Monthly Archives: October 2015

Restoration Double – THE BIG PARTY

After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him
twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)

It is party time. The year is ending for some, while for others it is just beginning; it
could be a welcome party, cultural gala, end of year party, candidates’ sendoff party, URA party, wedding party, and soon many a Christmas party… it’s truly party time. Have you attended one? After the party, there are always happy people and always complaining people. It is hardly ever perfect; the decoration, or the food, or the
emcee, or the time keeping, or the ushers – something will be unsatisfactory
somewhere or even go really bad; but there will always be some people who will go happy and smiling all the way – they didn’t notice what went wrong, and for them
everything was perfect.

We read of Job’s life starting as a party, then sinking into the mire of poverty and
suffering, and then finally ending as a greater party. At the start of the book, we are told of Job’s family parties and the consecration that he would carry out for his family after. It was sad that Job’s family perished at a party! However, the party at the end of Job’s life is beautifully described as one that was near perfect; by the provisions and the people who attended – all his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before; there was eating and gifting and rejoicing – it was the big party of Job’s life, and it was accompanied with blessings of double restoration. Each one of us would love to enjoy this kind of party at some point in your life. But how did Job get to this party? How did he arrive at this pure delight?

Couples who have had sex before marriage cannot enjoy their wedding as much as
those who abstained all the way. A house warming party is not sweet when the owner is struggling with the guilt of having stolen some of the money that built it. Sin spoils the party whether we see it or not, and Job’s profile – that ‘In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing’ (Job1:21) – was paramount to his enjoying the big party. Even throughout the time he had tempting advice from his wife and friends, he kept his integrity. If you want to enjoy your party, keep your integrity. Shun shortcut advice that will land you in sin. Keep your conscience clear and resist every form of evil. The journey may have rough patches and some suffering, but to all those who keep their integrity and faithfulness to God, the end is not only happy celebration but also a prolonged enjoyment in fortunes restored double.

‘Resist the devil’, whether he is he inciting you to curse God, or is he enticing you to
do evil. Remember, the end of all time is also described to be a great party – the
wedding between the Lamb and the Church; and this is followed by a heaven which
is much more than double fortunes. And this best moment is preserved for those
who keep their integrity. May the Lord give you joy in today’s party, but more so in
the party of all time – the eternal joy and peace in eternity.
God bless you all

A Better Independence

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free
indeed.” (John 8:31-32,36)

The celebrations of Uganda’s 53rd independence anniversary filled the air during the past week. The general reflections were on the nation’s progress during the 53 years, and pointing out any bottlenecks that have hampered growth and development. Some nations have made much greater strides in similar or even shorter times, and questions on what has hindered Uganda from attaining those heights seem not to get sufficient answers. We have had wars, instability, sectarianism and corruption, neo-colonialism; but we also have had times of relative peace, with great natural
endowments that can spur sustainable development when well harnessed.
This debate should be continued; but for now allow me transport you to a better
independence, a better freedom.

When the Israelites were freed from their slavery in Egypt, they rejoicingly left Africa with much loot; but hard times ahead made many look back and ask whether that
independence was really a good idea. Times when God seemed to have abandoned them – at the Red Sea, in the waterless desert, among venomous serpents, facing hunger – such times invoked feelings that there must be a better independence, a better freedom. The great prophet always spoke to this nation and told them the
formula to attaining peace and prosperity in the Promised Land – to be careful and obey the decrees and laws of the LORD God. Failure to follow the LORD results not in
liberation but in transferring from one oppressor to another.

Jesus spoke to Jews about freedom and they wondered if he thought they were slaves. He spoke about a liberation that does not suffer setbacks that have held Uganda back from sprinting forward, a freedom that is not spoiled by wars,
a freedom that is not abused by super-powers, a prosperity that is not hit by storms and El-Nino. “everyone who sins is a slave to sin… but if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn 8:36). What kind of independence are you celebrating? Who has set you free? Some Pan Africanists suffered and almost spent themselves to shake off the colonial master. But Jesus came down from heaven to earth, he taught and prayed day and night, then he suffered death on the cross – he paid the full price and suffered the full penalty – to purchase your better independence,
a better freedom. Then He rose again to life eternal give assure us that the better freedom will not be short lived but will last forever. Hallelujah!

