Monthly Archives: September 2014

“I am the light”

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5)

Talk about healing, and today we need it badly in the Ebola-stricken West Africa especially in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. All the three are already poor countries, but the Ebola outbreak could make them even poorer. Sierra Leone and Liberia have both emerged from horrific civil wars and managed to rebuild their economies, but are now facing a reversal. About 3,000 people are reported to have died while many remain infected. Two eastern districts of Sierra Leone have been isolated since the beginning of August and the
extension of the indefinite quarantine means more than a third of her 6.1 million
population are now unable to move freely.

Devastating effects on the economy are expected as farms are being abandoned by people running away from the epicentres of the outbreak and going to areas that don’t have the disease. Steelmakers and miners have also been hit by the outbreak. Some mining
contractors declared “force majeure” and evacuated international members of staff and put the rest of the workforce in the area on leave. Pray for the healing of these nations!

I was fascinated by another need for healing, this time in France, where smoking is the main cause of death, with tens of thousands of people dying each year of tobacco-related illnesses. One commentator lamented, “We can’t accept that tobacco kills 73,000 people every year in our country – the equivalent of a plane crash every day with 200 people on board.” And such lifestyle vices are growing fastest among young people!

In today’s declaration, Jesus has good news for the most sophisticated suffering cases. The man that was born blind had been the subject of debate for a long time, and when the
disciples took opportunity to ask their Rabbi, He declared, “I am the light…” and a
miraculous healing was confirmation. He is our only hope. Check if you are taking your life lightly or carelessly in deadly lifestyle vices like smoking, drinking, sexual immorality,
reckless entertainment which is infested with witchcraft these days. This is darkness that can only be expelled by the Lord Jesus. But even for those suffering from tough diseases around us and in our hospitals, there is hope when we look to the giver of life, the Healer, Jesus Christ who still declares, “I am the light of the world”.

God bless you all!

In righteousness… established

“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established.”
(Is 54:13-14)

As a young preacher, Alfred decided to bite the bullet and boldly preach to street
prostitutes in his home town. They should have received the good news of salvation, but it sounded to them as business sabotage, and they instead insulted the man of God and promised him serious vengeance! A few days later, Alfred was attending to visitors at his home when suddenly an armed man cocked his gun and was ready to execute the promised sentence; but the young preacher fell prostrate and entered the most frightening minutes of his life. He made final prayers for his attacker, his young wife and their baby boy; yet it was not time for Alfred to meet his Creator. It must have been God’s intervention that moved back the hand of the enemy. Alfred survived and has over the years not only attained a doctorate in theology but continued preaching righteousness without fear or favour, as he did at the Kampala Diocesan Convention.

As the former chapter is a prophecy of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, of
his sufferings and death, and the glory that should follow, Isaiah 54 is a prophecy of that part of his glory which relates to the flourishing estate of his church, as the fruit of his death. The foundation of this prosperity and glory is righteousness. The complete
fulfillment of these glorious promises is dependent on the people’s righteousness. The turning of nations to worship the One True God will be turning to righteousness. There is no other way, no other foundation, no other route to the promised glory – only In
righteousness you shall be established.

A life of righteousness will many times take you through times of ultimate testing and
suffering, but the fruit at the end of the tunnel is sweet and everlasting. We have a gospel of righteousness to proclaim! In these days when liberalism and complacency have
attacked the Church, leader and born again Christian should be the first to watch the need for righteousness and just living in their own lives, before going out preaching the same. Believers in Christ cause mockery upon His Name when they take lightly this matter of righteousness. But when the Church is firm on this virtue, then righteousness will find a place to stand in the public square, in the market place, in our education institutions, in government systems, and in the nation.

God bless you all!

You are the light…

“… choose this day whom you will serve, …
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Josh 24:15)

The message of last Sunday was a reminder of the call on our lives to be guides, lights,
instructors and teachers, and to avoid causing the Name of the Lord to be blasphemed
because of our mismatching conduct (Rom 2:17,24). The case of calling oneself some
virtuous name and practicing the opposite is what St Paul is decrying because it shatters rising hope, destroys trust and creates and dangerously suspicious and unpredictable
society.

Today I have decided to specifically write to parents as leaders; these have a God-given place as guides, lights, instructors and teachers to those under their care. There are
natural expectations from leaders and parents and any underperformance hurts both
locally and widely. Joshua made a decision as a leader of his family after making an appeal as a leader of the nation of Israel. Both the national appeal and the family decision were
deliberate calls “to serve the Lord”. This is a critical area in which all leaders and parents need to take initiative to influence.

