A brief testimony of a trip to Europe
A brief testimony of my visit to Europe: (1st Sept till 7th Oct 2010)
Thinking of all the people and remembering our time together makes it feel like just a short while ago that I was there with you, seeing your beautiful faces and enjoying your warm friendship!
I have very fond memories of my time with you in every city! Karlsrue, Zurich, Birmingham, Hayward’s Heath, London, Rostov, Taganrog, Gdansk, Elblag, Krakov, Budapest, Gyor, Amsterdam and Munich…Thank you so much for receiving me with such great love and hospitality!
My experience in Europe was most significant! It was so wonderful to daily be aware of God’s leading and strategy. I visited 14 cities in 7 different countries and preached everyday (often for many hours per day) except for 3 days where I spent most of the day travelling.
I am convinced that we are standing on the brink of a very large scale reformation in Europe that will usher in a fresh understanding of the simplicity of the Gospel and the success of the cross. This will inevitably result in a great mobilising of the church. Ordinary people are discovering their true redeemed identity in Christ. Their immediate response is a desire to include others! Our evangelism activities can never be motivated again by guilt and duty-driven methods!
I will never forget the meeting I had with a lovely Moslem man in Central London! While we spoke his face shone! He said to me, “Francois I’m Moslem, but something is happening in me while you talk! Everything in me says YES to what you say! How can we bring this message to my people!”
That day on my way to meet him, as I sat in the Double-Decker London bus I suddenly felt soooo homesick and lonely! Then God reminded me of Phillip on this lonely road, about to meet a most significant African leader! The chief treasurer!
Never underestimate your audience! God sees a continent in one man!
This is something I wrote the other day on ministry motivation:
If it is the love of God that constrains New Testament ministry, then no other motivation can match that. “Speaking the truth in love” is not only the preferred attitude in our every conversation, but the only option; where truth gives integrity to love, and love gives attraction to truth. Eph.4:15. This makes value, rather than emotional sentiment the reference of love. When Paul declares the love of God as the drive of his ministry he immediately gives the reason: “because I am convinced that if one has died for all, then all have died!” 2 Cor.5:14. Thus every definition of life has its common point of departure in the conclusion of Jesus’ death as representing the universal death of Adam and his resurrection the new birth of humanity. 1 Pet.1:3. If Jesus was indeed the last Adam, then, in God’s economy the Adamic race already died. As much as the Adamic race represented mankind, the same mass of humanity now stands equally represented in Christ. “Can a people be born in one day, a nation be brought forth in a moment?” Is 66:8. “After 2 days He will revive us on the 3rd day He will raise us up. Hos 6:2
Oh what freedom to conclude that I am not here to justify my existence but I am here because I am justified. I do not live my life to defend a doctrine but rather to declare the truth about every man; “to commend my life to every man’s conscience with the open statement of the truth”, because every man’s life shares the same integrity in both design and redemption. Therefore “I do not preach myself but Christ”. 2 Cor.4:2,5. “As the truth is embodied in Christ” Eph.4:21
Personal experience is not what defines life, if that was true then experience must be doctrine. Then recipes for life must be taught and sold as truth which immediately opens the case for manipulation and control, which is exactly what any law-driven religious system is all about. Jesus is so much more than an example for us he is an example of us.
Repentance, baptism, prayer, fasting, forsaking all, etc are never a means to an end; so many of our interpretations of religious practices have become just that: recipes to follow in order to, when any action or sacrifice become irrelevant in itself when truth becomes its reference; because of, and no longer, in order to now define the virtue of my action or sacrifice.
Amazing how the Chile rescue captured the imagination of the world!
To ignore the value of human life is to insult the integrity of our design. This becomes such a complex thing; we are prepared to spend millions to save life and at the same time we spend billions on senseless wars to destroy life. Sin is insane! Col.1:13-15
Behold the Lamb of God!
Thru one act of righteousness, God took away the sin of the world!
They will never know it until we tell them!
We need to wake up to a Gospel that is bigger beyond proportion to the effect of Adam’s transgression! Bigger than drugs, promiscuity, vanity etc etc, bigger than any distortion that sin’s disguise could ever represent! Rom 1:16,17 It is not in the revelation of the extent of sin and what man does and did wrong but only in the revelation of righteousness: what God did right in Christ on behalf of the whole human race! Rom 5:12-21
Everywhere I travelled the response was the same: many people said they have waited to hear this message; this is the gospel that must be shared with everyone, glad tidings of great joy! In many of the venues, from Russia to Poland and Hungary, people had to stand or sit on the floor because so many wanted to hear! My last engagement was with the Andre Womack CBC ministry in Holland. This was very significant to me since I grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church and it was my first visit to Holland. The Lord reminded me of a meeting I had with one of my professors from the University of Pretoria many years ago; he was Prof Johan Heyns who was then the Moderator of the DRC in South Africa. We discussed the fact that Paul’s legacy was not a polished structure for a church organisation, but it was his message! Prof Heyns was very touched by this thought; he said that the DRC can continue for many predictable decades possibly centuries because they have such a good organisation, but he said, “We have lost our message!” And asked me, “How can we bring the message back to the church!?”
I woke up the other night in Budapest with this startling sentence in my mind!….”There is nothing wrong with the human race, because there is nothing wrong with redemption! There is only something horribly wrong with man’s thinking! Isa 55 “Your thoughts not my thoughts…. BUT!!!! as the rain & the snow cancelled the distance between heaven and earth and prospered in my purpose so did my word (JESUS) who proceeded from my mouth! He did not return empty handed but with the full harvest! Lift up your eyes and see the ripe harvest (the seed in the ear matches the seed that was sown!!! John 4 and Jhn 2:19 the temple was rebuilt in only 3 days! Hos 6:2 eph 2:5 Titus 3:2-5 and Acts 10:28. 2 Cor 5:14,16
These are certainly exciting days!
I will be leaving in 2 days time for Lahore, Pakistan, then back on the 26th and the 29th Oct Im flying to Antanarivo Madagascar for a conference, then return on the 2nd of Oct
From the 5th to the 15th of Nov we are having a School of Grace camp with about 100 pastors mainly from African nations here in Hermanus.
the 17th -19th Lydia and I will be with Alan and Leana Platt with a few other leaders fellowshipping God’s goodness and strategy for our lives and ministry (On a private Game Farm, Tangala Lodge!)
then back to Hermanus where Im invited for the first time to address a men’s gathering in the local DRC on Sunday the 21st!
Then 3 weeks in The Kruger Park on wonderful holiday!
Full time ministry van only be defined as full time enjoyment of his intimate embrace!