Like Moses, Apostle Peter declares similar instructions, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Receive these gifts freely by faith from Jesus Christ the true
liberator, and you will be free indeed.

God bless you all.

God’s Time

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet
and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”.
(John 11:32)

Are there times you think God is getting late? It could be a situation in which you
need His intervention – healing, or provision or beating down your enemies. In those desperate times, you know He alone can intervene, yet your prayers seem to be
hitting at a wall! And when he shows up, the weaker Christians would have given up and walked away, or would not recognize that it is the Lord who has arrived; only the
polite and faithful believers will say recognize Him and say, ‘if you had been here…’. Yet in so saying, the implication of ‘God has come late’ remains apparent.

The Almighty God is also the God of time; He is never late. Mary and Martha used
similar statements beginning with, ‘if you had been here…’, and this indicated the
extent of their faith. The Lord Jesus Christ perhaps came late to stretch their faith
beyond their deadline, and beyond the grave. Until you grow your faith and shift
your deadline, God is at liberty to stretch you some more. One girl recently asked,
‘why do Indians praise idols but they get what they want?’ If our faith ends at simple positive effects for believers and negative results for non-believers, it becomes too simplistic to be faith. God’s action time and His judgment day is not governed by world events or even our prayers. We must learn to give the space for God to work in His time. What you expected Him to do ‘if he had been here…’ he can do now – in His time.

There are battles that we should also leave to God’s time. David gives a great
example in his encounters with King Saul, who had turned himself into an enemy of
the young man David. David chose to let God take His time to fight the enemy; at
one clear opportunity for David to kill Saul, he instead said, “the LORD himself will
strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.
But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed.” (1Sam
26:10-11) David had deep respect for God and His anointed king, and although he
was a great enemy, David would rather endure a few more years of running than
bring forward God’s time.

What remains for us is to follow faithfully, the Lord will arise in His time; and His time is the best. We must faithfully wait on Him with hope, and learn that at the time He appears, we need not say, ‘if you had been here…’, but rather hold onto Him who can and will handle at the right time anything that comes our way.

God bless you all.

Unfailing Integrity

His wife said to him,
“Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)

There are three kinds of people: The first kind posses no integrity
– the seeds of uprightness are eaten by the birds as soon as they land on them. The second are those with integrity that fails- the seeds of uprightness grow in them but are soon choked by worldly cares or dried from insufficient depth. The third kind are those with unfailing integrity – the seeds of uprightness grow in them and become large deep-rooted trees that endure storms and fires and thieves. The second kind seems to be the commonest and the most dangerous; so many people give in or give up under pressure, and Job’s wife too was this was this kind.

Job was ‘the greatest man among all the people of the East’ and his integrity was so deep that even God boasted about it. But when the calamities hit, he lost everything: Job lost his 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys to Sabean raiders, he lost 7000 sheep in a wild lightening, then again he lost 3000 camels to Chaldean raiders – and all these were lost with many servants! His sons and daughters also perished in a
hurricane, and finally his physical health was also wickedly destabilized.
His greatness was reduced to absolute poverty, but the greatest loss was yet to
manifest. In his distress, Job needed comfort and empathy; he needed support to hold onto the only valuable that was left; he needed encouragement to hold onto his only remaining hope – his trust in God. But the closest friend who should have brought this support – Job’s wife – turned out to be the greatest loss, when she spoke and was clearly using the vocabulary of the enemy.

When she said, ‘Curse God and die’, the reader should recall that it was Satan who first used these words – that Job would curse God if he lost his wealth (Job 1:11), but Job held onto his integrity and after the first great loss, he still worshipped God. To instigate the second great loss, Satan used the same words, that Job would curse God if he lost his health. That is the point at which Job’s wife seems to turn into
Satan’s spokesperson! She had her health intact, but her integrity fell over and she was completely the opposite of her suffering husband. Job retained unfailing
integrity.

You need to hold onto your integrity no matter what loss or risks you suffer in
financial matters, in academics, or in your relationships among family members or friends. Tough times may come; is it worth it to endure such suffering yet retain your integrity? Yet that is the most valuable asset that no one can steal from you; nothing and no one can snatch it from you; you lose it onlt if you give it away yourself. God plants integrity freely in the hearts of all who ask and are willing to keep it, and if you do not give up or give in, integrity will be a firm foundation for a fulfilling life today, tomorrow and to eternity.

God bless you all.