“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” - John 3:3 (NIV).
In June 1877, Shergold Smith and C. T. Wilson of the Church Missionary Society, arrived at the court of Kabaka Mutesa I. The King of Buganda had earlier made an appeal for Christian missionaries after a chance meeting with the explorer H M Stanley. Thus began the process of proselyting African natives in the new faith of Jesus Christ here.
Many of the early converts were totally committed to Christ that when Kabaka Mutesa I successor, Kabaka Mwanga II, challenged them to renounce their new faith in Christ they refused. This caused him to order the massacre of 45 early converts in 1885. But still, the Gospel survived and has flourished to this day.
Today, we have many third generation Christians. It is quite common to find one born in a home where one’s grandparents embraced the Christian faith at the turn of the nineteenth century and the family considers itself Christian. As proof the family religiously observes Christian rituals- infant baptism, confirmation in church, regular Sunday worship, Christian weddings, Christian funerals etc- as a sign there are Christians. Some families have even reserved seats in certain churches, courtesy of contributing to their construction.
All good; but the problem with third and later generation of Christians is that unlike the first generation which had to make a clear choice between abandoning old practices and taking up the cross of Christ, often at the cost of their lives, for these Christianity has become a tradition. It is now passed on like inherited artifacts, worn and paraded as the occasion demands, but not a faith of the heart. Yet one of the distinctive elements of being a Christian is not inheriting the faith as a tradition but making a pronouncement by one as a follower of Christ.
The Bible says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved” (Romans 10: 9-10). One can receive faith from his parents and generations before, but still must come to that place of making a personal decision and pronouncement that he is now a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I receive and make a personal confession of you as Lord and Savior, this I pray in Jesus’s name
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!