Our set up today has families that are headed by married parents, single mothers, single fathers, or close relatives. There are instances when even friends form some kind of family and there is a de facto leader. No matter what leadership setting, the responsibility of
leading those around you to “serve the Lord” is squarely on you. In the same way that Joshua took it upon himself, so are we called. As opposed to the home in which the father
relegates this noble task to the wife and children, every father is required to step forward and lead; where he is absent, the next in hierarchy takes full responsibility.

Practically, this leader should summon regular family prayers at home, and lead the
members to attend Sunday Services with the local congregation. Very importantly, this leader ought to bring the family to appear before the Lord in Thanksgiving every year (Deut 16:13-16). Done genuinely, this is the very heart of worship; it pleases the Lord and the family is blessed. The family that worships together enjoys a sweet fellowship with one another, with the community around them and with the Lord. As we await the Lord’s
coming – and He is coming to take us to be with him in delightful eternal fellowship – the
climax of our worship then shall stand on a solid foundation when we consistently and
corporately “serve the Lord” today.

God bless you!

You are the light

“and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, … circumcision is a matter of the heart.” (Rom 2:17-29)

Someone is looking up to you. Do you aspire to be a guide, a light, an instructor, or one that some people imitate? As you advance in education or business, as you listen the gospel affirm your faith, there is in each one of us a God-given mandate to lead others, to inspire, to help them become better, even to bring them closer to God. It is time for you to review your performance in that position.

One of the challenges of being a Pastor’s child is managing expectations from those who know that bit of your background; some hope you should turn out to be an angel, while others have seen the worst rogues out of this group and think all are alike. The Priest is
expected to be a guide, a light, a teacher, and his offspring should follow in that way, and some indeed become even greater pastors; but there are some who go the opposite
direction and shatter the expectations of parents and public! The saying Paul quotes is
applicable to this situation: “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (Rom 2:24). Indeed some people go farther away from church and Christ because of the darkness in the children of ‘light’.

The Jewish recipients of Paul’s letter to the Romans had many among them who only boasted of their circumcision background and counted it so high a qualification. They took pride in being of the Jewish race that they considered more favoured by God than any other. They looked down upon the Gentiles with such scorn oblivious of God’s salvation plan for all humankind. Theirs was supposed to be a position at the door to usher Gentiles into the Kingdom of God, but they instead just stood in the way and blocked intending
entrants instead! In what matters have we behaved the same way?

In whatever you do, remember, someone is looking up to you. The desire for quick gains has inundated our papers with scandal after scandal, and many of these involve members of Christian Churches, and children of ‘light’. Are you able to tame your desires and put on patience so that you may have the joy of being a faithful steward? It is not enough to have a good background, or even a tough and bad one; your position of influencing others
requires deliberate surrender to the will of God today; it is a matter of the heart.

God bless you!

Children of God

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

Are you one of those children of God? What an honour to be a royal of the eternal
Kingdom! In the antiquities of West African kingdoms there was a prominent and famous leader, Mansa Musa in the Keita dynasty of the great Mali Empire. Musa is said to have
succeeded a man with whom he had no blood relationship at all, yet there were legitimate sons that could taken the throne. He was appointed deputy or assistant of his predecessor, and when his boss went for an expedition on the Atlantic Ocean and never returned, Musa took over leadership of the great Empire; the servant became king, to reign even over the rightfully worthy princes and the entire royal house.

More stories of unworthy little people attaining privileged positions are in plenty. One in the Bible is that of the grandson of King David’s arch-enemy Saul his predecessor. The
hostility that King Saul showed to David warranted the annihilation of his entire house when David finally succeeded in becoming king of Israel. But to the astonishment of
everyone, David brought one of those family members and adopted him as a son in the royal palace! “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.” (2Sam 9:11). Doesn’t this case remind you that those eating at the Lord’s Table as children were once sinners and enemies of their Creator?

By grace, in the Lord, a servant becomes a king, a hostile alien becomes a prince; you truly are a child of God when you accept his gracious invitation. And if you are still far away, the good news is that the invitation is still open, join us in the highest royal palace and take your place as prince or princess of the Most High King. The qualification is nothing in our human reach, but the access bridge has been constructed by Jesus Christ. He is the Word of life, the Light of the world, and all who put their faith in Him receive the right to become children of God. He calls and says, “Abide in Me”, and that we do by continuing in faith and a responsive relation with Him.

Child of God, blessed are you because you have assurance of life today and a joyful eternal fellowship in heaven tomorrow; you will live a life free of the uncertainties of nature as you have a caring Father to whom you can surrender all. Thank God for the grace that drew you in.

God bless you!