“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners’- Isaiah 61:1 (NIV).
Once I came across a gentleman who had become a Christian in the course of a long and successful career as an investor on the Chicago stock Exchange. Prior though a multimillionaire he was not happy and fulfilled until the day he received Jesus as Lord and personal savior (John 3:16). Excited with his new found life in Christ, he loved nothing like sharing his faith. He regularly gave out Gospel tracts to his staff. Then one day he got a rude shock.
His firm did a lot of business with the government which came out with a ruling forbidding mixing faith and state. The businessman was therefore stopped from sharing the Gospel at his workplace, which he loved more than anything. He was discouraged. Subsequently, he decided to sell out his interests in a successful firm he had founded, and retired.
Today, there are places around the world where sharing of faith in Christ is becoming harder and troublesome. Interestingly, some of these are places where Christianity has its roots, before spreading out to the rest of the globe, as like in many parts of Western Europe. However, through the cunningness of Satan, he has taken over some of these places, imposed laws that make it difficult to preach the Word of God. Like carrying out work with government, where believers must first sign up to embracing practices the Bible forbids, or else lose aid.
In most of Africa, believers still have a choice to share their faith in the market place and work with state governments without being coerced into practices their conscience forbids. We should therefore not lose sight of these freedoms or take them lightly. Here, we have a twofold task. First, is to pray for those places where it is increasingly becoming a taboo to preach the Gospel. And, secondly, thank God for the freedoms we enjoy, to practice and share the Gospel of Christ, which we should not take for granted!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I thank you for being in a nation where I am free to share my faith in you, even at my work place, and may I not take this freedom for granted, but fully use it for your glory, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!