"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.." - Collosians 1:13 (NIV).
Before Christianity arrived here in Africa there were other beliefs tying down people in a kingdom of darkness. This was centered on vengeful gods occasionally demanding ritual blood sacrifices, including of humans. A writer in Buganda at the turn of the century, John Roscoe, noted how people wore amulets apparently to ward of evil spirits. He noticed people were even afraid of "jumping shadows" which could cause a bad omen.
But come the Gospel and those that heard and believed were released from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God. Before while lost in the kingdom of darkness they were trapped with fear of upseting malevolent gods and suffering an ignominious end. In the Kingdom of God by accepting Christ they were forgiven and reconciled with the creator of earth, our father God in heaven, through His son Jesus Christ!
No longer would they live in fear - "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). They were now no longer trapped into the deeds of darkness for as the Apostle Paul put it in II Corinthians 5:17: "When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!"
It is a privilege and joy for us who came after that we were not born into a kingdom of darkness led by Satan who comes to kill and destroy (John 10:10) with his minions. More so, that by grace of God the truth dawned on us that it was not religion that came to save us, but only by receiving and accepting Jesus as our Lord and saviour and then we were truly born into the Kingdom of light.
May we never lose sight of how privileged we are, that we are no longer lost in a dark kingdom. But by the mercy of God we are in fellowship with Christ in a kingdom of light.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, how I thank you that I have been born in a kingdom of light, and may I walk in that grace, totally free to share the Good News, 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!