldn’t rob perishing people of the truth of God’s Eternal Love in His Eternal Word. Proverbs 18:16 (KJV) “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” Prosperity teachers will tell us this agree’s with the man’s statement (in this video) that our gifts and talents when cultivated will make us prosperous in this world and bring us before the distinguished and the great. However; biblically this means that a man’s gift is the gift of faith (Romans 4:22 & Ephesians 2:8) that God has given him or her to believe in the finished work of Christ Jesus at the cross immediately destroying their sinful life and their spiritual life ‘being made whole’ (Mark 5:34). The greater sin that not fulfilling your career passions and ‘big dreams’ (as emphasised in this video) here on earth is for one’s soul to be absent from God’s Kingdom. I think it was C.S. Lewis that said the person that say “I have God” and the other person that says “I have God and everything else” both have the same thing: God!
“The plane on the ground starts to rust and wear – it’s better for a plane to be in the sky…” – I agree with this point in trying to emphasise that we should chase our goals and not be idle with our passions – make use of the qualities, qualifications and business ideas and talents that we have. However; this is completely the opposite of scripture. The world says (and included in this video) “Blessed are the self confident. The movers and shakers who grab the bulls by the horns and they make out of their life what they want it to be. They forge with their own two hands their life. Jesus said “Blessed are those who recognise their absolute need of God and life in constant profound and joyful dependence upon him.” (Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God – Matt 5:3). What does this have to do with the statement above – the world says – “be busy, be out there, be popular, be instagram famed; youtube video worthy and ‘live out the dream you have inside’ but as in the story of Mary and Martha; Jesus wants us to be on ground, with our knees on the ground (Matt 18:26, in silence (Hab 2:20), in our closets (Matt 6:6), at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:39), listening and feasting upon His presence and word (Luke 7:38) day and night (Josh 1:8).
“Doubt has killed more dreams than failure ever did” – true in the sense of some of our feeble and very little life goals and money/family driven objectives here on earth in comparison with the Almighty’s Glory and Kingdom Plan. But false in the sense that it is not doubt but sin that makes all mankind deserving of hell and condemnation (Romans 8:1) and the wrath of God which was poured out for us to be consumed by us (in hell)…. Christ consumed God’s Wrath on our behalf in a cup (Revelation 14:10 & Psalm 75:8) – what an amazing atonement! Propitiation is an old english that isn’t used much anymore – it means when one’s anger has been satisfied. That’s what happened to us at the cross – God’s Love and Righteousness was imputed to us when Christ rose from the dead; and our sin and iniquities was imputed to Him at the cross. – What an amazing atonement! “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the saviour’s blood” (as the wonderful hymn goes).
‘There’s no such thing as a smooth mountain” – Yeah I see what he is saying – with regards to life’s ups and downs and struggle to achieve. But biblically the mountain of sin cannot be accomplished by the efforts and sweat of man – it’s the finished effort of God in Christ that conquers and destroys that mountain of sin that every man is facing when born in the valleys of the shadow of death. But thank the God that He has provided a shepherd and hence we shall fear no evil (Psalm 24). None of which is emphasised in this worldly, typically motivational but spiritually insufficient video.
“Steven Spielberg ‘kept going’, Oprah ‘kept going’, Beyonce ‘kept going’ – yes diligence makes for success – in the context of this world – yes – but in the context of eternity – no. It is the spiritual diligence that God wants from us – and that only God can give us. As seen with the ‘diligent widow’ who refused to let the unjust judge rest until her plea was granted (Luke 18:6).
“A brand new ending” – lol. Na mate. The end of it all is Christ. This end has been set from eternity into eternity (Psalm 90:2) The end of all dreams, the end of all visions, the end of all life plans and careers goals, in fact, the end of all achievements, the end of all accolades, the end of all MTV awards and MOBOs and Ballon d’ors, the end of all the News programmes and documentaries, the end of all parties, celebrations, christenings, university degrees and PhD’s, the end of all new born celebrations and funerals is CHRIST. The end of all preaching, teaching, bible studies, evangelisms, prayer meetings, persecutions, Sunday schools, praise and worship is Christ.
With or without me; Christ will be glorified in your life and in the lives of every single ‘spec of dust’ known as ‘human beings’ in the small dot called the world within a universe made by God’s hands. But how wonderful it is that He wants to be in relationship with us. Whilst we were faithless, rebellious and wicked; Christ bore our sins in our place, died and rose again =)
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