Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-22)
O God of all creation, fill our hearts with thanksgiving. This is the last line of the Kenyan National Anthem, the beautiful prayer that we sing many a times without paying much attention to the words therein. The glory of Kenya, the fruit of our labour fill every heart with thanksgiving. Are our hearts as Kenyans filled with thanksgiving? Are we rejoicing always? Are we praying constantly?
Are we holding fast to what is good? Are we quenching the Spirit? Are we despising prophesy? Are we holding fast to what is good? Are we abstaining every from of evil?
It’s reflection time Kenyans, especially those of the household of faith. As we sing the Kenya National Anthem, let us never forget that we are praying to our God, the God of all creation. And every line we utter, every word in this anthem is directed to Him. He hears, He answers and may He fill our hearts with thanksgiving in all circumstances.
O God of all creation, thank you for the land of Kenya. Thank you for the people of Kenya. Thank you for the heritage of Kenya. Thank you Father for your mercy and kindness that you have continued to show to us despite our continued failure, outright disobedience and distancing from you. Father, have mercy on us and in that mercy through your Son Jesus Christ draw us back to Yourself. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17)
O God of all creation, thank you for the good gift that is our homeland Kenya. I don’t know how many of us have ever reflected on our homeland Kenya as a gift, a gift from God? Or do we just feel entitled to this nation we call our home? How about those who treat it as an option? If things don’t work here I can always move to another part of the world ??.
What would happen if every time we sang the Kenya National Anthem specifically this line about our homeland of Kenya gratitude to God for the gift of a home would ooze from our hearts? The translation would be amazing. We would consciously take care of this gift. Simple but significantly negative behavior when compounded would be a thing of the past. Am talking about issues like dumping garbage out of moving cars, into drainage systems, misusing water and electricity, deforestation. One of the worst if not the worst forms of violence against our homeland is silence, yes silence. When we stand in silence and watch others abuse the gift that is our homeland in a myriad of ways, we are in essence participating in their crimes.
Our homeland of Kenya is a gift, let us treasure it and treat it as such.
O God of all creation, thank you for the gift of our homeland Kenya. I confess that we have been callous in how we have treated this gift: both with our actions and our silence. O God you whose property is to have mercy, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for abusing our homeland and help us henceforth to make step by step, day by day conscious decisions in our actions and words to portray to you our gratitude for this our homeland of Kenya. In Jesus Name, Amen!
O God of all creation let justice be the shield and defender of our nation of Kenya.
Justice has over the years become symbolized by balanced scales. Balanced scales cannot occur in space, they must be held by an object. In regards to justice for any nation the constitution of that nation is one of those tenets (objects) that help hold up the balanced scales of justice. But higher than the constitution of a nation is God, the creator of all. He alone can firmly hold balanced the scales of justice on any nation and people. How? You might ask. By influencing the hearts and minds of the people therein and transforming them as they continuously yield to Him.
The third line of the Kenyan National Anthem continues the prayer to the God of all creation and the request is that may justice be our shield and defender. If you look at a shield, battle shields (not the ornamental kind of shields ??), you will notice the defense and protective aspects of it. A shield is used by a warrior to defend self under attack, as well protect self from attack. Justice, is both a defender and protector from attacks on human rights, morals, freedom of worship, from bad governance and everything else contained in our constitution. So when we ask God of all creator to let justice be our shield and defender, we are in essence submitting under His Sovereignty as the standard of justice and the ultimate judge of all men.
O God of all creation let justice be our shield and defender. Father, if there is an area we have erred it is in the area of justice. We stand condemned by your Holy Word You who hates unjust scales. Have mercy on us Father, forgive this land of the sin of injustice and all the consequences of it. Have mercy on us Father, and let justice be our shield and defender. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Father, I surrender to you this morning. Use me to speak to us. Teach us Father, encourage us, rebuke us, correct us and guide us in your way. In Jesus Name, Amen
Our theme this morning is ‘Living in the Fear of the Lord’. The scripture readings we heard earlier will guide our lesson this morning.
Let us start off with some definitions so that we are clear on what exactly it is we are talking about this morning.
To live in the fear of the Lord therefore implies living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ; walking in obedience to His Word. Just like the old hymn reminds us trusting and obeying moment by moment day by day. It means that every area of our lives, including what we use our data bundles on the phone for is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Our money, our time, the friends we hang out with, our talks (public and private) our actions are pleasing unto the Lord.
Now that we have a glimpse of what it means to ‘live in the fear of the Lord’ let us turn to our scripture readings and see what the Lord would teach us this morning on the theme.
I see four lessons for us one from each reading.
Two things that keep/can keep us from living in the fear of the Lord
I did make a promise that after addressing the roles of The Father, The Son, and The husband we would one day look into the roles of Sons and Brothers. Looks like we are almost there. But first off let’s start off with the women in their lives. Shall we?
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Gen 2:24 RSV)
The Word of God states in very clear terms that a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. This verse begins with a conjunctive adverb ‘therefore’ which begs the question what happened before this statement to warrant this consequence or response?