Peter Chetty - Serima Zimbabwe Convention - 2006

Hymn 351

We know that God wants to give us the best.  He did give the world the best.  He gave His only begotten Son.  He also wants to give us His Holy Spirit.  God has brought us to this place.  We know this is the best place in Zimbabwe that God has brought us to and we have received the best today.  If God wants to give us His best, why should we settle for second best?  If God wants to give us truth, why should we accept something that is not true? 

We realise God has given us a will to choose.  May God help us to ask God to choose for us.  Whatever God chooses for us, it is the best.  Last week a few of us went to a place where they do sculpture work.  There were many men working on stones.  They made beautiful images, they were very beautiful.  As we went from one person to the other, we asked each one, "What kind of stone did you use to make this image?"  They told us the kind of stone that they used.  I have read a little about different kinds of stones, so I understood these people knew a lot about stones.  No one could deceive them.  They did not only have knowledge of stones, but they also got a feel for stones.  They work from morning to night with their bare hands.  Just by feeling the stones, they know whether it is a dead stone or a live stone. 

That reminded me of a story that I heard many years ago.  There was a man that wanted to learn about a semi-precious stone called Jade.  He went to a college and enrolled himself there.  His master was a Chinese man, he was a specialist in that stone.  The first day he went to that college, his master slipped a jade stone into his hand.  He held it very tightly.  His master told him a little about jade.  For the rest of the time, he talked about other things.  When he was returning home at the end of the day, he returned that stone to his master.  The next day, he came back to the college.  His master slipped that stone into his hand again.  He spoke just a little about jade, and then spoke of so many other things that did not concern jade.  This went on for many days.  Now he was becoming annoyed and frustrated.  He said to himself, "I came here to learn about jade.  He is talking about irrelevant stuff."  He wanted to quit but, on second thought, he would just remain.  One day, his master slipped a strange stone into his hand.  Just as his master was talking to him about jade, he told his master, "This is not jade."  That was his master's purpose, for him to know the difference.  As he held on to that false stone longer, he would have lost the feeling for the genuine stone.  All along he was learning to get a feeling for the genuine stone.  When something strange was placed there, he knew the difference immediately. 

1 John 1:3, "That which you heard from the beginning which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and we have handled, the word of God."  Many of us remember the first time when we listened to the gospel.  We heard it.  We have seen the word of God lived out before us.  We saw the truth.  We saw Jesus lived out in the lives of His messengers, even in the lives of His people.  We remember that.  When something strange comes to us, we notice the difference immediately.  We have sat in many gospel meetings.  We sat in many fellowship meetings and Conventions like this.  We heard the word of God.  We got a feeling for that, and we know that it is genuine.  At this time, there were false teachers teaching wrong doctrine, like we see today.  John was advising the people here not to listen to the false teachers, not to entertain them.  If we entertain them for too long, we may forget what is real and what is genuine.  If we are weak in faith, we can so easily accept that which is false.  We are so thankful that God has given to us the best.  God has brought the best within our reach.  He has given us a will to choose, and we would like to hold on to what we have. 

Matthew 10, Jesus said that He did not come to send peace on the earth.  He came to bring a sword, this sword will separate and divide.  It will set a man against his father, a daughter from her mother.  This is the work of the sword, and this is the work of the word of God.  The reason that Jesus did not come to bring peace into this world, it is because the world rejected His peace.  Remember when Pilate asked the people, "Who should I release unto you, Jesus or Barrabas?"  They said, "Give us Barrabas.  Away with Him, crucify Jesus."  They put the Prince of Peace to death.  They put the giver of peace to death.  That is why this world cannot receive peace.  The world promises that they will give peace.  How can the world give something that the world knows nothing about?  The world wanted Barrabas.  He was a thief and a murderer.  That is why we have so much corruption and murder in this world.  The world wanted it so.  Jesus wants to give us peace in our hearts.  The work of the sword will bring about peace. 

We speak of people who come from divided homes.  We read that only a few are going to be saved, one in a city, two in a generation.  God’s eyes go throughout the whole world seeking those who are honest and upright towards God.  God wants to single out such souls and bring such unto Himself, and then He uses His sword.  Such ones listen to the message of the gospel.  God speaks to them through His message.  When they yield to God, God brings about a separation.  At such times, the whole family turns against the one who is professing.  This is the way of God and how it should be.  If it is different, then it is not of God. 

Another place we read about the sword, Hebrews 4.  The word of God is like a sword.  A natural sword is sharp and it is powerful.  It can cut.  It can separate.  It can divide.  The word of God is even sharper than a natural sword.  It can do many things, it can even divide the soul from the spirit which a natural sword cannot do.  This spirit is the spirit of pride.  God cannot do anything with a proud person.  It is one of the greatest sins.  The spirit of pride and the soul, our soul wants to rise and worship God but the spirit of pride does not want to allow the soul to worship God.  The spirit of pride wants to keep the soul in captivity.  The spirit of pride is like a baby cot, the soul  like a newborn baby.  When that newly born baby is placed in that cot, that baby cannot get out of that cot.  That cot keeps the baby in captivity.  Unless a higher hand picks up that baby out of the cot, and that is the work of the gospel, that is the work of the sword.  The work of the sword can separate the spirit of pride from the soul and set the soul at liberty to worship God. 

Because of Adam, sin entered into the world.  We are born in sin, because of Adam’s sin pride entered into the world.  We are born with this pride.  When Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, of good and evil, he and Eve became like gods knowing good and evil.  They were full of knowledge.  If someone is filled with knowledge, they are puffed up and become proud.  When a person who is full of knowledge comes into the company of people who are ignorant, that person feels that he is superior, puffed up with pride.  So because of Adam’s pride, until we come to God, until the message of the gospel sets us free from that spirit, then our souls can be set at liberty to worship God.  Sometimes we invite people to gospel meetings, they sit in one gospel meeting and they go out and say, "This is not for me.  It is too humble."  It is because of their pride.  They are quite satisfied to live, to let pride rule and reign in their lives.  We know that in heaven there will only be humble souls.  No proud people will be found in heaven.  We are so thankful that God has helped us. 

As David said, "I was brought low and God helped me."  The gospel exalts us.  May God help us to be wise and choose the best that God offers to us, and hold on to the best for all eternity.