Edification for Interpretation
By: Femi Omotoyinbo
With the admonition of Christ (Mark 16:15); Christianity was activated with a potency of diffusion. Just like the valued Israelites in their exodus and divine displacements, the Gospel has transpired almost round the universe. Starting with the Acts of the Apostles, especially the Philip’s encounter with the African Treasurer under the Candice (Acts 8:27), Christianity as the Good News has transpired deep into nooks and crannies. It is not out of cognition that most of the causes of the movement of the gospel are not conventional, rather divine. The Apostles never held a general meeting in order to bring about salvation into the other ends of the world. Yet the gospel spreads for it is having the default feature of perpetual diffusion.
The unique feature of diffusion has never really paved way for the smooth movement of the Good News. In other words, the spread of the gospel is not as simple as ABC or as easy as scoring Zero. The movement has been bedevilled with serious perturbing challenges. Most times the movement is paused due to lack of constant transitional mediums, persecution of the few labourers and corruption of the real gospel by the exigencies of globalization. Even if the gospel keeps spreading the problem of understanding it still stands tall. Yes, missionaries are flooding the remote spheres of the Earth but the challenges persist due to subjectivity of language. Individual groups on the earth have peculiar rules by which their linguistic games are played. This is a clog in the wheel of the gospel. Attempts to solve the problem can be holistically traced to the quests for interpreters by missionaries.
The acquisition of interpreters seems to solve the problem: the cursor is now on the problem of the interpretation and interpreters. Anyone with dual tongue can grab the microphone and interchange statements under the guidance of semantics to the sweet melancholy of the congregation. Is there anything more of an interpreter than this?
[Writing on interpreters does not make me one nor does it make me an authority on interpretation. But my pen puts all these down under the auspices of the Holy Ghost.] It is worth knowing that the spiritual vocation of an interpreter is as risky as preaching.
Beginning with the individuality of interpreters it will be open that there are individual differences; but there are also universal peculiarities that are deserving of an average interpreter. Interpretation is a gift not a vocation – there is nothing like Bible College of Interpreters. It is a gift of God that can be developed. However, this gift is neither cheap nor easy. On this note a good interpreter is someone with these three main attributes: academic buoyancy, psychogenic balance and spiritual maturity.
To be academically buoyant entails more than getting educated. It involves possessing and mastering some skills like listening and understanding skills. These two must also be managed to work pari passu with good diction. It is commonsensical that one must listen to understand; then one can be able to relate what one understands in desired language. Being academically balanced also accommodates being linguistically creative. Since interpreted words are no more the exact raw words; there is need for creativity in order to maintain the originality of meanings in the given words.
Psychogenically balanced interpreters are known by their composure. They are not easily confused for they are broad minded. This aspect obviously deals with the mind. It is an attribute whereby the interpreter will flow along with the preacher and even understanding what is a bit difficult for the preacher to express clearly.
Importantly, it also involves being emotionally conscious. The congregation consists of human beings that are bound to display emotions that may be either positive or negative to the flow of the sermon. In this case the interpreter should be able to blend words into their emotions having it in mind that the Good News (even the interpreted version) is a seed that germinates on cultivated soils. Instances include making the congregation smile, even if the Preacher is a bit stiff emotionally. For such a task, the psychogenically balanced interpreter must be broad minded in virtue of using contextual dictions and not a dry fabrication of his/her own.
Spiritual maturity as the third main attribute is basically a juxtaposition of the prior two attributes. That is, the interpreter should be academically and psychogenically inclined with the scriptures. Thanks to the unique attribute of diffusion that I said the Good News is having at the onset. This has led to a sort of linguistic procreation in which there are other language versions of the Bible. The interpreter is thus enabled to sometimes pick words directly from the scriptures. Going by this, this attribute involves being scripturally intelligent. The broad mind, on the other hand must contain offhand quotations from the Bible; this for sure, foster the interactive link between the preacher and the interpreter. Another point under this aspect is what I call the “Soul of the Second Mouth.” In this respect the interpreter should be self aware that s/he is neither the mixer nor the microphone. The word of God – which is sharper than two edged sword (Heb 4:12) – should therefore impact everyone’s including that of the interpreter (The Second Mouth). The Gospel is for the soul and later extended to the body; since the interpreter is not devoid of these, he/she should take heed lest s/he unconsciously exclude him/herself from the sermon.
