Monthly Archives: March 2015

Godliness with Contentment

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1Tim 6:6)

You are warmly welcome!

In this month we celebrate women a little too much, but that is ok. Only two weeks ago was Women’s Day, and here now is the Feast of Mary the Mother of Jesus. Women in many Churches have prepared special observances in commemoration of this feast. The Women Ministry of Kampala Diocese chose the theme ‘Godliness with Contentment’ for this year, and Mary the Mother of Jesus is an excellent character to bring alive these virtues.

In this generation women seem to be ‘taking over’ – they dominate the markets,
leadership in government and in the church, and affirmative action has only made the
situation ‘better’ for them: But it is important to realize the character of Mary, which did not strive for high places of power and wealth – trying by human might and power to go up – but she possibly knew that ‘… those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and
destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils’ (1Ti 6:9-10).

On the other hand, we see Mary’s godliness with contentment being rewarded with favour: she needed to know that it was favour and not merit; the visiting Angel Gabriel had to say it twice: ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! … Mary, for you have found favor with God.’ (Luke 1:28-30). Favour is great, but not many of us will have the faith and
patience enough to just receive the favour of the Lord with contentment. It is like leaning on a wall whose foundation you are not sure of – but the Lord is the one who laid the
foundations of the earth, and we should never doubt when leaning on his favour.
Are today’s women mainly striving for merit and ignoring favour?

The result of Mary’s situation was praise and exultation: ‘My soul magnifies… and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’. Her rejoicing was not in wealth or land or a powerful position or mere physical beauty – while she may not have lacked these, she rejoices in the
ultimate – in ‘God my Saviour’. Her testimony is that the Lord ‘looked on the humble estate of his servant… and his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation’ – this is why we should emulate Godliness with contentment. In the end it pays; in the end there is rejoicing; in the end there is peace. And that is not only in the end but those who
discover the secret of godliness with contentment will enjoy the peace and joy both now and tomorrow and in eternity.

God bless you and shower you with His favour.

Disciples’ Discipline

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Col 2:6-7)

You are warmly welcome!

This message is dedicated to those who recently won elections, those who have
committed their lives to follow Jesus Christ, and those who recently received a policy agenda for triggering Uganda’s leap forward. Whether you have committed yourself to
follow a great manifesto or a great master, this requires discipline. Many dictionaries will define discipline as ‘the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior,
using punishment to correct disobedience.’ Discipline is more positive than that: in the
Bible it refers to moral discipline – the strenuous cultivation of the righteous life, or simply “sobering”. It is therefore of great benefit to be in deliberate control of your direction with purpose and a clear goal. Without discipline, one staggers and sluggishly and stagnantly rotates around the same place, to staleness!

The word ‘disciple’ means a learner, or in the widest sense refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life; the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. Whether you have committed
yourself to follow a great manifesto or a great master, you are as such a disciple.
The disciple needs discipline to successfully learn and live, to follow and reach the goal. The apostle Paul gives believers encouragement to exercise the disciples’ discipline when he speaks to Colossians that had received Christ Jesus as Lord:

a) Walk in Him: Call upon Him in the morning and in the evening, meditate on Him
constantly to make your practices conformable to His principles; think about and consult Him while in that valley of decision; when your conscience convicts you of straying or sin or indecency or money dealings,yield to the will of Christ your Lord– walk in Him.

b) Rooted and built up in Him – He is your anchor without whom you will wander and get lost in the sea of the world; he is your foundation without whom your faith will collapse at the slightest wind of deception; he is your fertile soil, your source of water, minerals and nutrients without whom you will dry up and starve spiritually and die; he is your reference point from whom all your values spring.

c) Abounding in thanksgiving – first and most importantly for the saving revelation of Christ as Lord and Saviour, in whom you have put your faith; and then many other reasons for thanksgiving – numerous gifts if you care to count. Whether in political leadership, strategic management or just in our daily lives, the need for discipline
cannot be overemphasized. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can give you the power to keep the focus.

God bless you as you constantly exercise the disciples’ discipline!

Plans for welfare

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be exiled, and pray to Jehovah for it. For in its peace you shall have peace.
(Jeremiah 29:7)

You are warmly welcome!

Prophecy (speaking out the Word of God in the moment) has two sides to it: the Word
itself, and the art of delivering it (with pictures, figures, illustrations, language and some sort of psychosis). It is an honourable thing to be called a prophet or at least it was in Jeremiah’s time; and some people sought after the title, even through prophesying with good art yet the message was their own making. Their message sounded good
to the hearers and even seemed logical – but it was not from the Lord. They are sternly warned, and Jeremiah takes on the hard task of saying bitter truths in a lengthy letter to a disoriented people in exile.

