Devotional Times

Taking a moment to be with God

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Revelation’s Revolution

“[F]or God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth in Him shall not periesh, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

Revolutions are an integral part of the history of mankind. Revolutions are taking place all over the world even as you read this. The most recent, most reported revolution is Syria’s civil war which formed part of the Arab Spring. The French Revolution is another important revolution that changed the course of history. We are still experiencing its effects today.

Revolutionaries, like Che Guevarra and Napoleon Bonaparte, usually fight for three ideals: freedom, equality, and fraternity. The first two ideals are easy to see while the last is their product, to a certain extent.

Now these three ideals we find in Christianity as well. In fact, Christ, the greatest Revolutionary ever, came to give man freedom from sin, to break the chains of slavery and racial prejudice, and to all of us He offers fraternal love, a place to belong in the brotherhood that is His Body, the Christian Church.

Jesus wants us to revolutionise the world just as He did His. Are ready to enlist?

Dear Father, thank You for sending Christ to die for our sins and to set us free. Help us to be revolutionanies too. In Jesus’ Name, I pray.


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Loving Stigma

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 ESV

Living with stigma is not an easy thing. Many people around the world face stigma and discrimination on a daily basis but for none is it so palpable as for those living with HIV/AIDS. The general belief is that people with HIV are promiscuous and that when you have the virus your death certificate is signed and sealed. As a result HIV-positive individuals enter a deep depression. Some even begin to live up to the stereotype of being promiscuous because of rejection by family, friends, co-workers and even health care providers and health care workers–the very ones who are supposed to help and support them.

There was a time in Earth’s history when it wasn’t popular to be a Christian either. In fact, it was never popular and will never be popular to be a true Christian. There was a time when our predecessors were thrown to the lions, beaten to death, burned at the stake–tortured death just because they worship Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. We were sold by our families, rejected, spat upon, for our “status”: Christ-positive.

Let us, therefore, embrace the stigmatised and love the HIV-positive people as Christ loves them, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the drunkards, the homeless, the lepers, the criminals, and many others who are the outcasts of society. For “God is love” (1 John 4:8, ESV).

Almighty Father in Heaven, You are so mighty that even a whisper from You can move mountains. I pray that You will move the mountains in our hearts that we may love with Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Please note: Sexual intercourse is not the only way in which the virus is transmitted. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be transmitted via blood transfusions, hypodermic needles penetrating the skin, during birth and via breastfeeding. Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) enable HIV-positive people to live long fulfilling lives.


The Law of Sacrifice

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45 ESV

Recently I picked up John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership in which I found the following statement which made a profound impression on me:

“The higher the level of leadership you want to reach, the greater the sacrifices you will have to make. To go up, you have to give up. That is the true nature of leadership. That is the Law of Sacrifice.” 1

How true is it not for us Christians? We have to give up our wills, our families, our time, our dreams, our talents, our money, our desires, our very beings, in order to go up to Heaven and live with Christ for all eternity. From others’ perspective our sacrifices are for nothing. But, we are only following in the footsteps of God, our Saviour. He gave up eternity in Heaven and all the riches and pleasures Heaven affords. He gave up the special communion He, our Father and the Holy Spirit had. He gave up the world of light to come to this world of darkness only to be mocked, ridiculed, slandered, and murdered by us so that He could save us. He endured the ultimate form of humiliation: an innocent man dying the public, tortured death of a criminal.

Jesus who invented the Law of Sacrifice lived by it–even died by it. And we are called to do the same: to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him. Are you willing to count the cost?

Loving Father, You sacrificed a lot just so that You could commune with me. You placed Your Son and Your Kingdom on the line just to save a vagrant like me. Thank You for Your sacrificial leadership. Please give me a heart like Yours, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8a ESVUK

Today another poet will speak for me. Mrs Rebekah Smith–a poet–who in 1871 published an anthology of poems (Poems: With a Sketch of the Life and
Experience of Annie R. Smith
) in memory of her daughter who was also a poet. This poem impressed me greatly and advises us on how to endure suffering. I pray that you’ll be blessed.


The Saviour knows our every grief;
He knows the time to give relief:
When we are purified and tried,
And our whole wills are sanctified.

