Mandela Day – 67 minutes

On Saturday July 18th, 2009 the ex-President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela celebrated his 91st birthday. From what was read in the local and international press and from watching the news of his birthday celebrations in certain places around the world, it can be seen that there were  those secular persons that revere Mandela – as an icon and idol of social justice. Nelson Mandela

For me and other street evangelists, this particular day would be no different from any other Project Ezra day. It would be another day of proclaiming the Word of God to a dying world. Here in South Africa in our Lord’s harvest field, Mandela Day would allow me to speak of the justice of God and the mercy of God in Church Street, Pietermaritzburg. There were no cameras and no back-up, but I am thankful for God’s goodness and faithfulness – He allowed me to preach the Law and the Gospel of Grace twice.

My first reading was the Book of 1 John whereafter I held up the cover page of The Witness newspaper and made reference to the headline that read, quote –

“In recognition of the 67 years Nelson Mandela has devoted to social justice, Mandela Day is a call to people to spend 67 minutes doing good on Madiba’s birthday tomorrow.”

but Scripture tells another story… we are not called to give 67 minutes to our neighbours, but we are “to love thy neighbour as thyself”. I then put the verse in context and read Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV) –

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Although the publishers of the list below might have had noble intent of getting people to do good to one’s fellow man, they missed the Spiritual message of worshipping God everyday and loving their neighbour as themselves then we wouldn’t have to fabricate ways that we should act for 67 minutes.

67 Ways to help your neighbour

1. Adopt one of SA’s 1,5 million orphans.
2. Ask some neighbours over to dinner.
3. Baby-sit to give some parents a break.
4. Bake a cake for a person who needs it.
5. Be an Angel in the mayor’s “Angel Appeal”.
6. Be a Big Brother or Sister to a needy child.
7. Be a neighbour and help someone.
8. Be polite and greet the people you meet.
9. Celebrate silence and cut down noise.
10. Clean Symmonds Stream in Howick.
11. Clean out your cupboards for charity.
12. Cook a meal for a person who needs it.
13. Cover for a colleague who needs a break.
14. Crochet or knit a comfort doll for a kid.
15. Cuddle a cat at the Woodhouse Road SPCA.
16. Cut snares in the forest or open veld.
17. Do the shopping for someone housebound.
18. Donate food to the Community Chest.
19. Don’t do crime – it hurts your community.
20. Drive safely and obey the road rules.
21. Feed the birds in the garden with a bird table.
22. Foster a child for PMB Child Welfare.
23. Get to know your neighbours if you don’t.
24. Give a lift to someone with no transport.
25. Give blood and save a life, maybe three.
26. Give R67 to PMB Community Chest.
27. Help the wild animals: clean up green areas.
28. ‘Help Rob do his Job’ – clean up the city.
29. Help Cindi plant a garden in France.
30. Hold a tea party to your neighbours.
31. Honour an elderly person like Mandela.
32. Hug someone that needs a warm touch.
33. Ideas for kids: tidy your room, do chores.
34. Join the local Community Policing Forum.
35. Keep the PMB Children’s Home open.
36. Knit squares for SPCA blankets.
37. Know your status: get a free HIV test.
38. Start learning one of the 11 official languages.
39. Make peace by settling a dispute.
40. Organise a work party to fix a community place.
41. Paint a wall at Lifeline’s house in the city.
42. Pay your school fees. The school needs them.
43. Pick up litter to clean up the rivers.
44. Plant a tree to beautify your community.
45. Prepare refreshments for those who serve.
46. Pretend it’s the last 67 minutes of your life.
47. Raise funds for charities that need them.
48. Recycle your rubbish to help the planet.
49. Remember apartheid, share the memories.
50. Remember those in prison – help NICRO.
51. Save the planet from plastic, it’s a no-no.
52. Say ‘thank you’ to community workers.
53. Share cuttings and plants from your garden.
54. Smile at people you encounter tomorrow.
55. Stand in line at a govt office for someone.
56. ‘Stop crime, say hello’ – join the move.
57. Talk about Nelson Mandela’s example.
58. Teach someone a skill or hobby you have.
59. Tell your ‘struggle’ stories to the children.
60. Tip someone, esp. if you don’t often.
61. Use your voice on audio-books for the blind.
62. Visit the Mandela Monument near Howick.
63. Visit someone who needs a visitor.
64. Volunteer to help a community group.
65. Walk a dog at the Woodhouse Road SPCA.
66. Wash a car, soccer club’s kit or church linen.
67. Write a will and leave money to charity.
Compiled by The Witness newspaper, Friday, July 17, 2009

I also referred to item #46 and then went through the Ten Commandments, which is the perfect Law that converts the soul (Psalm 19:7).

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) is the only moral standard we need to adhere to – God’s Law:

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make yourself any graven image (idols).
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain (blasphemy).
4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy.
5. Honour your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour (lie).
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house nor his wife and his possessions.

During the preaching of the Law and the Gospel of Grace that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) I told the hearers that if people love men – like Mr Mandela – more than God, then they are idolaters and they need to repent of their evil and wicked sins against a Holy and Just God.

The Bible says that it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27) and like each one of us, Mr Mandela will also stand before God Almighty on the Day of Judgment and give an account of his life. The only way we can receive eternal life is by repenting (turning from and forsaking evil and wicked sin) and throwing ourselves upon the mercy of Jesus Christ. He will return and judge this world in righteousness (Acts 17:30,31).

The second reading was the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and again a plea was made to the inhabitants of South Africa…

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

There is one Lawgiver and Judge – Almighty God. We do pray for Mr Mandela, and every other person still breathing, that they will truly repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Them that are born again are given a new heart, spirit and mind and will think Christ-like. Remember: “Over 700,000 babies have been killed by abortion in South Africa – officially, legally, often with tax payers’ money – since Nelson Mandela legalised abortion on demand, 1 February 1997. As head of the ANC Mandela didn’t even allow his parliamentarians a conscience vote, they were forced to vote for abortion” (The Battle for South Africa – Frontline Fellowship). According to God’s standards – that is MURDER.

The new “One Billion Rand” Gospel Tract was put to good use on Mandela Day. It reads as follows:

These days, we celebrate many freedoms… but are you really free? The Bible says that we are slaves… slaves to sin. What is sin? Sin is violating God’s law… the Ten Commandments. Need proof you are a slave to sin? Ever told a lie? The ninth commandment says, “You shall not lie.” Ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? That’s called Blasphemy. Have you looked with lust (sexual desire) after another person? Jesus said, “Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.” How many times have you been guilty of any of these serious violations? You, like the rest of us are a slave to sin. God’s word tells us that all liars, blasphemers, the sexually immoral, thieves, etc. will end up in the lake of fire… for eternity.

The Bible makes it clear that we have to be holy to go to heaven. The problem is “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We also read: “There is none righteous, no, not one… There is none who does good, no, not one.” God will justly judge you when you die and none who are unholy will enter heaven. We have to be holy to go to heaven.

But there is hope! God lowered Himself and became a man, Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect (sinless) life. Then, He died on the cross for you paying the penalty for sin. After three days he rose from the dead defeating death. Only His blood can make us holy! In order to have this holiness, you must repent (turn from your sin) and put your faith in Jesus Christ. Humble yourself, and start living for God. Realize you are created to give God all the glory! True freedom is only found in Jesus Christ. Read your Bible daily and obey what you read.

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