A ten percent tithe comes standard with the Christian faith. So when a small child in Nigeria – the home-nation of Mercy Lokulutu – found his pockets empty during a worship service, he was at a loss.
“He had nothing to give, so he walked up the aisle and put himself in the large basket,” Lokulutu told Regent University students, staff and faculty at the final University Chapel of the spring session. “Many of us give ten percent of our tithe, but very few of us give 100 percent of our hearts.”
Lokulutu is a self-proclaimed pastor’s kid, and confesses with a hint of irony that she’s in need of prayer. Simply because as a woman who’s grown up with the gospel message, she, like so many others, runs the risk of letting the message of the gospel get diluted with a slice of an almost-boredom.
“We’ve heard the gospel story a million times, so it’s easy for us to go for the familiar and forget to be ‘all in,'” said Lokulutu.
She encouraged her audience to strive to be like the little Nigerian boy who placed himself in the offering basket. Her chapel leadership served as a reminder for the astonishing. “Christ left heaven voluntarily – scandalously, even,” said Lokulutu. “And it wasn’t a film trick, Jesus Christ became a man. Does this boggle your mind?”
She explained that her favorite version of scripture in The Message states that Christ became man and “moved into the neighborhood.” Christ didn’t only stop at becoming man.
“He did this so he could understand your bad day at work, your stress of finals – he did it so he could understand me when I want to pull out my hair because my kids are driving me crazy,” said Lokulutu. “And not only that, but he literally became sin – do you know what this means? It means he didn’t only die for you. He died as you,” said Lokulutu. “He redeemed you.”
Lokulutu explained that in her faith-walk, Christ was always responsible for “upping the ante.” Because, according to Lokulutu, not only are Christ’s followers redeemed, they get heaven, too.
“This isn’t a courtroom drama. Words don’t intercede for you,” said Lokulutu. “Christ’s wounds intercede for you.”
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