It is of high importance to note that boldness can be accrued from this attribute of Spiritual maturity; especially when the interpreter can trust in the Lord for help as he prays before and after every act of interpreting.
With the three main attributes (as discussed above) the interpretation is now placed on good footing; an excellent step to ultra-excellence. Interpretation is variably of dual kinds: the common one is Mother-tongue interpretation which is the verbal translation of a foreign language (whether local or international) into your original dialect or language. The second type, which is the reversal of the former, is called Non-mother tongue interpretation. An example of this occurs when the preacher speaks in dialect i.e. Idoma, while the interpreter inter-switch it with English. English here is a non-modern tongue language.
Neither of these two is devoid of challenges. The challenges might be natural or human facilitated. Coping with them is thus another task in interpretation.
Interpretation is a ministry unto honour; one can be an esteemed vessel therein if one will not disdain the given opinions here. Remember that for our services to be acceptable to God, it will not be rendered in holiness alone but also in decency and orderliness (I Cor. 14:40).
Author Resource:-> This article is a piece drawn from an insightful work on the issue of Interpretation in Churches as written by Femi Omotoyinbo.
It is thus written to aid individuals in the lane of perpetuating the Kingdom of God.
Article From Christian Articles
Contentment in Christ
By: Susan Ferguson
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV)
The apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote to the Philippians. Written in his later years (61 A.D.), this great man of God had to learn to be content, just as we do.
True contentment is rare and doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Much of our discontentment stems from our sin nature that’s naturally self-centered. (Galatians 5:17) Comparing our lot in life with those who are more prosperous, successful, or talented than we are can fuel discontentment. To complicate matters, the world we live in encourages dissatisfaction with our lives. There’s always something new that will make life better. There’s always a dream that must come true before our lives are complete. But when that dream is fulfilled, we often discover it has its problems. Real contentment comes from the joy of knowing Christ, serving others, and realizing just how blessed we are.
Be inspired by the words of Charles H. Spurgeon:
“Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated. It will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in it.”
Author Resource:-> www.knittedtogetherbygod.com
By: Curt Klingerman
Have you ever felt ripped off? You know, paid for something, but didn’t quite get what you expected. Someone gave you a bill of sale, but never delivered the goods. Do you ever feel like you’re not paid what you’re worth? You do things with excellence, go beyond what is expected, yet the payment doesn’t reflect the effort. Have you seen someone take advantage of another, and it assaults your sense of justice? Have you ever taken advantage of another? When it comes to Jesus, how just are you?
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed me white as snow.” This is the first line of a chorus of a popular hymn that many churches sing. You probably have sung it yourself. The Bible clearly states that we were bought with a price and we are not our own (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
If you agree with this statement, how would you answer this question: did Jesus get what He paid for? Does He have all of you, or only part of you? The Father gave His Son for us, so what are we giving Him in return?
When believers fail to yield everything to God, they miss out on untold blessings. One of the greatest blessings you can have is intimacy with Him. He paid the price for that intimacy. All we have to do is surrender everything to enjoy what intimacy has to offer. It did not require your blood. Sure, following Christ means persecution; however, we cannot compare our suffering to the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. In the secret place of the Most High, there is fullness of joy. Some miss out on that joy because they refuse to be vulnerable. Even though the Lord knows everything about them, which includes their secret thoughts, some refuse to open up to Him. They don’t express their weaknesses and shortcomings. They may indeed confess their sins, but they won’t talk about their disappointment with God, much less, their anger toward Him. Have you ever felt like a relationship you have is suffering, because someone wont be honest with you? If you feel distant in your relationship with the Father, ask yourself if you are holding something back.
Obedience comes with the territory. If you claim Jesus as your Savior, did you receive Him as Lord? That may sound cliché, but you’d be surprised how many want to be lord, while claiming Jesus is Lord. They will obey only to the extent it is convenient to them. For example, some may give out of their pocket book, but they won’t give of themselves. Some actually believe time belongs to them. “That would be a waste of my time.” If one refuses to obey what the Lord is leading him or her to do, he or she is holding back. Jesus is getting shortchanged.
We say, “To God be all the glory and honor,” but how much do we try to keep for ourselves when we do something “for Him?” Do we need recognition in order to do something for someone else? Can we seriously do works of faith in secret? Do we crave human affirmation more than the Lord’s? This is not meant to be harsh. Everyone deals with this one at some point in his or her life. It’s a growth thing.
