Another beautiful day in Zambia! Jill and I find ourselves saying this practically every day here. Temperatures in the low to mid 70s, clear blue skies and white puffy clouds. Today especially was a great day to worship our risen Savior.
Today I preached on some of my favorite passages. Matthew 10:29-31 shares God’s watchful care over His creation. Luke 12:6&7 rehearses the same thing. I have found these passages significant for a long time. In Matthew it says that 2 sparrows can be purchased for a farthing, and in Luke it says that 5 sparrows can be purchased for two farthings. I have always taken this to mean that if you buy 4, you get one free. The Zambians do something similar when you shop at the open market. When you have completed your purchase, say tomatoes, the seller will add 2 or 3 tomatoes that you have not purchased into your bag as a bonus. The Zambians call it “embasala” (im-bah-sale-uh).
In the passage in Matthew, Jesus said that not one of the sparrows shall fall on the ground without the Father noticing and caring. I always assume that is the embasala sparrow. I think one of the points that Jesus was trying to make here was that if God cares so much for this little sparrow, that is worth nothing to the seller, how much more does He care for each of us.
The topic of my sermon was “You Have Value to God”. Sometimes we are led to believe that we are useless or worthless. We fail, we mess up, and through our own mistakes we can really complicate our lives. Sometimes, we have done nothing wrong and our lives get very complicated anyway. Maybe you, like Paul, feel that whenever you try to do right, you end up doing wrong, and when you try not to do wrong, you end up doing it anyway. I have felt this way.
Let me say this. You are special. You have value to God. Others may not see it. You may not see it. But God sees it. The world is a better place because you are here. Don’t let bad thoughts get you down. God sees value in you, it is time for you to see value in yourself!
Last week we had a great time with our Resurrection service. We were blessed with 3 special musical numbers. The youth sang a special, the ladies sang a special and then we had a trio of Jill, Anna, and one of our Zambian youth sing a special. It was a great service!
Please pray with us for Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola. One of the young men in my discipleship class is struggling with doubts about his salvation. Please pray that as I speak to him personally he can settle his salvation. One of the young men of our church has been having some serious spiritual struggles. He is keeping the root issue to himself but we can see his struggle. This is a young man who the Lord could really use if he will commit himself to the Lord. Please pray that we will be able to help him make good decisions and he will decide to come back to a serious relationship with the Lord.
Many in our church have been suffering with various health issues. There is a bad cough that is going around and a lot of people are sick. Please pray that their physical health will improve.
Thank you for your prayers for our family and the Lord’s ministry here in Zambia. We are very happy to labor together with you.