Arrested by the beauty of God’s grace and
His awesome love for us, we can but only boast in the Cross of our Lord Jesus
“But far be it from me to boast [in anything or anyone], except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” - Gal. 6: 14 (AMP)
We can only brag about the awesome grace, love and opportunity we’ve received because of what Christ did on the Cross.
Millions and millions of people are fascinated with the symbol/sign of the Cross but, there is a true eternal message of truth and a hopeful future that it portrays/proclaims.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.” - 1 Cor. 1:18 (AMP)
A few years ago we planted a church in Bloemfontein “Our Father’s Home Church”. We were challenged with a timeframe of six months to find a premises for Our Father’s Home Church along with Creare Training Centre that had more than twenty full-time staff and more than twenty full-time students. Facilities were needed to give classes weekly (especially music to more than two hundred children). We really had to seek God’s face as it had become a time sensitive matter if the ministries would be able to continue functioning or not.
On the same day we received the challenge to find new premises, God showed me a specific church building in Universitas. The next day I inquired about the church building but it was not for sale. The only other place that spoke to my heart was a seven hectares plot more than 17 kilometres outside of Bloemfontein.
I went to this piece of land more than twenty times in a period
of five months. Many of those times I was frustrated because I did not
understand what God was doing. But in the same breath, I would point to a big piece
of land on the way to the plot, laugh and say; “This piece of land is Plan A
for what God wants to do.”
Five and a half months after we received the challenge (two weeks before we had to evacuate), the pastor of the church in Universitas, that I felt lead to go to in the beginning, phoned me and asked if I would still want that specific church building with its offices.
God did a major miracle and we could buy the church premises in the city at a miracle price! But that’s not where this story ends.
After having a meeting with Uncle Angus Buchan about ministering with a trumpet at the last Mighty Men Conference, in Greytown, I drove all the way out to that seven hectares plot, again. I stood there saying; “God, I am wasting my time here. It is distracting my focus. You have given us that awesome place in the city. Why am I here?” I realized then that God wanted to do something in the region. I prayed for the region. The piece of land where the big prayer event (It’s Time) happened, and also the piece of land on the opposite side of the R700, where a large amount of vehicles and busses were parked for the event were right in front of me, the land where we planted the crosses on the hill.
How? I felt lead to go to a city planner and ask about the seven hectares’ plot, if he thought it would be possible to build a church with a Christian school, camping ground, and sports facilities on a seven hectares plot or if it would be too small?
I also asked him to find out, “for interests’ sake”, who the owner was of that big piece of land, that I pointed to many times and stated as God’s Plan A for us.
We were about thirty to forty working people in the church at that stage, and I found that nobody in the church owned any property around Bloemfontein at that stage, except one man. I did not know where his property was, but the brother that I took with me to this meeting with the city planner, did. It belonged to that one man in our church who owned property.
I phoned him and asked him to pray about selling roughly ten hectares to the church. He and his wife had experienced to not sell ten hectares (part of the land), but to sow 215 hectares into the work of the ministry. To God alone be the glory! Our Father’s Home Church now owns a farm, on the corner of the N1 & R700, where we planted three crosses on the hill. One part of the vision was to build a Christian school on the farm, and we are currently building it on the far end of the 215 hectares. Part of the vision for the hill I had, was that the message of the cross needs to be seen.
When a brother, in Christ, came to me about the vision of the three Crosses on that hill, I realized that the time is now.
We experienced that the crosses must be up by the Easter Weekend of 2017, and so we trusted the Lord for strategies on how to plant the crosses, but also how to install lights on the crosses to make them visible at night.
Four to five months later we were excited to hear that there will be the “It’s Time” event, with a million people, bringing their lives and their nation before Him, on the farm across from our church’s farm. They would have a full view of the crosses on the hill, as the event was scheduled for two to three days after the weekend we experienced the crosses had to be fully functional.
But, after many unsuccessful meetings with various people and businesses, I told my wife one morning, that if we find all the materials for the crosses today, the crosses will only be functional a week after the “It’s Time” event. I went to work a bit discouraged, only to receive a phone call from my wife about ten minutes later, telling me that one of her best friends phoned her and told her that they prayed that morning and felt they need to help Cornelis with something. They asked, “What is going on?”
My wife shared the vision about the crosses with them and at the end of the day, they came to Bloemfontein and took on the project. I was given so many excuses by so many other business and engineers as to why a lot of the detail that I felt was needed, was not possible. The height, steel, sleeper wood, support system, positioning, etc. And yet, all of those details were made possible and we give God all the glory for that.
God gave me so many strategies in the entire process, things like how to have structures in place to not have to use cables, and with the lights - where to put the sun panels so that there’s no other visible structures needed on the hill. I really felt there must be one focus on the hill, the crosses, as a sign of the new covenant, the message of the cross; the message of reconciliation.
Every detail of the crosses had a miracle in it; from where the sun panels were placed on the horizontal beams of the cross, to the LED lights, H-frame steel, positioning, foundation, heights, etc. All have awesome testimonies to be told…..
Everything was finished one to two days before the “It’s Time” event started. Many people who were involved in the process have awesome testimonies about the process and how everything happened. God touched us as a whole as He made this dream a reality on the hill outside of Bloemfontein.
Those crosses are declaring and explaining the love of God. He gave everything for us, but also expects everything from us. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Gal. 2:20 (NIV)
And the testimony of the crosses still continue. After a few years we became aware of a beehive in one the crosses. The beehive became bigger and was on the inside of the sleeper cladded crosses, where the bees used the H-frame steel of the crosses to form their hive.
We realized that sooner or later we would have to remove the hive, especially for the safety of children that join their families or friends for events on the hill.
What an amazing surprise at the abundant amount of honey found at the two-meter supporting beam of the cross, and at least two meters further up in the vertical beam of the cross.
I think God just wanted to remind us in a beautifully simplistic way that His Words, the message of the Cross, are so much sweeter than honey. His destiny for us with milk and honey has one central theme: The Cross of Christ!
With more than 600 scriptures in the Word of God about honey, we have so much to say about our Creator’s creative expressions, even with the message that He wanted to emphasize through honey.
May the beauty of Father God’s heart, be seen through what Christ has done on the Cross. May it arrest our lives, to worship Him, and to know Him forever.
May the Cross of Christ be central to all the sweetness of our lives and may we always stand in awe and respect, when we try to comprehend the excellence of His grace, as we focus on the Cross of Christ.
Like the sinner on the cross asked Jesus; “Think of me…” we must remember the words of Christ; “You will be with Me…”. For tomorrow God will be with us, when we understand how to surrender our lives unto Him. What a pure, beautiful life God has in store for us, especially as scripture says: “taste and see that the Lord is good” – Ps. 34:8 (NIV)
We trust that many dreams and visions from the heart of God, will be fulfilled and even facilitated on the 215 hectares, especially for the next generation.
But with one central focus; God’s heart of love and grace seen through the Cross of Christ.
I pray that everyone who heard about the honey in the crosses will remember the Father’s plan for their lives. His word, His dream is so much more beautiful, pure, flavoursome than the pure honey coming from creation.
Come and visit us on the hill, where we come together sometimes to worship the King (as the Body of Christ), but please also share with us your testimony about the crosses on the hill, and what God has shared with you about His heart through it.
Remember He is excited about you: Zephaniah 3:17