Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Territorial Church – the Church in Society

“Not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods.” (Acts 19:26)

You are warmly welcome!

It has been well asserted that the Church is called to be an instrument of transformation in society, and last Sunday’s preacher decried areas that need attention: captivity in
traditional beliefs and practices like witchcraft, resurgence of cunning false teachings
and satanic worship especially in schools, and increased secularism evidenced in attempts
to remove Christian principles and teachings from schools and the marriage institution. He called upon all Christians to be missioners to their own culture and confront these acts with the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit – this is the territorial Church.

The story in Acts 19 presents two strong leaders: Paul championed the gospel that heavily undermined idol worship to the extent that dealers in man-made gods were fast losing business. His leadership and preaching were so effective that those who heard him
in Ephesus spread the same gospel and “all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord” and “in almost all of Asia this Paul … persuaded and turned away a
great many people” (v.10,26). Paul had a small team that rocked the city famous as the host for one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world – the Temple of Diana. A new greater gospel wonder was seriously diminishing the long-standing goddess and her temple, and such transformation is what our world needs today. Captivity in traditional and
false beliefs and worship is affecting many people around and they need this gospel; and you can be the vessel to share the Word and bring deliverance and freedom to many.

Another leader is Demetrius. He was the chief loser when their business enterprise started feeling the effects of the gospel. He was a leader in working silver, and seems to have had many craftsmen and labourers working under him. The size of his company and this trade may be measured by the fact that the riotous demonstration they staged paralyzed the whole city. Demetrius therefore led a strike against the gospel because of selfish gain. There are some people in society who only mind their wealth or fame, and will fight the gospel and anything else that interferes. They lead and cause society to go astray
and reject the saving Word of God; watch out for them. Paul versus Demetrius: What kind of transformation are you contributing to?

God bless you!

Hurt by a friend

”Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy
are deceitful.” (Prov 27:6)

You are warmly welcome!

As seasons comes when we shall see no weddings, we shall hear no banns of marriage, hymns in minor keys will be sang, reflections on suffering will dominate, parties and
feasting will reduce for many, and some will be seriously fasting. Lent is a few weeks away; Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is on 05th March 2014. As a Christian and a member of the body of Christ, it is important that you plan to be part of the Lenten experience.
Today is particularly opportune to reflect on self denial for the sake of the Kingdom of God as we remember former Archbishop Janani Luwum who was martyred in 1977; a statue to this modern martyr stands today at Westminster Abbey in London.

Pain is not good, it is not pleasant; but understanding the importance of everything we go through makes it all beneficial. Another version of Prov 27:6 says, “A friend means well even when he hurts …” Jesus’ experience went to the extreme: God is such a friend! He hurt his Son when he led him to the wilderness to fast for forty days; He hurt him even more when He sent him to the cross to die! Jesus endured all this, not because it was sweet and nice, but because even when there was so much pain, Jesus was sure that a
loving Father meant well in all this. Paul also took his share of pain: in Ephesus he suffered
rejection by the synagogue Jews, and later a deadly opposition riot that threw him out.

Janani Luwum, in Uganda’s atrocious days of Idi Amin, warned that the Church should not conform to “the powers of darkness”, even if it meant enduring painful wounds.
A territorial Church is one that influences society positively in significant spheres such as
governance and economy; and this is what Luwum desired to see. He confessed he was
“prepared to die in the army of Jesus”; there he would be in the arms of Jesus.

So, experiencing pain caused by a true friend is something we should not despair about. It may be for discipline, correction, or preparation for a future challenge. Instead, rejoice
always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances (1Thess 5:16-17) – as long as you know it is in God’s will and a true friend is close by.

God bless you!

Love and Family

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony.” (Col 3:14)

You are warmly welcome!

We don’t really have to quote Aristotle to be convinced that man is by nature a social
animal; about things fundamental to human fulfillment, Stephen Covey also offers the
summary, ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy’. The need to love is our social need to
relate to other people, to belong, to love and to be loved. This need is fulfilled at various
levels: in loose acquaintances, close friendships, and at the deepest level, in the family. The Creator’s design was that this social need should find its ultimate satisfaction in family – a foretaste of our relationship with God as Father.

The family institution has suffered abuse in the course of time: many boys engage girls, then they can’t sustain the commitment and they let go; many consummate immature love in pre- and extra-marital sex that results in physical and emotional health hazards and lost children; others stop cultivating the relationships within a seemingly healthy family, and in goes stale soon or later! In these last days, the abuses have gone to the epitome of not only openly condoning but also legally authorizing unnatural relations in the name of freedom.

However, regardless of where you find yourself, it is important to cultivate healthy relationships with those who are now your family members, in the will and purpose of God. Paul the Apostle offers the view that true love is the indispensable binder in any healthy relationship. In fact, love binds all virtues together in perfect unity. In family, love goes beyond philanthropy, which overtly takes an expression of material giving, but is instead expressed in willing submission, mutual respect, obedience, considerateness, wholehearted service – and all these not just for a show or for fear of repercussions, but in reverence for the Lord.

One would wonder why a world and humanity so hungry for love, relatedness and belonging engages in heartbreaks and wars of the magnitude around us! With healthy families founded on love, other virtues would manifest in society and beat down selfishness, greed, malice, envy, and such other vices that keep dragging us back. Only God who is the source of real and true love will save us. We need Him to teach us and grow us in love that will impact positively.

God bless you!