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07/03/2023 - 08/03/2023 All day

"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows"    (I Timothy 6:10).

Judas Iscariot was the treasurer of Jesus’s ministry bag. Normally, it is expected of any treasurer to give a periodic report concerning the health of our kitty. Thus a treasurer is often the most trusted officer of the organisation.

Judas appeared to have been the right fit for the job because he possessed a certain quality critical in that job. He seemed frugal. When on a certain occasion Mary the brother of Lazurus splashed Jesus with an expensive perfume he raised a good accountant objection. "Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denariib and the money given to the poor?”  (John 12:5).

Sounds like a good guy who knows everything about money. Except that all this was hot air. In fact, knowing his heart, Jesus rebuked him.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."  (vv 7- 8).

The truth of the matter was that "Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to take from what was put into it"  ( vv 6). Yes, as he skimmed off Jesus, he probably was putting up some nice pad elsewhere. Maybe he had bought secretly a prime plot in the middle of Jerusalem whose price was steadily appreciating and he hoped to cash in on one day. No wonder he was irritated when Mary splashed that perfume on Jesus. If she had just donated it as cash, he thought, that would have meant spare change for his project!

But once your heart is sold on money it is never enough. Maybe he got into debt. Eventually he decided to sell out his master. "Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over"   ( Mathew 26: 14-16).

So, there you have it. The guy who was already loaded could just never have enough of it! Ultimately this obsession would end up costing him his life too. For after betraying his master he realised it was all for naught. "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself"  (Mathew 27:5).

Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray not to wear out myself with the love of money but be ever trusting in you to take care of all my needs, this I pray in Jesus’s name.

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    “Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked” (Psalm 43:1)

    To be vindicated is to be cleared of blame or suspicion. Someone is vindicated when he is eventually proved right or justified. In his reign as King of Israel, David was not short of enemies. One was his very son Absalom who divided his people and mounted a coup that threw him off the throne. After Absalom had raised enough support, “a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom..” (1 Samuel 15:13-14).

    Pushed out of power, David longed to be vindicated. His situation is no different from any person who has been mistreated, done poorly and cast out of a position for apparently no fault of his. So often one comes across innocent public servants who have been put on katebe, the local speak for being made redundant. Intrigues being part of life there is never a day that passes without someone somewhere conspiring and scheming against a blameless person. False rumors are spread and before long one is forced out of his job.

    Where do you turn when your enemies are having you for a field day? Quite obvious there are those who give in to bitterness and use the evil ways their enemies exceled in to launch a counter attack. If their enemies bribed their way to power, so they do. If they spread malice, so they embrace. If they sought out occult powers, they arm themselves with these.

    Pushed out of power, David, rather sought the Almighty God. He went “to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God” ( 2 Samuel 15:32). He prayed that his enemy Absalom would fall pray to his evil devices through foolish counsel, causing him confusion. The Lord answered David’s prayer and his army went to battle with Absalom and defeated him, leading to his death at the hand of David’s General Joab (2 Samuel 18).

    Today, should you be grappling with a situation where you feel done wrong, do not let your enemies have the better part of you, but turn to God, who will vindicate you. “For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants” (Psalm 135:14).

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for you to vindicate me in all my affairs, where I have been falsely accused, done poorly, and that glory may go to you, this I pray in Jesus’ name!