What things do we hang onto that the Lord has asked us to let go? That can range from a number of things. Here’s one, since God has forgiven us of our sins, why would anyone hold another in unforgiveness? When someone decides not to forgive another, he or she is being unequal. Part of the Kingdom’s justice system states, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). When the Father has forgiven us so much at His own expense, how can we not forgive? Jesus brings great clarity on this issue in Matthew 18:21-35. Justice treats others as God treats us. Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Our key to being just, is love. It’s the key that opens all the treasures of heaven. When we walk in love, our sense of fair play flows through us. It enables us to relinquish control, be compassionate and extend mercy.
Author Resource:-> www.perfectfaith.org
When God is Silent: What does it mean?
By: Carmen Love
Have you ever felt like you were alone? Have you ever felt like God was distant? Silent? Have you felt like He’s just simply ignoring you no matter how much you’ve prayed or how hard you’ve cried out? Do you feel like giving up because you’re too exhausted to continue moving forward? You are doing everything you can to show God’s love everywhere you go. You pray, fast, declare, decree, worship, speak faith filled words, rebuke demons, and still there no answer from God.
One of the most difficult things I had to do when chaos surrounded me and feelings of hopelessness enveloped me like a dark cloud, was surrendering everything to an almighty, all sovereign God whom I felt wasn’t listening to me anymore. When my hopes and dreams were shattered and nothing I did seemed to work, I felt like quitting. In frustration, I simply threw my hands up and decided I could not take another day of this madness in my life. I felt like I had made such a mess of my life and there was no possibility of restoration. Friends surrounded me with love, hugs, and prayer… and I still felt hopeless. It was hard for me to conceptualize the reality that maybe this is it for me and nothing more, especially after trusting, believing, and striving for so long.
I watched sermons, read my Bible, prayed harder, and it was all met with utter silence. A silence that only reinforced the feelings I had growing up. My soul wounds resurfaced even stronger because I felt that God had turned His back like the others who had wounded me years ago. I felt worthless, insignificant, and simply unimportant, and now God’s silence was only magnifying this in my life. I questioned Him relentlessly, asking what I had done so egregious that made Him turn His back on me. I began to question every action, every thought, just about everything I had ever done in my life, asking for forgiveness. Still, I heard nothing from above.
I suddenly came to the realization that I was thinking way too much about nothing, and as a result, inviting more of nothing into my life. I realized that I was placing too much emphasis on lack and what was wrong, than right. Whatever we dwell on is what we attract more of. So with this epiphany, I decided to shift my focus on the simple fact that everything I was asking God to do had already been done in the spiritual realm, and all I had to do was relax this sinful flesh long enough to be able to receive it at the right time. I realized that there is nothing we can do to manipulate this all knowing all sovereign God who has already mapped out and planned every detail of our lives. I realized that I did not have to beg, plead, nor become discouraged, because His will had already been established in my life. I just needed to keep trusting and believing, with patience, until His plan unfolded.
By the time I understood all of this, I was exhausted mentally. I felt emotionally depleted as if I lacked the mental capacity to absorb another lesson. And then I realized that sometimes God will sit back and allow us to wear ourselves out long enough until we come to the very end of ourselves and realize that His grace is sufficient in whatever circumstances we are facing. He wants us to be still and know that He is God all by Himself. He has given us a portion of grace and mercy to meet us right where we are, and the only thing we have to do is to have a grateful heart. We need to just simply surrender everything over to His will, His plan, His way, and then offer up praise and thanksgiving for all that He’s done and all that He is going to do.
We worry too much about what people are doing to us, what they think of us, our circumstances, how we look, bills, money, and the cares of this life to the point where we lose focus on the source that has all the answers to all of these things. When we change our focus and place it on things that inspire us, we begin to see the manifestation of God’s goodness and mercies begin to show up in our lives like never before.
When we dwell on the goodness and promises of God instead of focusing on what we can see with the natural eye, is when things begin to shift in our favor. There is an appointed time and season for everything. God has not forgotten about you, He just simply wants you to lift your hands in praise and thanksgiving and trust Him with your life and all that’s in it.
If we dwell on everything which is God, then everything we need begins to show up at the right time. God is definitely up to something when everything appears dark, when people turn their back on us, when we lose jobs, when we are betrayed, when our children are wayward and disrespectful, and when we are rejected and abandoned.
