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04/04/2022 03:00 - 05/04/2022 02:00

"A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great" - Proverbs 18:16 (NIV).

Every culture in the world has certain unique characteristics. For example, the Japanese have been noted for their extreme politeness to strangers. There are cultures where people tend to be aloof and quite insular. The Germans are not very expressive, unlike their Latin neighbours, the Italians. In Uganda the Bakiga are famous for being very forthright.

Among the Hebrews there are quite a number of characteristics that define their culture. One of these is the habit of gift giving. This can be traced to their relationship with God. For example, when Abraham was up in years and finally had a son he was tasked, "Then God said, “Take your son your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you" (Gen 22:2). Imagine presenting your very and only child you have longed for years as a gift!

The Hebrew culture stresses a lot of importance on gift giving when one is ushered in the presence of the Almighty God. When the three wise men saw the star in the East and conceded it must herald the coming of the Messiah, they gathered not to visit empty handed, but went with "treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh" (Mathew 2: 11).

Drawing from all this we might think of borrowing from the Hebrews this part of their culture- go with gifts whenever we visit the Lord!

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as I thank you for the gift of your son Jesus Christ as my saviour, teach me how to walk in your presence ever with gifts, as one way of thanksgiving!"

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  • 26/02/2024 - 27/02/2024 All day

    “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!

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