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02/04/2024 - 03/04/2024 All day

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” ( 2 Cor 5:17).

When Christian missionaries first came here in Africa they were aghast at certain cultural aspects they found being practiced, many of which they could blame on satanic worship. For example birth and burial ceremonies were often characterized with singing and drumming, while thanking or appealing to ancient pagan gods. Worse still, accompanied with hard drinking!

Concerned, missionaries advised converts to abandon almost all aspects of their tribal culture, labeling such as satanic. Actually, it was not the first time the issue of culture had come up. Early in the life of the church there was a case of Titus, a companion of Paul who was Greek, and was first circumcised to be considered a Christian convert, though it was not a practice common to his culture (Gal 2:3).

Elsewhere an event happened where Peter who had started to win disciples among uncircumcised Gentiles, upon seeing Paul, decided to withdraw and eat separately. But this upset Paul. “When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs! ( vv 14). Paul went on to add, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1).

Paul was making a serious point that our cultures should not be a stumbling bloc with following Christ. He gives us the answer, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me..” (Gal 2:20).

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I am thankful for the Gospel of your son Jesus Christ, which has set me free from being chained to any law, for I am saved not by works but by grace, this I pray in Jesus’ name.

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  • 22/04/2024 - 23/04/2024 All day

    "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; it’s darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security”  (Job 11:17-19.)

    Philosophers and writers have long pointed out that without hope mankind would long be gone. The philosopher Victor Frankly who survived the Holocaust where he lost his entire family found hope was the most important weapon that enabled him come out alive. He wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how!”
    
Hope can sustain any of us through the darkest of times. This is what happened to Job when he lost everything he possessed. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

    King David when he was being pursued by his enemies never lost hope. “For you have been my hope, sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The Apostle Paul who faced countless perilous times during his missionary journeys including jail and shipwrecks never lost hope. Writing to the Corinthians he reminded them, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor 1:10-11).

    As believers God has given us hope that our lives are not empty and meaningless, like so many others. He has given us the hope to carry us through the lowest of moments. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
    Today, may that hope that you have in Christ sustain you through whatever circumstances you may be facing.

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus that the hope I have in you lifts me up and sustains me in all situations as a conquer, in whose name I pray.

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