ECWA Weekly Spiritual Digest: Fear of God

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | The passions of Fear and love for God coexist together because the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is One and the same God. “The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.” Isaiah 8:13

I have the fear of heights; yours may be darkness, small spaces, spiders, mice, snakes, etc. What we are afraid of literally cripples us when we must face it. But is that what the Fear of God is all about? How then can God invite us to draw near and have fellowship with Him?

There are two main uses of Fear of God in the Bible: Reverence and Dread. A positive fear of God is built on the foundation of love which motivates us to live right in order to please God. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” Deut. 10:12. A negative fear of God drives us to live right out of fear of punishment – “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10:31. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:29.

Both types of fears are necessary. The dread of punishment may drive us to God, but once we arrive our reverence and love of God is what will keep us there. The passions of Fear and love for God coexist together because the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is One and the same God. Apostle John exhibited both passions: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.” Rev. 1:17. Lord, help me to have the FEAR of you. Amen!

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Don’t You Think Religion in General (and Christianity Specifically) is Just a Crutch for Weak Minded People Who Need to Believe in God?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | In Christianity, God is the one seeking out man and not man seeking God. Secondly, Christianity is about intimacy – God and man relate in such personal loving ways that other religions cannot even imagine.

I agree with the first part of this assertion if we are on the same page that religion is man’s attempt to find and connect with a higher power – God. However, I do not believe in the second part that people who seek help from other sources are necessarily weak minded.

No single person on earth has everything he/she needs that they will not need help from someone else or some other source. I submit that those who are too proud to ask for help are really the weak ones who lack courage to ask. Christianity is classified as a religion because of the practice of rites of worship which other religions do. However, Christianity is misclassified as religion for two main reasons. In Christianity, God is the one seeking out man and not man seeking God. Secondly, Christianity is about intimacy – God and man relate in such personal loving ways that other religions cannot even imagine.

We call God Abba Father and He calls us sons and daughters (Gal. 4:6). He calls us friends (John 15:15) and even weeps over us. He chose to die on our behalf and does not demand anything of us that is not for our benefit.

Forgiving God

Forgiving God

The God of Christians is real, alive, powerful, forgiving, loving, etc. He will judge those who are too proud to admit the fact of their sins which they are too weak to fight off. He wants to be your crutch today (Matt. 11:28-30).

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



ECWA Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is Faith a Blind Leap that is Required of Christians?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | You will be in good company with all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 if you exercise faith in God today.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. It is not only Christians who exercise faith; every human being exercise faith on a great number of things each day. The water we drink, food we eat, cars we drive, buses we ride on, airplanes we fly, chairs we sit on, depositing money in the bank, sending children to school, etc. Almost everything we do requires faith and when we do not have faith in a given situation, we refuse to act on the right thing to do.

We have faith in people and anything that has a track record of being reliable and consistent. The object of faith for the Christian is God who has proven Himself as reliable, consistent, dependable, unchangeable, everlasting, has never and will never fail. He created and sustains the whole universe with perfect precision. No one who has put his faith in God has been disappointed. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God has given you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” Jos. 23:14. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Mk, 13:31. Jesus is the Light and when we trust in Him, we walk in the light. Anyone who does not trust in the Light is certainly taking a blind leap into eternity without hope. You will be in good company with all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 if you exercise faith in God today.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



ECWA Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Church is Full of Hypocrites, So Why Should I Go to Church?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | We are saved by grace through faith and not because we earned it through our own righteous efforts.

We need to define what the Church is before we can answer this question correctly. The Church is not a building, not a place and not a program or liturgy. The Church is called Ecclesiathe called-out ones. This means that the believer is the Church and not the stained glass building with a cross at the corner of the street. Jesus Christ was accused of associating with sinners and His classic answer is an all-time response to questions like the one we are addressing. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mk 2:17. All those who come to Christ the Great Physician are sick people – sinners: hypocrites, adulterers, liars, murderers, thieves, etc. (1Co. 6:9-11) They are forgiven on account of Christ’s death on the cross for their sins and are legally in right standing with God.

ECWA Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Church is Full of Hypocrites, So Why Should I Go to Church

The Church is Full of Hypocrites, So Why Should I Go to Church

We are saved by grace through faith and not because we earned it through our own righteous efforts. Isaiah 64:6 says that ‘all our righteousness is like filthy rags.’ Christians are a work in progress for if we “claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” 1 John 1:8. So, if someone does not want to go to church because there are hypocrites, then that “righteous” person ought to go and help the sinners as Jesus did.

There is no perfect church on earth until Christ returns. For now, the Church is a hospital where sick people are being treated and prepared for heaven. Welcome in!

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is Jesus Really God?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Only God is the omnipresent Spirit who can hear and answer prayer, but Jesus said in John 14:13, “If you shall ask anything in my name I will do it.”

The question, if Jesus is really God has caused different reactions ranging from excitement, confusion, anger and outright rejection by Christians and non-Christians alike. The existence of Jesus Christ is a no contest. He lived here on earth; His genealogy is known. Where and when He was born and the life He lived have all been documented by historians. The claim that He is God is the bone of contention. Here are four reasons to aid our understanding in believing that Jesus is God.

