Monthly Archives: August 2016

Raised for a Purpose – part 2

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
(Prov 19:21, Php 2:13)

As candidates face Mock Exams in this season, these are loud bells of a season change in the offing; and for over 7000 students joining Kyambogo University for First Year, the change is happening. Where are you going? Well, we make plans and sometimes someone else makes plans for us, but one thing you should know for certain is that you are here for a purpose, a God-ordained purpose. He will not excuse you from your assignment just because you didn’t have a good background, or because you deserved a different school or better course. You have the opportunity now to release yourself to ‘God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure’.

Many young people are crying tears of pain and regret after wasting themselves in premature adventure and experimentation, driven by peer pressure and a misconception of freedom, coupled with the information explosion upon us. Who said you should try out every junk on the shelf and in the jungles? Without observing limits and discipline, uncontrolled visiting hours and physical contact have landed many into sex that culminates in deep regret and guilt, unwanted pregnancies, dangerous ectopic pregnancies, abortions, nightmares and long-term hurting wounds in the heart. Many such vices, from drugs to betting away tuition fees, cheating exams, and procrastinating important tasks – these vices eat slowly and before you know it, many wasted years lie behind brilliant young men and women. Associated health challenges from such lifestyle are the reason HIV/AIDS prevalence has been on the rise and is highest in the Central region at more than 10%! This is NOT God at work. This is NOT God’s purpose for anyone.

The key to overcoming the pressures around you is to know that your Maker has created you and raised you for a purpose. To excel in your academic work or perform well at your job is the beginning. This comes through faithful adherence to the set guidelines and shared best practices. Then, beyond this, there is a whole lot more that God wants to achieve: put your art and talent to full use in ministry, or helping a friend or two; document your dreams and start planning their coming to life; grow your leadership potential by participating in fellowships and clubs near you; respond to news with positive contributions to making things better; and above all, secure your eternal destiny by holding fast and growing in salvation – you have been raised for this purpose. Bless the world with the best that you can be.

God bless you.

Raised for a Purpose – part 1

fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. He has saved us and called us to a holy life… because of his own purpose and grace. (2Tim 1:6-9)

It is interesting how the world keeps progressing steadily and sometimes at increasing rates even in the face of localized seasons of turbulence. Ancient Egypt the superpower that held Israelites in slavery for close to 400 years went on her knees and collapsed under the weight of ten lethal plagues. Pharaoh and his entire army that had followed the Israelites into the Red Sea perished. Flavius Josephus thus remarks about them: “but the Egyptians were not aware that they went into a road made for the Hebrews, and not for others; that this road was made for the deliverance of those in danger, but not for those that were earnest to make use of it for the others’ destruction.” Nonetheless, Egypt rose up again and had her fair share of power, comparable to Assyria and Medo-Persia.

More lately, it has been observed that the twentieth century witnessed both incredible advancement and unspeakable tragedy. The 1918 influenza epidemic killed fifty million people, World War II killed another sixty million. There were tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods, even plagues of locust; yet this period also saw infant mortality decrease by 90 percent, maternal mortality decrease by 99 percent, and, overall, human lifespan increase by more than 100 percent. These are progressive advancements in God’s world that override the localized seasons of calamitous turbulence. People should therefore never lose hope, but know that God is at work and has made everything and every season for a purpose.

The purpose of the Pharaoh in Moses’ ministry season was to reveal to the world the great power of the Almighty God – high above the might of super powers of any era. His hardness of heart attracted demonstrations of this power in full force, until the Israelites were delivered. The purpose of Timothy’s call was pastoral leadership using his God-given gifts and learning. You too – regardless of which office or assignment you hold – have been created and equipped for a purpose, and God is watching and waiting for a good accountability. He desires to use you for a noble cause; the important task for each one of us is to humble oneself before God and learn His purpose for your life, and then pursue the same. Remember, “The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.” (Prov 16:1)

God bless you.