It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. (Eccl 7:5)

The Lord has plans for you: these are intentions, purposes, thoughts that are deep, clever, detailed and long term. To what end? They are plans for welfare – that is wellbeing, good health, prosperity, shalom (peace). The Lord remains faithful to those who seek him even when a calamity sweeps over the whole nation. The Lord will work out a way by which the upright will find welfare in the storm or captivity. A little more endurance will prove that the welfare does not necessarily come when you are plucked out of the ‘captivity’, but while still in that place, welfare can be found! From Joseph to Daniel and Mordecai the same testimony rings: they gave their wits and talents to serve foreign authorities and they were rewarded immensely; elevated as bringers of welfare. “Seek the welfare of the city … and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare”.

In and around Kyambogo, every believer must dedicate time to think and pray about the issues of the land and the city in which we find ourselves in this season. In the University, every semester demands prayers for peace and tranquility; the instabilities faced by this community must end and peace must prevail – both in this campus and in our homes and families. More so, we must rise against the idolatry and witchcraft in the land; as many people come from various backgrounds and bring worship and belief systems that may be contaminated with evil, believers are called upon to arise and seek the spiritual welfare of the land – in watching and praying and calling upon the Lord Almighty to build His throne here.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth, and the good plan he has for us includes for us to be salt and light to this world while we are here today. May God bless you as you watch, pray and shine.

God bless

Mission: Salvation and the Kingdom of God

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
(John 5:6)

You are warmly welcome!

I hate being redundant; this means boredom and time just doesn’t seem to shift; it is
almost sickening – and so it is for many of us. We all were created to be engaged in some
activity. A jobless graduate who has not even found somewhere to volunteer will certainly have a sad tale to tell. Our Creator made us in His own image, and just as He is always at work, so must we. Now let me draw your attention to the noblest of vocations: I call upon all of us to focus on and be involved in God’s Mission: God has work for you, and this week is dedicated to reinvigorating our awareness of this fact, as we reach out to the University and surrounding areas with the gospel.

The Message of Salvation: Are you concerned about many people around us who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ in order to put their faith in him and be saved? Some of these are your friends or even relatives. There is need for witnessing and calling them to salvation. Others have been born again before and they fell; they still come to Church but their love grew cold and they need to be assisted, held by the hand and brought back to Salvation: you can help – even if it is talking to only one person. But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12) Philip’s evangelism that culminated in baptisms is testimony to the fact that many were drawn to Jesus. Preaching the gospel will affect someone.

The Message of the Kingdom of God: Are you concerned about a seemingly sick national economy in which we have resources but little benefit? Are you concerned about the poor stewardship – marred with selfishness and corruption – that results in very poor service delivery? Or are you concerned about students who study diligently and sit all exams but their marks are missing? Are you concerned about the high sexual promiscuity that
characterizes young people in universities – acts of pre-marital sex, heart breaks,
abortions? Are you concerned about the quality of graduates we are churning out, who have little creativity? The gospel of the Kingdom of God is what we need to preach in word and deed. These evils do not at all characterize the kingdom of God; what then do we mean when we pray ‘… Your kingdom come’?

Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed?” Do you want to be made whole? He spoke of health, wellness, soundness – wholeness in body and spirit. The world around us is hungry for this wholeness, and if Jesus Christ is the giver of it, then give Him to the world around you. Get busy with mission work by your generous gifts, by talking to someone about
Kingdom values in Jesus’ Name, and by your prayers.

God bless you!

Lent: Suffering Christ?

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon Him while
He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

You are warmly welcome!

We are in a season of Lent which began on Ash Wednesday 18 Feb 2015, and lasts forty days and culminates in the Passion Week and then the celebration of Easter. It is now time to seek the Lord; it is time to return to the Lord with all your heart, with fasting and
weeping and mourning (Est 4:3, Joel 2:12). In this season of Lent we earnestly seek to be reconciled to God, to possess our promised inheritance, and to be prepared for faithful ministry. Seven Biblical instances involving 40 days and 40 nights are helpful in these
matters:

Reconciliation with God:
1)The 40-day ultimatum for Nineveh’s destruction was cancelled when they turned to God with prayer, fasting and repentance (Jonah 3:4-10). You too can similarly attain this
reconciliation with God.

Promised Inheritance: You must cross the ‘valley’ of 40 days.
2) The 40-day rainfall that caused a great flood was escaped by Noah and his people through faithful obedience to God and His providence (Gen 7:17-18).
3) The 40-day tormenting confrontation of Israel by the Philistine Goliath was cut short by David in the name of the Lord God Almighty (17:16, 45-50).
4) It took Moses’ spies 40 days to survey the Promised Land and report. Joshua and Caleb’s account was their ticket into the land (Num 13:25, 30).

Preparing for Ministry:
5) Moses received the Ten Commandments after 40 days of fasting and devotion alone with God – at Mount Horeb (also called Sinai) (Ex 34:28). This was the foundation of the rest of his ministry.
6)Elijah received instructions at Mount Horeb about his final phase of ministry and his
successor after 40 days of fasting and seeking God (1Kings 19:7-8)This would establish his legacy.
7) Jesus launched his ministry after 40 days of prayer and fasting and defeating the devil in the Judean wilderness (Matt 4:1-2, 17).
Yes, even Jesus Christ had his moments of self-denial and suffering. I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and
repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.

God bless you!