  1. Testimonies that Jesus is God.
    1. The Prophets: Isaiah & John the Baptist: Isa 9:6; 7:14; Jh. 1:1-3
    2. God the Father: Heb. 1:8 & Ps. 45:6.
    3. Jesus Himself: Jh. 8:58, 10:30.
    4. Jesus’ Disciples Jh. 20:28.
  2. Jesus has all the attributes of God – A few will suffice:

    1. Self-existing Jh. 5:26;
    2. Eternal Is. 9:6; and Is 46:9
    3. Holy Jh. 8:46;
    4. Omnipotent Phi 3:21;
    5. Omniscient Jh. 16:30;
    6. Omnipresent Matt. 18:20; Judge. 2 Tim 4:1.
  3. Jesus did things only God can do.
    1. Created the world. Jh. 1:3; Col.1:16.
    2. Raised the dead and Himself too. Lk 7:14, 24:7
    3. Forgave sins. Lk 5:20;
    4. Promises eternal life. John 3:16; Lk 23:43
  4. Jesus Accepts worship – due only to God.
    1. Disciples worshiped Him Matt. 28: 9;
    2. Every knee will bow in worship Ph. 2:9-11
    3. Saints, Angels, 24 Elders, 4 Living Creatures worship Jesus. Rev. 5

Every religion admits that Jesus was a prophet, righteous and sinless but reject His deity. He did not leave us that option. We either voluntarily worship Him now or involuntarily do so when it is too late.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is Christianity too Narrow?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

The assertion here is that Christianity has many restrictions and is not inclusive. People want a borderless Christianity. The fact is that every institution that is worth its salt has restrictions and is inclusive only under certain conditions. Christianity is not different. We generally view God’s laws as restrictions from enjoying something good. Which is not true! God’s laws are barriers to protect us from hurting ourselves while enjoying all the good God has made available to us.

Christianity is a relationship with Christ and everyone irrespective of race, age, gender, abilities/inabilities, sinners, etc. are accepted unconditionally. All roads may lead to Rome, but only one Road leads to God – Jesus Christ. Religion is humanity’s attempt to reach God while Christianity is God’s attempt to reach humanity. God is the initiator and not man and He says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matt. 7:13 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. Those who argue that Christianity is narrow are not sincere. They willingly accept restrictions in other areas of life. They only know about Christianity and have never experienced the true freedom that being in Christ brings.

Regardless of how Christianity is viewed, the question remains,  are you ready for a committed relationship with Christ knowing God personally came down to look for you and bring you into His Kingdom? So, what is the point of this argument?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | Job was a righteous man, yet he suffered. Everything went wrong in Job’s life in a single day and his response was to worship God. God is still there despite any tragedy you may be experiencing. God allows Job’s pain to prove to Satan that Job worshiped God for who He is and not because of His blessings.

Pain and suffering are real but also relative. For some kids, eating veggies is the worst suffering in the world. Every one of us has a story of pain and suffering and some are going through it right now. The primary source of pain is the Fall. We sowed SIN and we are reaping its harvest. The good news is that God is interested in you, loves and cares for you more than you can ever love and care for yourself. Pain and suffering come upon good and bad people alike, but it has an end! Job was a righteous man, yet he suffered. Everything went wrong in Job’s life in a single day and his response was to worship God. He declared the truth we must always remember: The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Job did not ask Why Me? He accepted both good and trouble from the Lord. Job. 2:10.

Some reasons why God allows pain and suffering?

  1. In Job’s case it was to prove to Satan that Job worshiped God for who He is and not because of His blessings. Why do you worship God? Pain and Suffering will expose your motive.
  2. When we suffer like Christ, we become more like Him.
  3. It produces Perseverance, Character and Hope. Rom. 5:3-5.
  4. Because of the Name of Jesus Christ. Lk 21:12

We learn obedience just as Jesus did. Heb. 5:8. When you suffer, you have a choice to either remain stuck and bitter or better by growing through your pain. If the purpose of my life is to bring glory to God, then even when I suffer, I must bring glory to Him. How have you handled pain and suffering recently? God promises He will be with you, not let you go through trials beyond your ability, give you grace, peace, joy, hope and finally deliver and reward you with the words: Well done, good and faithful servant.

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is There a God?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | When a tragedy occurs even atheists cry out or get angry with the God they do not to believe in. Ps. 14:1.

The first time I saw the ocean, I was awestruck and the words that came out of my mouth were: “How can anybody say there is no God?” There are some who do not believe in God and even mock the idea of a God. God is real and He has revealed Himself. Our experiences of unanswered prayers and why disasters or evil happen are not conclusions that God does not exist.

Is There a God

Is There a God?  (image: Pixabay, Ascension)

So, How Has God Revealed Himself?

  1. Through His creation – the size, beauty and orderliness of it. PS. 19:1-2; Rom 1:19-20.
  2. Morality – the sense of right and wrong. Rom. 2:14-15. Fyodor D. said: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted”
  3. The Bible. This is where God revealed what He has done, what He is currently doing and what He will do in the future. The Bible is authentic, and it is about a real God and real people.
  4. God chose Israel and gave them a land and promises only God can give.
  5. False gods. The only reason there are false gods is because there is a genuine God.
  6. When a tragedy occurs even atheists cry out or get angry with the God they do not to believe in. Ps. 14:1.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” While there is no risk in believing in God, there is colossal loss if we reject Him only to discover too late that we were wrong. “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds it’s rest in thee.” ― Augustine of Hippo. If you truly believe there is God, how are you living out that conviction?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.