Timeless Treasures

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide … for yourselves a treasure in heaven that will never fail. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34)

Is your money safe? Some of our friends’ money is stuck in South Sudan as the country battles political instability, some is being stolen from stable Ugandan banks by some crafty hackers; even government money is at high risk as hackers don’t seem to fear the Ministry of Finance, Uganda Revenue Authority or even Bank of Uganda with all the tight security – they have attempted to steal from there! Jesus Christ warns against the thief and the moth that steal and destroy our treasures stored here on earth. The Lord instead points us to the most secure investment location where you are sure of timeless treasures when you invest there – store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

The world itself will challenge the greedy spirit that drives treasure hunters as we get more and more dematerialized and demonetized; the question will be, how much money do we really need? Peter Diamandis invites us to consider about twenty years ago – most well-off US citizens owned a camera, a video camera, a CD player, a stereo, a video game console, a cell phone, a watch, an alarm clock, a set of encyclopedias, a world atlas, a Thomas Guide, and a whole bunch of other assets that easily add up to more than $10,000. All of which come standard on today’s smart phones, or are available for purchase at the app store for less than a cup of coffee. In this, our exponentially enabled world, that’s how quickly $10,000 worth of expenses can vanish. One has to seriously question the value of treasures on earth.

God has put a social security system that works; at least it works among the ravens and the flowers. He therefore warns us against worrying about food, water and clothing – the basic needs. In fact, right up to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, God will take care of you. Pagans run after these things – to get them by their own effort, but Jesus assures His followers that ’your Father knows that you need them’; that is as good as saying ‘your Father will provide for you what you need’. Our hearts should therefore not be bound to earthly treasures and the pursuit thereof; such hearts will be broken severally!

To store up treasurers for yourself in heaven, God has put in place opportunities: Evangelist Luke concentrates his gospel on God’s care for the lower class; in Chapter 12, Jesus specifically says, ‘Sell your possessions and give to the poor’. This is not only God’s will revealed in the gospel, but it’s that nature that He has created us with, as attested to by what the richest people do at the epitome of their achievement. They go into philanthropy – charity, giving to the poor; they can find satisfaction in nothing else. But doing it in accordance with our Father’s will and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ guarantees treasurers in heaven – these are the real ever-safe timeless treasurers.

God bless you.

Rich toward God?

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

To illustrate the above lesson, Jesus told the Parable of the Rich Fool: He was busy considering how to indulge himself in the great produce of his fertile farm; he was planning on remodeling his barns and stores into bigger ones; he was looking forward to giving himself praise for putting in place his security fund for years to come, in which he would ‘take it easy, eat and drink and be merry!’ (Luke 12:13-21) He didn’t need that excess then, that’s why he planned it for years to come. Perhaps he had neighbours who needed the food, but he was instead storing it up for himself; perhaps he had not taken off the tithe to God; perhaps he had not taken off a contribution to support the gospel mission announced in his church; perhaps he had not considered some of his relatives in need of assistance. Jesus called him a fool!

What does it mean to be rich? Exploring the meaning of poverty, Diamandis, in his book Abundance, observes that “Today most poverty-stricken Americans have a television, telephone, electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing. Most Africans do not. If you transferred the goods and services enjoyed by those who live in California’s version of poverty to the average Somalian, that Somalian is suddenly fabulously rich.” Then what does it mean to be rich – in California? The different parameters to measure wealth will keep varying from place to place and from time to time; but we need find out and pursue Jesus’ version, which does not change.

I salute the leadership of this Church and their great ministry efforts in different tasks – Pastoral and administrative leadership, in worship services, music practice, fellowships, committee meetings, caring for one another when sick or bereaved, or even when in financial need. I’ve been on leave and now must salute in greater measure the team that has carried on this ministry under the leadership of Rev. Canon Ruth Galimaka. I testify that many ministers do it all for the love of God, and this I believe is growing wealth in your heavenly bank account.

In conclusion, our Lord Jesus Christ seriously warns ‘whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.’ We all want to be rich, but no one wants to be like the Rich Fool. Avail yourself today for deployment in the Lord’s vineyard; continue serving the Almighty God with joy and consistency; consider sharing what you have with neighbours in the name of Jesus; give some quality time to a friend, just to listen and encourage them; do not grow weary in doing good and supporting a noble cause at Church and in the community; look beyond yourself and your security tomorrow – entrust that to God and let Him use you to bless many others today. Do all these and more as the Holy Spirit guides you, and you will truly be rich here on earth and also be rich toward God.

God bless you.