“Fulfil Your Duty To God With All Good Conscience!”(Acts22:30-23:11).
The late John S. Mbiti said, the missionaries did not bring God to Africa as they claimed, rathet, God brought them to Africa to enable Africans to name Christ.
Mbiti was not saying anything new. Most times human beings plan the worst for some people and claim to send them to certain places where they consider to be wildernesses. (The history of New England and Australia comes to mind). But it is not always so!
In the story of Joseph as we read yesterday, when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, three times he told them, “…it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you…it was not you who sent me here, but God.”(Gen.45:5-8).
In the case of Jesus, when he was nailed on the cross, his enemies rejoiced that they had achieved their aims, but for Jesus the cross gave him the Christ title.
In the case of Paul, the risen Lord assured him, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Paul was to be taken to Rome to be judged and condemned, but for Paul, it was the risen Lord sending him to Rome to testify about him.
Jesus said he is sending us out like sheep among wolves, so we should be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves(Mt.10:16). Inbetween those “who say” they send and God who actually sends, we should be shrewd and innocent so as to save our lives in the Sanhedrins that decides our fates!
When Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin he was shrewd to take advantage of the opposing views of the Pharisees and the Sadducees concerning the resurrection of the dead. When the high priest ordered that they should strike him, Paul insulted him that he was a “whitewashed wall”, violating the law by which he was judging others. When Paul was accused of insulting the high priest, he claimed innocence when he said he did not know the man was the high priest.
My friend,the Lord is always there to watch your back if you fulfil your duty to God in all good conscience.
In the midst of all the challenges, the Lord is standing near you. Listen carefully and you will here his silent voice saying,“Take courage!…”
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for always standing near us at the lowest moments of our lives and assuring us, “Take courage!” Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev. Babila Fochang.