Whatever you are facing is nothing new to God, and He has already provided an answer. He is right there with you in the middle of your mess, and He will continue to provide everything that you need. It’s time to start praising Him for what he has already done. Never stop praying. The best way to fight is on your knees.
Author Carmen Love © September 14, 2013
Author of: They Loved with a Closed Fist
Pearls of Fire & pearls of Fire II Re-Birth
Author Resource:-> Author Carmen Love © September 14, 2013
Author of: They Loved with a Closed Fist
Pearls of Fire & pearls of Fire II Re-Birth
By: Curt Klingerman
In order to speak words of hope, you must maintain hope in your heart. Therefore, you must purpose to believe God. Remember His Word to you, as well as His faithfulness to you. Recount in your heart what He has done for you. Just as you stir up the gifts by way of remembrance, so do you stir up hope (see 2 Timothy 1:6). When you testify of His goodness you received, you express hope to others. In turn, it stirs up in them the desire for God, and with that desire, faith as the result of hearing the Word of faith. With faith comes hope, and with hope in the Lord, joy. With joy comes strength to continue in Him with all hope and peace.
As it is written, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Without hope, there is no strength of heart because there is no joy. Hope and joy are connected.
Many struggle with depression because they have no hope.
As believers, we are to be carriers of hope, and as carriers, we are also givers of hope. If we withhold hope, we actively feed depression. By speaking contrary to the Word of God, we resist hope both in our lives and in others. If we agree with hopelessness, we can actually perpetuate darkness. Anything that removes faith, imparts death; for, we live by faith (see Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).
Walking by faith actually increases hope. Therefore, if we want to bring hope to the world, we must make a conscious decision to walk by faith. A result of walking by faith is that others are afforded the opportunity to see God working in the life of another. “If God will work in his life, perhaps He will work in mine as well.”
When people are drawn to you because of the hope that you have, you have a place of influence.
They will want to be around you because they want what you have. They want hope. Hope works like a spiritual magnet. People follow hope. Those who are desperate crave it. It gives them something to hold onto during the darkest of times, and helps them maintain their course as they navigate through life.
Obviously, those who love darkness more than the Light will never have true hope. As long as they embrace it, they will only know depravity and hopelessness. At best, they will find temporary fixes in the world. Ultimately, apart from repentance, they will find sorrow upon sorrow with eternal hopelessness. That being said, do not be surprised if some people are actually repelled by you, even if you have hope. Hope is the fruit of light, and those who love darkness may crave the hope, but they want nothing to do with the Light.
The Word of hope has been delivered unto mankind. In some places of the world, it has free course, and in others it doesn’t. Nonetheless, it is unstoppable. In some places considered free, the Word of hope has actually been restricted by that very freedom. Restricted in the sense that those who have it, take it for granted. They don’t understand and appreciate its value. In those places that outright restrict God’s Word, it is greatly appreciated by those who have it. It’s a commodity to them. It is precious, where His Word is considered precious, it grows and spreads rapidly.
As eluded to already, the Word of God is more restricted in some free societies where the governments have no law banning the Word than those that don’t. Why? Because those who “have it” are more concerned about the material world than the Kingdom of God. Since the Word of hope is not as precious to them, they don’t share it with others as they could. Status and acceptance is more important. As Jesus said, “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the Word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22 [NASB]). When the world is more important, people become less concerned about others having hope.
Some say they don’t know the Bible well enough to share the Word of God with others, and are incapable of discipling them. If they don’t spend time in the Bible, how can they know it? If worldly things have priority, then their Bibles will simply collect dust, and they will become unfruitful.
We are exhorted to not love the things of the world; yet, some people believe grace endorses their lack of commitment.
It’s as if grace gets them off the hook in relation to the work of the Gospel. They fail to recognize that even though they are saved from the wrath to come, they are not exempt from the Judgment Seat of Christ. They will give an account. Those with careless attitudes don’t realize the loss they are suffering even now. They have forgotten the exhortation to store up treasures in heaven. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13. each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (see also Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10 [NASB]).
Carelessness is overcome by love.
When you love well, you will care well. Your concern turns outward. Instead of trying to gain worldly goods, you focus on giving the Kingdom of God to others. The Word of hope becomes important to you, and the desire for others to have it intensifies. When you love God, you love the things of God. Obedience to Him becomes the priority, and that includes evangelism. The Bible becomes important as well because it reveals the One you love. That love increases the desires to know Him. What is imperative to the Lord becomes imperative to you.
Author Resource:-> www.perfectfaith.org