How to destroy our dross and tin,
And cleanse us from each stain of sin,
What to inflict, the Lord knows best;
‘Tis only ours to stand the test.

What though we suffer grief and pain,
And earth’s fair prospects strew the plain,
Let us submit, whate’er befall,
And make our God our all in all.

What though we’re wrongfully accused,
Oft times e’en slanderously abused?
Say not these ills we cannot bear,
But in our Saviour’s sufferings share.

What he endured no tongue can tell,
When on Him our transgressions fell ;
Meekly he bore them on the tree,
And paid the debt for you and me.

He purchased holiness and Heaven,
Or we could ne’er have been forgiven.
The Saviour’s blood redemption cost,
Without which all our race was lost.

Shall we then sink beneath the rod,
Inflicted by a holy God
To purify and make us white,
That he may be our sole delight?

No; though it sharply smites, resign,
And pray for grace and love divine ;
For all this, Heaven will make amends,
And ofttimes quick deliverance sends.

The Lord in him would have us free ;
Through Him we gain the victory,
All he will be to us we need,
That we a holy life may lead.

Be holy. Oh! how blest to know,
Our Father helps to make us so ;
‘Tis but for us to yield our will,
His word and promise he’ll fulfill.

No guilt or fear, no will, no choice ;
In God alone we now rejoice,
And bless the hand that gave the blow,
And laid our earthly comforts low.

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Writer’s Block: The bane of writers

“I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” Luke 5:24-25 KJV

It has long been known that writers, whatever the type of pieces they create, suffer from writer’s block from time to time. Writer’s block binds the writer so tightly that he cannot get a single word down on paper–much like stage fright does to the public speaker. Many theories regarding its origin exists–some more plausible than others. And even more advice on removing the blockage abounds. But, it all boils down to the writer putting pen to paper and writing about having the bane or whatever else the writer sees or experiences.

The same is true for the paralytic to whom Jesus said, “Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” (v. 24) The only way the man could be cured of his malady was by doing the very thing he was unable to do. But, he did the impossible. At the command of Jesus he took up his bed and walked. He could have wavered and hesitated, but he did not. He chose to do that which his heart desired and which God desired him to do.

And God expects the same from us. He expects us to do what must be done without wavering. He expects us to use the talents, gifts and entrusted truths and privileges He gave us to bring Him glory and fulfill our purpose. But, sometimes we suffer from writer’s block, like Moses (Exodus 3), and we waver. And just as Moses and the paralytic, and writers throughout the ages did, to overcome the wavering we have to get on and do it. For it is as we do the little we can do that Christ enables us to do the things we ought to do as children of the living God.

Gracious Father in heaven,
to Thee be all glory given,
for Thou hast bid us do Thy will
but we don’t think we fit the bill;
indeed the bill we don’t fit
but strength Thou promis’d
in Thy Holy Writ.
For strength and courage we pray,
in Jesus’ dear and holy name,

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Revelation of the Unknown

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12-13 ESV

Recently I received an e-mail from an ex-colleague of mine whom I unknowingly offended at a planning meeting our two schools had together. She bore a grudge for four or five years just because I stepped on her feet while we were seated at the table. I did not apologise. I cannot remember the meeting let alone how I stepped on her feet. The message shocked me: firstly, for the fact that I committed an unknown sin and, secondly, that the she took offence over what I deem to be a minor thing. I thanked her for bringing the offence to my attention and for forgiving me.

This incident just reminded me of how we go through life leaving destruction in our wake. It also reminded me of how we deem certain offences negligible and others irredeemable; yet they are all the same in God’s eyes. That is why we can only but echo David’s prayer that God would forgive us of our unknown and presumptuous sins because even these can keep us from communing with God and keep those whom we offend from being intimate with God.

Dear Father, many are the sins I commit every day and a large proportion of these are unknown sins, character defects and errors in logic and belief. I pray Your forgiveness, Lord, and for the gift of a new heart in Jesus’ name, amen.

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“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 KJV

John Bunyan in his allegory The Holy War Made by King Shaddai Upon Diabolus, to Regain the Metropolis of the World, Or, The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul tells about how Diabolus Continue reading